15 February 2022
Portsmouth High School celebrated 140 years this month with a Gala Concert at the Cathedral of St Thomas, Old Portsmouth.
‘It was really lovely to be back at a real live event after so long,’ was the heartfelt reaction of one parent after the concert.
Always the highlight of the school’s musical calendar, this year’s concert featured a range of music, from classical to jazz to modern pop, performed by pupils from Years 7 to 13. In addition to soloists Jules, Naomi, and Annalee, several ensembles contributed to the evening’s success.
‘One of the best things for me,’ said Director of Music, Mr George Tinsley, was seeing girls who are quite new to their instruments sitting alongside seasoned sixth form scholars, all making exciting music together.’ The jazz band and orchestra played cinematic theme tunes with Hollywood panache, and three of the school’s vocal ensembles performed the complex harmonies of Stephen Sondheim in a tribute to the composer, following his death in November, 2021. The groups joined together in a delightfully sassy rendition of Little Shop of Horrors. The concert concluded with the Music Theatre Club’s enthusiastic and athletic Revolting Children from Matilda, sailing paper airplanes into the audience on the final chord.
An audience of three hundred, including The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Frank Jonas, the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Joy Maddox JP, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Rob Wood, the Deputy Mayor of Fareham Councillor Mr Michael Ford and Deputy Mayoress Mrs Anne Ford and the Mayor of Havant, Councillor Rosie Raines and Consort Mr Graham Raines. Portsmouth High School’s Chair of Governors, Mrs Krysia Butwilowska, was also in the audience.
‘We had a wonderful evening,’ said The Lord Mayor. ‘The talent on display from the students was truly amazing and it was a fantastic night to remember.’
An audience member enthused, ‘It was a wonderful evening and showcased some truly amazing talent. It was a joyful occasion.’