16th March 2014

PandP Singers at the Portsmouth Festival 2014

P&P Singers at the Portsmouth Festival 2014

Early in the morning of

Sunday 2nd March, P&P Singers journeyed eastwards and left the sun and warmth of Dorset behind them to enter a land called Hampshire. A misty, damp and cold land that seemed to promise little, but our intrepid choir of songsters knew that there was booty to be had at an event called the Portsmouth Festival. “Ahaarr” I hear you say.

“Ahaarr” indeed, booty was duly taken but not without some skirmishes with some large groups purporting to be barbers, but I do not believe it for a minute. They did not look like any barbers I have ever been to, they were not wearing aprons for a start.

We had reached the venue, the Park Community School in Portsmouth, in good time, some of us in better time than others. We readied ourselves in the main hall where we were able to size up the opposition. They were definitely not barbers, in fact I think some of them have been involved in the Six Nations rugby championship.

Ten o’clock arrived and the competition began.

“Songs from the shows”

The first class was “Songs from the shows”, in which P&P Singers sang “42nd Street” and “Anthem” and which was rewarded with a Highly Commended. The class was won by a ladies Barber Shop choir, Wessex Harmony.

“Hymn, Gospel, Spiritual or Sacred Song”

Then came “Hymn, Gospel, Spiritual or Sacred Song” in which we sang “Every Time I Feel the Spirit” and “God Shall Wipe Away All Tears”. Again P&P were awarded a Highly Commended but, this time, also awarded the trophy.

“Own Choice”

Following lunch we took part in “Own Choice”, singing “The Lily and the Rose” and “Country Gardens”. Once again we were given a Highly Commended. The trophy was jointly awarded to Wessex Harmony and a very large male barber shop group called Royal Harmonics.

“Mixed Bag”

Next came “Mixed Bag” in which we sang “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”, “Ave Verum” and “Frog Went a-Courtin”. This time we received a Distinction, and the trophy.


Finally we sang in the “Recital” class performing “Best of all Possible Worlds”, “God So Loved the World”, “Fly Me To the Moon”, “Moon River” and “On This Night Of A Thousand Stars”. Another Distinction and another trophy.

You can’t win ’em all

This rounded off the day, one of mixed fortunes for us, and we set off back to sunny Dorset with our prizes. “Ahaarr”.

The P&P Singers trophies from Portsmouth Festival 2014

Here is the P&P swag. I say, that one on the right is a particularly fine looking item.

The P&P Singers' trophies from Portsmouth Festival 2014

The P&P Song list for Portsmouth Festival 2014


2 contrasting songs or a medley 8 mins
Forty-Second Street

own choice of 2 contrasting songs 8 mins
Every Time I Feel the Spirit
God shall Wipe Away All Tears

2 contrasting songs but not from a musical show8 mins
The Lily and the Rose
Country Gardens

3 contrasting songs one to be sung in a language other than English 10 mins
Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah – soloists Christine Skidmore and David Edge
Ave Verum
Frog Went a-Courtin’

a group of songs on a theme 15 mins
Best of all Possible Worlds
God So Loved the World
Fly Me To the Moon
Moon River
On This Night Of A Thousand Stars

The P&P Singers choir – Portsmouth Festival 2014

P&P Singers at Portsmouth Festival 2014

The Adjudication report


Forty-Second Street
Anthem from Chess
Highly commended 84-86

1.Lovely outfits! Strong opening – good crescendo. Make sure we can hear the end “t” feet, street etc. Good balance. Well done with the difficult rhythms

2. Could you articulate “man” clearer? Careful with end consonants – be together. Bring out the bass line bar 46. Lovely end phrase and I had a good “t”! This is a lovely, round sound, well balanced on the whole. Could you experiment with dynamic more in this piece?

A well-balanced programme. Thank you.


Ev’rytime I feel the Spirit
God shall wipe away all tears
Highly commended 84-86

1. Good, strong opening. Try to enunciate more clearly the opening rising phrases “out of his”, “Down in the”. Good use of dynamics here. “t” on “late”. Good strong ending too. Very well-balanced harmonies.

2. Sopranos – be absolutely ready for the opening. Can we have a “d” on “Lord”? Well done altos and tenors on the melismas. Lovely ending – inject some “oh” into the last “Lord” to keep the note absolutely on pitch.
A good choice – well done.

Thank you for a well-balanced programme


The Lily and the Rose
Country Gardens
Highly commended 84-86

1. A delicate opening. Men, give us a little more when you’re on your own for balance. Good use of crescendo. Sops and Altos listen to each other at 52 so that we can hear the harmony. Lovely ending – how impressive it would be if you didn’t breathe after “the rose”!

2. Be careful “pesante” doesn’t become “shout”. You looked like bobbing flowers! You followed all the instructions. Well done with the unexpected ending. Equally well done sops with the high notes, good clean Gs and As. This was such fun and you sang it in just the right style.

Thank you for a well-balanced programme.


Ave Verum
Frog went a-courtin’
Distinction 87-89

1. Well done, soloists. Good bass line in 1st section. Interesting changes of time and rhythm which you handled really well. Some very accurate singing here. A really well-executed piece.
2. Lovely legato here. Beautiful cresc and dim and well-balanced parts. Well done with the entry on “Cujus latum”. Good Latin! Ave. This was a piece of beautifully controlled singing.

3. Good opening – give us more “t” in “Courtin’” Well done with the top As sopranos. Make sure the clapping is absolutely in time. Markings on last two note? p – pp. You sang this interesting piece with verve.
This was such a varied, well-balanced programme, well performed. Thank you.


Best of all possible worlds
God so loved the world
Fly me to the moon
Moon River
On this night of a thousand stars
Distinction 87-89

1. Good, strong opening. You tried hard with diction – the words are very unusual and difficult to enunciate clearly. More Latin! Excellent glissando and final chord.

2. Lovely entry – “d” on “world”. Balance really good. Smooth legato line. (Tenors, careful with the B on life – aim over it.) Beautifully sung.

3. Well done with the opening rhythms. “Jupiter and”! Good ending – nice top Bs. You kept well together throughout and the sound was well-balanced.

4. Lovely opening Good cresc and dim. You moved through the phrases well. Could you try not breaking after “bend” and before the “do”?
Hold the last lovely chord even longer.

5. Well balanced, round sound. Relax into the “solo” section, tenors. The rising phrase, men, “where the music” just go with it.

Thank you for this lovely programme. This is such a versatile group.

You have performed well all day.

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