Becky Hill – Committee Chair
I was born in Uxbridge, Middlesex, and attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama graduate course where I studied Viola, Singing and Piano. Whilst in London I met and married my husband, Andy, and we moved to Portsmouth in 1990. Since then, I have been working as a music teacher in the local area, gaining my qualified teacher status (QTS). I am currently the Director of Music at the Portsmouth High Junior School. I also teach violin and viola at four secondary schools in the Portsmouth area. For the last eight years I have been a choir director for the Festival. To stand in front of 230 pupils and hear them sing is an amazing experience!
I am very lucky to be the chair of such a wonderful, unique event that celebrates all the arts in Portsmouth’s schools. It is a privilege to work with such a dedicated committee who make the Portsmouth Schools’ Music Festival such a great annual event. I look forward to seeing you all there!
Amy Hudson – Committee Secretary
I am a teacher and the maths manager at Solent Infant School in Farlington, and a singing teacher for a performing arts school on Saturday mornings. I have been teaching in the City for 4 years; this is the 4th year I have been involved in the Festival.
With a love of singing and a love of education, becoming part of the Festival was an ideal opportunity for me. I feel privileged to have taken on the role of secretary, alongside being a choir director, and I enjoy every minute of Music Festival madness.
Seeing 230 children come to life through song on a stage in front of hundreds it one of the best experiences and I am proud to say I take part in something which not only values the children in our City, but one which weaves music in to everything it believes in.
Andy Hill – Committee Vice Chair
I was born and brought up in Kettering, Northants. I joined the Royal Marines Band Service at the age of eighteen as a trombonist. I served in many parts of the country and travelled the world playing music, visiting unusual places such as Iceland, China and Russia. I was part of the Royal Marines Band Service for twenty four years in which time I had the honour of serving on the Royal Yacht Britannia.
I also played at Twickenham, Wembley and the Oval!
Since leaving the Royal Marines Band Service, I have become chair of Denmead Brass Band, play in local bands and orchestras and enjoy arranging and composing music. It is an honour to be part of the Portsmouth Schools’ Music Festival and to manage transport to get the schools to the Guildhall on time!
Stephen Tuck – Treasurer / Stage Manager
I was born in Portsmouth and started to learn the trumpet from the age of 7. All throughout my school life I have been involved in music through and went on to study A level music and Advanced musical studies at South Downs College.
From the beginning of Infant school I remember taking part in the Portsmouth Schools Music Festival; particularly wearing my shorts, whilst standing on the Guildhall stage playing a set of wood blocks, that were taller than me!
Through to secondary school performing a variety of songs from the musical Cats (but not in my shorts this time)!
This will be my 4th year as Treasurer and Stage Manager of the Festival, and every year brings different ideas and new challenges. It is such a priviledge to work with such talented people within the Committee and those around Portsmouth who get involved to bring such a brilliant Festival every year involving so many pupils from across Portsmouth
Alison Stakim – Infant Representative / Marketing Director
I am originally from Worthing and I started learning the Cello at the age of 8. I continued playing throughout my school years, taking part in a wide variety of ensembles before going on to study Music at Kingston University in 2004.
I initially began a career in event management before a change of heart led me to train as a primary school teacher in Portsmouth.
I am now an ECAR teacher and Music Co-ordinator at Stamshaw Infant school. I have continued playing in my spare time; I am in a String a quartet with Becky Hill and I have performed with the Havant Symphony Orchestra among other local groups.
I was thrilled to be elected onto the committee in 2011. Our infant choir absolutely love learning the songs for their performance and I am proud to be involved with organising such a wonderful event.
Sarah Lewis – Infant Representative / Marketing Director
I first got involved with the Festival in 2007 when I took a choir of children along to perform. I then got involved with the committee, taking on the role of marketing the Festival. Over the past 6 years I have loved being part of the Festival, both from the organisation side and the participation side – so much so that, having left the committee due to family commitments I then found myself back on it a year later!
I am really looking forward to directing an infant choir again this year. The benefits children get from singing in such a venue as the Guildhall are amazing and seeing their sense of achievement is so rewarding.
Analiese Helm – Merchandise Co-ordinator
As a child I had piano and guitar lessons, I was in junior and senior school choirs, participated in many school productions and was part of a multi-school choir that performed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat Musical at Oaklands RC School in Waterlooville. I graduated from Portsmouth University with a Foundation Degree and I am an HLTA at Langstone Junior School teaching across the curriculum where I am also leader of the school choir.
The school takes part in the Portsmouth Schools Music Festival and the children are truly inspired by this great, annual event. I am very fortunate to be involved with the Festival both as a committee member and a choir leader.
Ann Brazier – Ticket Sales Co-ordinator
I was born in Leicester and learned piano when I was very young. I studied music to GCE and Grade 6 and was in a number of choirs and musical productions during my school years. On leaving school, I trained as a teacher in Bedford and became a primary school teacher.
I then continued on to work with adults with learning difficulties within Social Services. I now teach at Flying Bull Primary School where I am also the Music Co-ordinator working with our choirs for the Festival.
The Portsmouth Schools’ Music Festival is a wonderful opportunity for our children to enjoy performing at the Guildhall and alongside other schools’ choirs and performers. It is a delight to be involved.
Richard Boland – Youth Orchestra Director
I teach and play violin, viola & trumpet extensively within Gosport, Fareham and Stubbington including the Havant Symphony and Solent Symphony Orchestras. I have been the musical director of the Elson Youth Orchestra and have coordinated the string project at Elson Junior School in Gosport since 2008.
PSMF 2012 saw the debut of the newly formed Elson Youth Orchestra, and we are privileged to be attending once again at this years Festival.
I also work as a qualified Alexander Technique Teacher in Portsmouth and at the Stubbington Natural Health Clinic.
Perry Ralls – Repertoire Advisor
Recently graduated from the Arden School Of Theatre in Manchester with a BA Hons degree in Musical Theatre. I have been involved in the festival for about 8 years now and compared the festival for the last four and been a active member of the committee.
I thoroughly enjoy the festival and is a highlight of the year and hope to be a part of it for years to come!
Ashley Helm – Student Representative
This is my 3rd year as a Student Representative for the Portsmouth Schools Music Festival Committee, but I have been involved with the Festival since I was 8 years old and every single year has been better than the last. I am currently studying Performing Arts at Portsmouth College.
I have had a big part in making the festival what it is this year and look forward to seeing the end result!!
Good Luck to everyone that performs this year!!
Gareth Howells –
Elise Fairley – Repertoire Advisor
Elise works full-time at The Harbour School @ Fratton as Pupil Support. The Harbour School @ Fratton is a school for KS4 learners with special behavioural needs.
There she supports in The Performing and Creative Arts as well as leading singing for the school. Elise herself went to Mayfield School in Portsmouth and took part in the Portsmouth Schools’ Music Festival many times.
She has now been involved with the Festival for 7 years and has been on the committee as Repertoire Advisor for 2 years. Last year she became the first student to direct one of the massed Junior School Choirs whilst studying A Levels in Music, Advanced Music, Drama & Theatre Studies, English Literature and Dance at South Downs College.
She will be directing again at PSMF 2013. Elise’s passion is classical singing and in September she will be begin studies as a scholar at the Birmingham Conservatoire, studying Classical Vocal and Opera Studies. She hopes this will lead to a career in opera. Elise is a firm believer that singing is good for the soul and that all children should be given the opportunity to showcase their talents. She says that PSMF is the perfect platform!
I worked for Thomas Cook as a head entertainer for 6 years in the Canary Islands doing singing, dancing and hosting.I have been associated with the festival since 2003 where I have performedf with many different choirs. I now work as a entertainments co-ordinator for a holiday park in Gloscestershire. It is lovely to be returning to the Festival this year.