Performing Arts Masterclass - Portsmouth High School

Performing Arts Masterclass at Portsmouth High School

Performing Arts Masterclass at Portsmouth High School

Your child is invited on a two-day performing arts masterclass at Portsmouth High School led by local experts in music, drama and technical stage skills.

This is a unique opportunity for children aged 8 to 10 years to learn the skills for a musical production and will build confidence, fire creativity and teach the technical expertise needed for backstage roles. Children will use their new skills to shine on stage during a performance for parents. The masterclass will encompass playing in an orchestra or musical theatre, or a technical workshop.

The Performing Arts Masterclass will be held at Portsmouth High School GDST, 25 Kent Road, Southsea, Hampshire PO5 3EQ on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 August 2022 from 10am to 3pm with a performance for parents on the second day at 2pm. The Masterclass will be based in the school’s senior hall with a large stage, sound and lighting equipment and impressive tiered seating for an audience.

The two day Masterclass costs £70 per child and places can be booked via the link below. Please note you can only book your child on one of the workshops on the Masterclass to enable them to receive specialist tuition. 

Book your child’s place

Please choose from ONE of the following Masterclass workshop options

Young girl playing cello

Orchestral Workshop

The orchestral workshop is designed for 30 children and will be led by Mrs Becky Hill, Portsmouth High School’s Director of Music (Prep School) and assisted by Miss Rosie Kendall.

Performers will have the chance to play in a large orchestra and can choose from a wide repertoire. There will be plenty of variety, either melody or accompaniment, for each performer.

Instrumentalists are invited who play the Violin; Viola; Cello; Double Bass; Guitar; Ukelele; Flute/Fife; Oboe; Clarinet; Bassoon; Saxophone; Trumpet; French Horn; Trombone; Tuba; Percussion including drum kit, tuned and untuned percussion.

Young girl dressed as Peter Pan

Musical Theatre

Up to 20 students are invited to join the two-day masterclass to rehearse for a final performance.

Some musical theatre experience would be preferable but is not essential. A willingness to join in and have fun is important. The musical theatre is led by Mr Perry Ralls, Vice Chair of Portsmouth Schools Music Festival.

During the theatre masterclass children will rehearse songs and scenes from musical theatre shows, featuring dance and movement and there will be opportunities for chorus singing and some solos. In the final performance children will showcase the work they have achieved and perform a show piece, accompanied by the masterclass orchestra.

Young girl dressed as a pirate

Technical Workshop

The technical workshop is designed for 6 young technical students and will be led by Portsmouth Guildhall’s Stage and Technical Manager, Mr Craig Paterson.

This will be an opportunity for children to gain experience in lighting techniques and as sound engineers.

The masterclass will show how to create lighting effects and experiment with the sound desk to highlight solo performers and group work. Children will learn these techniques and apply them during the final musical performance.


Masterclass Leaders


Mrs Becky Hill


Lady posing with violinBecky comes from a musical family. Her mother sang with the BBC Symphony Chorus and her father is church organist with a wonderful bass voice.

Becky’s great uncle was Leslie Woodgate, one of the first principal conductors of the BBC Symphony Chorus. Her uncle, Leslie East, is Director of Publishing at the Associated Board of the Royal Schools’ of Music and her cousin, Dan ‘Woody’ Woodgate, is the drummer in the pop group, Madness.

Brought up in Uxbridge, Middlesex, Becky started to learn the violin at the age of five. She joined the Harrow School of Young Musicians, transferred to the viola at the age of nine, and became the principal viola of the Harrow Students’ Philharmonic Orchestra in her early teens. She studied viola, piano, singing and teaching at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Appointed Director of Music at the Portsmouth High Prep School in 2010, Becky is also a freelance musician and music teacher, teaching violin, viola, singing and class music lessons in the local area. She was awarded her Advanced Skills Teacher Qualification in 2008 and was appointed Chair of the Portsmouth Schools’ Music Festival (PSMF) in the same year. The PSMF is largest festival of its kind on the South Coast, annually inviting over 3,500 pupils to perform, during one week, on the Portsmouth Guildhall stage. Becky has led the viola section in the Havant Symphony Orchestra for the past 31 years, the Havant Chamber Orchestra for the past 10 years and served on the Havant Orchestras Committee as the Education Liaison Officer and as Chairperson. Her solo repertoire includes the Telemann and Hoffmeister viola concertos, the symphonic poem, Harold In Italy, and the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola.

Becky plays in many local orchestras and ensembles on the south coast, most particularly with the Nadina String Quartet, and most recently as part of the pit orchestra for a local production of ‘Young Frankenstein’. She is married to Andy, and they live happily in Waterlooville with her cat, Frankie. Her violin, viola and bows were made by her talented mum, Pam Pearce.


Mr Perry Ralls


Perry Ralls Vice Chair of Portsmouth Music FestivalPortsmouth born and bred, Perry grew up in a family with a love for the classic movie musical watching the likes of Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Danny Kaye.

This enthusiasm for music and dance led Perry to study Musical Theatre and he secured a First Class BA (Hons) degree in Musical Theatre from the Arden School of Theatre. After graduation, Perry had a successful start to his career at P&O as a member of their entertainment team as a singer/dancer.

Perry is now the music co-ordinator at Mayfield School in Portsmouth where he teaches singing, piano, drums and he is the producer for the school productions each year. He is also a freelance music teacher and teaches drums, piano and guitar and specialises in voice and musical theatre training and audition preparation. He has the pleasure of serving the committee as Vice Chair of the Portsmouth Schools Music Festival. The PSMF is the largest festival of its kind on the south coast, annually inviting over 3,500 pupils to perform, during one week, on the Portsmouth Guildhall stage.

Locally Perry gives his time to a number of societies as a performer or committee member and has performed locally with a number of theatre societies. These include CCADS; Musical Theatre South, a semi-professional organisation where he was nominated for best actor in a musical at the Guide Awards; Benchmark Theatre; Rootless Tree Productions and South Downe Musical Society where he is currently on the committee serving as business manager and musical director for their next production Mack and Mabel. 

Alongside performing Perry lives on a farm with his wife and family where they run an alpaca farm and sustainable farming business called Our Back Garden specialising in alpaca wool and aquaponic farming… and alpaca walking tours.


Mr Craig Paterson


Craig Paterson Portsmouth Giuildhall technical and stage managerCraig is currently the technical and stage manager at Portsmouth Guildhall.

Most of his career has been spent working with international promotors, event organisers and businesses ensuring their events run smoothly and safely from the technical and operational perspective.

Craig has been working in the industry for 14 years and has a broad range of experience from working on high end conferencing with Apple, SSE, AWE, BAE, Local City Councils, Virgin, Virgin Voyages, the Royal Navy and many production companies on a freelance basis.

He has worked in many local theatres and venues on hundreds of shows including Thriller, Lord of the Dance and Riverdance and with artists such as Mcfly, Gary Barlow, Busted, Sereophonics, Gorillaz, Stormzy, Paul Weller, Glass Animals and Melanie Martinez. Craig has also worked with some of the largest promotors at festivals such as Live nation, AEG, Kilimanjaro, SJM Concerts, Mutiny festivals, Victorious Festival, the Isle of Wight Festival & Lechlade Festival.

In addition to his stage management and technical work, Craig started his own production company at 21 supplying local venues and smaller festivals with stage, lighting and PA systems for up to 8000 people.

Craig has a wealth of knowledge and the in-depth technical skills required across the performance industry including live audio, lighting design and operation, pyrotechnics, LED walls and AV. He is also experienced in carpentry/set design, production management, project management, stage management, electrical installation, rigging, IT, graphics and design, animation, technical drawing and health and safety.

Your child is warmly invited to join us on Portsmouth High School’s Performing Arts Masterclass and we look forward to meeting you. If you have any questions please e-mail marketing@por.gdst.net or telephone the school on 023 9282 6714. When booking, please ensure you only book your child on to one of the workshops on offer.

Book your child’s place