For the latest amateur classical music listings in and around Portsmouth, including Fareham, Petersfield, Chichester, Havant and Hayling Island

Freelance Musician Mums launch Musical Advent Calendar

Freelance musician mothers have come together to create a uniquely beautiful, socially-distanced musical gift featuring exclusive content and spreading seasonal joy. Gift a musical advent calendar to a friend and get yours for free while also supporting freelance musicians.

Advent is a magical time, full of lights, decorations, bakery, anticipation … and yes, music! In this time we would usually hear seasonal music everywhere, played by buskers in the street, in every shop we enter, in the schools’ nativity plays and in pantomimes, the choir and carol concerts as well as the big seasonal favourites like Messiah and the Nutcracker Ballet. This year it will be different. But while you might not be able to go to the music, we think the music should still happen – directly into your home.

A collective of freelance musicians have come together to create a musical advent calendar that you can purchase for yourself and a friend for £24.99. Once you have obtained your membership, every day a video clip of music will become available behind the day’s window and will remain there to be viewed for 3 months. You will find everything from carol arrangements over fun 1920’s Christmas tunes to excerpts from the big Christmas oratorios. Musicians featured include an award-winning concert pianist, a West End star, a Royal Opera House soprano, instrumentalists from some of the UK’s leading orchestras, new and established ensembles and a few fun surprises.

For musicians, this is usually the busiest season of the year, but most work calendars have been wiped clean since March for the foreseeable future. The idea was born within the supportive community of musician mums who in the best times face the daily challenge of combining flexible work with family, and in times like this are often less eligible for financial support due to maternity leaves and missed incomes. So for us, this is a way to keep connecting to our audiences and keep sharing the joy we usually associate with Christmas while also providing a small income for all performers involved. By purchasing the calendar as a gift which will then automatically become available for yourself too, you are supporting musicians through this time of crisis.

Head to www.musicaladvent.com to get a sneak preview of December 1st, find out more about the performing musicians in the blog and to purchase your membership.

Whether you gift this to a child learning an instrument or your parents or friends whom you can’t visit right now, this gift is guaranteed to spread joy and fun for the whole of December and beyond, and will be a beautiful – and environmentally friendly! – gesture to make your loved ones feel your care every day even across wider distances.

Thank you so much for your support. Happy Christmas to you all!


SouthDowns Camerata concert for Help Musicians UK

The Spirit of Music Festival is extremely pleased to put on a live concert for you this Saturday 17th October at 4pm in St Mary’s Liss. The SouthDowns Camerata will perform gems of the string orchestra repertoire, including Elgar’s String Serenade, Mozart Divertimento in F, and Bach’s glorious violin concerto in E major.

The concert will comply with all current Covid-safe regulations. The audience will be seated in a socially distanced way, in household groups up to 6 people, and guests over 11 years of age are expected to wear facemasks at all times when in the building. The seats will be sanitised and people will be advised to use the provided hand sanitiser at entry and exit from the building. The orchestra will perform in an equally socially distanced way, and are allowed to remove their facemasks when playing. They will keep distanced from the audience.

Anyone experiencing possibly COVID-related symptoms (i.e. temperature, new persistent cough or loss of taste+smell), and anyone tested recently positive or awaiting a test result must not attend this event.

Due to social distancing, there will be only about max. 60 spaces available, so you must book via the following booking system, indicating the number of places required:

Bookings can be made here.

You won’t need to pay for your ticket, instead we would like to ask you to make a donation to Help Musicians UK in aid of the many musicians in financial need during the Coronavirus crisis. We’d like to suggest a minimum of £5 per adult, but you can choose to give more. Thank you for your generosity. Your kindness will help getting musicians through this crisis so they can perform for you again.

You can donate to my JustGiving page by clicking here. Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to Help Musicians, so it’s the most efficient way to give.

We hope very much to see you at our concert. Should you have problems booking or if the concert is booked up, please email the Spirit of Music Festival’s address: info@spiritofmusicfestival.org.uk. If there is lots of interest we will consider repeating the concert. We also hope to live-stream it via our Facebook page (you don’t need to be a member of Facebook to be able to view it).

Thanks for supporting our cause in keeping music alive. It’s a huge privilege for the SouthDowns Camerata to return to a live audience, but we know many events and venues can not reopen to reduced audience numbers, meaning the majority of musicians in the UK is out of work or on very reduced working schedules – particularly freelancers who form the backbone of the industry. Making music is our life and our passion as well as our living, and it is a very viable professional sector attracting huge numbers of audiences and economic value in good times – that’s why we don’t want musicians to retrain and leave the profession but to be able to bridge these times in order to play to you again soon. Help Musicians UK works directly with musicians in financial, medical or mental need. In addition to giving please consider writing to your MP about the importance music has to you.

Update 15 October:

Following the overwhelming response and quick booking up of our 4pm concert we have decided to offer a repeat of the concert at 6pm on the same day (Saturday, 17th October) – provided that enough people (a minimum of 30) book.  It seems to be the way concerts are currently done the on the continent too. We just can’t stop playing! 🙂

To book a FREE place (essential) the link is as follows:

https://st-mary-s-church.reservio.com/events/4819fa9d-697b-43d7-83e4-7a5c3370b29f/

Again, there will be a maximum of 50 people admitted, so please book swiftly to avoid disappointment.


Profile: Lucy Humphris, trumpeter

Who have been the main influencers on your decision to pursue a career in music?

I never really felt like I made a decision about pursuing music as a career – it was just a given in my mind, from the moment I started playing.

However, I remember one of the moments which cemented the idea of “yes, I want to do this” was hearing Wynton Marsalis playing The Carnival of Venice, because I was blown away by the last variation, convinced one trumpet couldn’t play all those notes at once!

So, yes, definitely Wynton has been a major influence and I still regard him as one of my heroes. My teacher, Paul Mayes, was also incredibly important in seeing me through some tough times and I firmly believe I wouldn’t be the player I am today without him.

What have been the greatest challenges of your musical career so far?

Definitely my time at the RAM – the first two years in particular. Also two projects I did at the Southbank Centre – one was a performance of Stockhausen’s Donnerstag aus Licht with RAM and the London Sinfonietta, the other was a one-woman show for the Imagine Festival. Also a recital I gave the day or day after a flight back from America – the jet lag was awful!

What for you are the particular pleasures and challenges of collaborating with other musicians?

I love collaborating with other musicians, whether that be composers or performers – it’s such a rewarding experience, especially when all the other musicians are engaged and invested in the music/project – that’s when some brilliant discussions can be had and for me that can be fascinating.

Also, long-term collaborations are wonderful for cementing musical partnerships and understanding, as well as friendships. I suppose the challenges only come when there’s miscommunication or lack of direction within a collaboration.

Which works/performances are you most proud of?

I’d say my 2018 performance at the ITG (International Trumpet Guild) conference – that was a challenge in itself with the travelling beforehand, but I was very happy with that recital. Also, again, the Imagine Festival performances. There are probably others which I’m sure I’ll remember….

Are there any composers with whom you feel a particular affinity?

Yes, definitely – Sibelius, Prokoviev, Mozart, Janacek…. They each have their own unique voices and there’s a lightness and space to their music, as well as wit, which really resonates with me. Sibelius in particular.

Which works do you think you perform best?

I’m not sure – I obviously feel the works I perform best are the ones I enjoy the most. I love performing pieces which are slightly out of the normal repertoire, so I play a lot of contemporary music, which I like to bring into the spotlight.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

As a listener – performance of the entirety of Prokofiev’s Cinderella score at the Proms, with Gergiev and the LSO. Goosebumps. It’s such a wonderful experience to stand and play in the RAH at the Proms. And Cinderella is a lesser-known gem.

My most memorable concert experience as a performer…I don’t forget any of them, and they’re all special to me, so I don’t know really!

What advice would you give to those who are considering a career in music?

Be true to yourself. Once you find your identity as a musician, and the aspects of music and musicianship which are important to you, stick to that – even if people say you’re wrong. It’s all too easy to try to fit in, but what makes musicians special is if they have something interesting to say that’s very much their voice.

How would you define success as a musician?

Being able to communicate with as many people as possible, and bring music to as many people as possible.

What do you enjoy doing most?

Aside from playing music – going for walks in the countryside, writing, reading…

What is your present state of mind?

I am concerned about the current state of the world, and worried about the future of the arts.

But I am also hopeful that this crisis has made us revisit what classical repertoire we put on and how we deliver it. We cannot expect to derive so much income from well-known works being played to packed houses. We may see an increase in contemporary works played by smaller groups in exciting and unusual venues, which will increase the appeal and accessibility of classical music.

Please consider a donation to either the Musicians Union or Help Musicians.

Lucy Humphris is one of the UK’s most innovative and versatile young performers. Her fresh and original approach seeks to widen the instrument’s repertoire and push beyond both musical and technical boundaries.

Watch Lucy performing on YouTube:

Ostria (2018) is an unaccompanied piece for trumpet, by Greek/Serbian composer Filippos Raskovic. 

Lucy’s transcription (for piccolo trumpet) of J.S Bach’s Flute Sonata in G minor, Movement 1.


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