Welcome to my world!

The reflections and comments of a resident in Southsea, Portsmouth, England.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

University choir celebrates 50 years of singing


University of Portsmouth choir will celebrate their 50th anniversary with a concert on 28 November at St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth.

Conducted by George Burrows, the programme will comprise Hummel’s Mass in B-flat and Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C ('Jupiter').

Hummel was a pupil of Mozart and also a great composer in his own right. This is a chance to hear his wonderful mass setting alongside works by his teacher in a feast of choral and orchestral music.

The choir is hoping that many former students and staff of the university will be coming to the event. One notable man, who started the orchestra in 1965, will certainly be there.

Raymond Calcraft joined what was then the Portsmouth College of Technology and found that there was no musical activities at all. Together with various colleagues, including the Head of English, Phil Jenkins, put together a group. He recalls being sent to London with Dr Gillian Lovegrove, by the principal Dr Davey, to buy a piano for the college.


If you are a former student, staff member, or remember attending the concerts of the choir over the years, please bring along some old photographs as the choir would love to see them.

Those interested to find out more can contact the current Music Director, Colin Jagger, on 023 9284 3023.

Date: Saturday 28 November 2015
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: St John’s Cathedral, Edinburgh Rd, Portsmouth PO1 3HQ
Tickets £12, £10 concessions available online or on the door

Telephone: 023 9284 3023


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Family drawing workshops with Immy Smith @ aspex gallery

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight branch of the British Science Association has teamed up with aspex gallery to present a series of family workshops inspired by science and nature. The workshops will be lead by artist Immy Smith, who is a Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence in the University of Portsmouth Brain Tumour Research Lab. You can find out more about Immy's work work on her website www.immysmith.com

Immy will host informative and fun drawing activities and games, suitable for all ages and abilities. However, parents should supervise their children during the activities and in the gallery space.

1. Saturday 28th November - lichens
2. Saturday 30th January - stargazing
3 Saturday 20th February - the beauty of fractals
4. Saturday 19th March - brain tumour


Time: 2-4pm
Venue: aspex gallery, The Vulcan Building, Portsmouth PO1 3BF

The workshops are free, no pre-registration required and people can drop-in on the day.

aspex gallery 023 9277 8080 (adam@aspex.org.uk)

The event is organised by the British Science Association Hampshire and Isle of Wight branch

Monday, 16 November 2015

Royal Marine to Release Debut Choral Album at Portsmouth Cathedral


After months of work, Royal Marine musician and composer James Dunlop will officially launch his debut choral album, Ascension, with a free concert at Portsmouth Cathedral on Monday November 30th.

The Ascension album is an independent collaboration between young composer James Dunlop and the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir. This 18 month project is the debut album of 26 year old composer James Dunlop and has been funded by the Arts Council England and a crowd funding campaign.

It features 12 tracks of new contemporary choral music composed by James Dunlop and consists of A Cappella works, whilst also featuring the Northumbrian Smallpipe performer, Alice Burn, finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards, as a soloist with the choir. It features works set to religious text as well as modern contemporary pieces of a melodic, thematic nature.

This is James Dunlop’s debut album and a big leap in his musical career; it shows an extraordinary journey with director Dr David Price and the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir and brings new, fresh works to the genre, as well as a new composer’s voice.

Work on the album has been ongoing for the last 18 months and looks set to be a welcomed addition to choral repertoire. Ascension features a broad range of different styles; from commissioned remembrance works, to a Gregorian chant; a new work based on the Big Ben chimes and an experimental ceilidh dance reel with Northumbrian Smallpipes and choir.

It was recorded on location at Portsmouth Cathedral, Hampshire, UK by Sony and Decca utilised sound engineer Andy Deacon with post production by the award winning Badshot Farm Studios, and is a new, modern collection of works to continue and promote the catalogue of choral music.

Ascension is to be released digitally with all major digital music stores and streaming services, on high definition digital music stores, and physically in two versions, a standard jewel case edition and a hard casebound book limited edition.

The Ascension album will launch with a concert in Portsmouth Cathedral on the evening of the launch day, Monday 30th November. Doors open at 7pm for a 7:30pm start and is free to attend. The evening supports the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, The Roberts Centre and Portsmouth Cathedral.

As part of the album launch, all of the sheet music from the album will be released for free at www.riverwoodair.com for one week commencing Monday 30th November.