The Daffodil Society, comprising alumnae who have pledged legacies to Portsmouth High School, were welcomed back to the school last week by Headmistress, Mrs Jane Prescott. The ladies enjoyed an evening of pre-drinks and supper before joining the audience at the Scholars and Leavers Concert at the Square Tower, Old Portsmouth.
One of the alumnae, Mrs Trisha Ferris, who was evacuated out of Portsmouth during WW2 to Hinton Ampner, recalled stories about her early days at school to some of the Sixth Form, at a pre-concert drinks reception.
‘It was like being welcomed home by old friends,’ said Mrs Ferris. ‘The opportunity to meet some of the present pupils and teachers is so important and I am very grateful for the invitation to take part in celebrations and support the school I joined 75 years ago. It was a lovely evening.’
Portsmouth High School’s music scholars and leavers, aged from 11-18, then went on to delight the audience of alumnae, governors, parents and staff with a concert held at The Square Tower.
The Square Tower was built in 1494 during the reign of Henry VII and was the residence of the military governor. During the English Civil War 1642-1649 the Square Tower was used as an arsenal and contained large amounts of gunpowder and munitions.
As the sun went down in Old Portsmouth, the girls performed in candlelight within this unique setting, performing and singing pieces from Fiddler on the Roof to Mozart.
One parent enthused, ‘The standard of music was superb and I absolutely loved Cell Block Tango.’ The popular song from Chicago, performed by Cantabile, formed the stunning finale of the concert for a delighted audience.
‘The level of performing at tonight’s event surpassed even the usual high standard of the talented pupils,’ said Mr George Tinsley, Director of Music at Portsmouth High School. ‘Everyone, from the youngest Year 7 string player, rose to the occasion and performed with polish and style. The event was such an inspiration that one Year 12 pupil told me that she was already planning what she is going to play next year.
‘It is always difficult to say goodbye to departing students, and the four who are leaving us are no exception, but their frightening and funny rendition of Cell Block Tango has made a lasting impression.’