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St Vincent College musicians to shine alongside stars at major music festival

MUSIC students from St Vincent College in Gosport will be appearing on the same festival bill as top acts including The Proclaimers, Midge Ure, Mary Black and Toyah Wilcox.

The college’s young performers, as well as sound engineers and technicians studying there, have been invited to not only play several slots at the Wickham Festival from August 3 to 6 but also run a local music stage.

Music teacher Chris Harris said the invitation has come from organiser Cllr Peter Chegwyn. “We were originally invited there by Quay West Studios in Gosport a few years back when they ran a stage there. When they were not involved last year I had a meeting with Peter and he offered us a slot on the main stage.

“He also came into the college and spoke to the students about how the festival got started and how he became involved in music. He offered us the main stage slot but then came up with the idea of the local music stage.”

The college’s 40 music and music technology students will be responsible for organising and running the stage as well as playing on the main stage. “It’s a brilliant opportunity for them because it will give them real experience which will help them when they are looking for other work experience or jobs,” said Mr Harris.

“There’s a shortage of sound engineers at venues at the moment so this gives our producers  an opportunity to run the sound and stage at a major award-winning festival. They’ll also be involved in all the planning.”

All of the young performers will get a chance to play on stage. “We’ll potentially put a collective together so they all get the opportunity to play a song in a set where everyone gets involved,” said Mr Harris. “It’s going to be brilliant for them and we are very grateful to Peter for the invitation. He’s a big supporter of local music and understands that some of these young people could end up working with him one day.”

Before their festival date the students will be performing closer to home at the free family Summer Fest event at the college on June 10, from 11am to 4pm.

“We really enjoyed it last year and are looking forward to it again,” said Mr Harris. “We’ll be involving some of the performers from local schools we’ve been working with, as well as some external musicians the students have formed bands with.

“We’ll also have students from our sister college Richard Taunton Sixth Form College in Southampton coming over to play as well. It’s going to be a great day.”

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