Portsmouth Cathedral hosted Portsmouth High School’s Gala Concert this week culminating in the spectacular, haunting, Noar Hill written for Portsmouth High School by Olivia Thomas and based on a poem by Helen MacDonald.
Olivia is an award winning singer and composer. She has seen her music broadcast on BBC Radio 4, written bespoke music for Olympic dressage rider, Dane Rawlins, and has had music commissioned for an original piece for a brand new area in a UK theme park. She is currently working on her first feature film.
‘I would just like to say a huge thank you to the girls,’ said composer, Olivia Thomas, who was amongst the packed audience. ‘I am absolutely thrilled to have been able to write a piece for the girls to perform and it is an honour to be here and listen to the piece come to life.’
An audience of over four hundred, including the Mayor of Fareham and the Deputy Mayor of Gosport, filled Portsmouth Cathedral.
‘In our year in office we have so enjoyed coming to all the High School events,’ said Councillor Mike Ford, Mayor of Fareham. ‘There is amazing talent here tonight and it will truly be one of the highlights of our year.’
A combined choir of over 170 performers sang and played through the evening which included works ranging from Bach and Rossini to Haydn and John Rutter.
The choir sung a new composition by Jan Guthrie, a music teacher at Portsmouth High School, entitled Gaudeamus Igitur.
‘I think that Portsmouth High School is an excellent environment for girls’ musicianship to flourish,’ said Mr Guthrie. ‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to have my composition sung by the Senior Choir.’
Mr George Tinsley, who organised and directed the concert said:
‘It is such a wonderful opportunity to bring together so many from our community with the common goal of music-making. Everyone rose to the many challenges they were set, from the rhythmic drive of the minimalist Short Ride in a Fast Machine to the sweeping harmonies of our two world premieres.’
Soloists included; Felicity Bryant, 14, Jia Feng, 13, Abi Harindra, 16, Lucy Haynes, 17 and Florie Moran, 18.
‘It has been a wonderful evening,’ said Chairman of Governors, Mrs Anne McMeehan Roberts. ‘All the girls have done so well and it has been a delight seeing them perform alongside staff. The evening was above and beyond expectations. Truly magnificent.’