A Message from the Chairman
Dear Entrants, Teachers, Parents and Friends.
Welcome to the 2018 Syllabus. I hope that you find plenty to interest you and we look forward to receiving your entries.
The Festival was very successful last year and, as a result, it has enabled us to avoid an increase in entry fees and ticket prices. In addition, we have changed the rate for groups (5 or more performers) to 20 per group; we hope that this will encourage more entries from larger ensembles.
Gwenda Dearsley, our Chairman for the last ten years, resigned from the role at the Annual General Meeting in June. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for all her hard work and dedication as our Chairman and I am delighted that she will continue to be part of the committee as Head of Section for Vocal and as Vice-Chairman.
There are a few other changes to the committee this year. We are very pleased to welcome Pat Bamborough and Aled Price as the new Section Heads for Speech and Drama, Kathryn Hillman as Section Head for the Woodwind and Recorder sections and Catherine Lawlor as Secretary and Friends' Secretary. Our thanks go to Phil Pennington for his work as Section Head for Speech and Drama and Deborah Gatland for her work as Secretary to the Friends; we are very grateful for their contributions to the Festival.
It is with sadness that I have to report the passing of Jean Stratford and Jo Stobseth-Brown. Jean supported the Vocal Section for many years and Jo was vice-chair of the committee for several years. Their obituaries can be found below.
Our final event for this year will be our gala concert, which will feature some of the outstanding performances of the festival. It will take place on Sunday 25th March and I hope that many of you will be able to join us. Details will be published in our programme and our website in the New Year.
Best wishes,

Chair of Portsmouth Music Festival

We need lots of helpers to ensure the smooth running of the whole Festival - as scribes in the halls, door and hall stewards, messengers and at the reception desk.
If you can spare a couple of hours (or more!) during the Festival, please contact
Sandra Lawlor at sandra_lawlor@yahoo.co.uk

In Memory of Jo Stobseth-Brown
In May 2017, the Portsmouth Music Festival (PMF) Committee was very saddened to hear of the death of Mr Jo Stobseth-Brown, who passed away in April this year. Jo had been an enthusiastic member of the PMF after his retirement from work, holding the position of the committee's vice chair for a number of festival years.
He had also been a senior member of the Anglo-French Society in Portsmouth for many years. This group had strong links to a similar group of businessmen in Caen, one of Portsmouth's twin cities, and many cultural and friendly visits were frequently being arranged between the two cities. Two other members of the Anglo-French Society were Dan and Iris Bulger, who were also closely connected to the PMF in the 1970's and 80's. Dan encouraged Jo to become part of the PMF Committee and the two men worked very closely together as PMF chair and vice chair. When Margaret Roberts took over the chair in 1990, she soon realised the opportunities there were for creating a musical link between the PMF and the Conservatoire de Musique in Caen through the auspices of the Angle-French Society and their connection with Portsmouth. Jo was the main organiser of visits made to the PMF by students from the Conservatoire in 1993 and 1996, and our return visit to Caen in 1995. Jacques Boyer, Jo's opposite number in France, and his wife, Joan, organised hospitality and visits for us in Caen as Jo did for the times the French came to Portsmouth. On every occasion, our PMF performers gave excellent concerts and the standard of their performances certainly surprised the French. It was a good and happy time.
Without Jo's connection to the Angle-French Society, we could not have achieved this extra experience for the young PMF players. We thank him for his many years of selfless dedication to the furtherance of the PMF's reputation in and around our city. Like so many generous people in the Festival's past, his and their contribution is immeasurable, and we thank them all for their belief in and support of the spirit and importance of the Portsmouth Music Festival within our community.

In Memory of Jean Stratford
We were very sad to hear of the death of Mrs Jean Stratford last April. Jean took part in the Vocal Section of the Portsmouth Music Festival for many years and she sang with such feeling and expression that she touched the hearts of all her listeners. Her final performance was in 2012, when she won the Ballad Trophy at the age of 80 but she continued to attend the Adult Singing days for several more years, enjoying hearing newcomers and seeing them progress, and donating a silver cup for the operatic class. Her cheerful and encouraging presence will be missed by us all.