More than 1,500 people basked in glorious sunshine while being entertained by talented young musicians at the St Vincent College Summer Fest in Gosport on Saturday.
The free to enter festival, now in its second year, showcased the college’s musical talent but also showed off much more of what it has to offer. Its Esports department was busy all day despite the 26 degree temperatures outside as young people clamoured to try out driving and role playing games in the college’s state of the art gaming suite, The Shark Tank.
Meanwhile, the St Vincent climbing wall was a popular attraction, there was a free art competition and students from the School of Personalised Learning unveiled their summer musical Back To The Future with free milkshakes and a scaled down DeLorean.
Gosport Mayor, Cllr Martin Pepper, was guest of honour and he sat in the DeLorean during a tour of the stalls and activities. “It’s a wonderful event and I’m delighted to be here to meet everyone and see all the good things going on,” he said.
Gosport Amateur Boxing Club were on site all day with their own boxing ring to demonstrate the sparring skills of their young fighters and chat about their work with young people. “It’s not just about boxing, it’s giving young people somewhere to go and giving them a healthy outlook on life,” said coach Darren Blair.
A raffle and Guess The Name of the Teddy competition raised money £170 for both the boxing club and The Trash Café foodbank project in Gosport. Other charities represented on the day were Marvels and Meltdowns, which supports parents of children with autism and ADHD, and Stop Domestic Violence, which works with those who have suffered abuse and also with perpetrators.
The centrepiece of the day though were performances from more than 17 bands and soloists who produced more than six hours of classic covers and new music. As well as St Vincent musicians, there were guest slots for performers from sister college Richard Taunton Sixth Form College in Southampton and Bridgemary, Brune Park and Crofton Schools.
“It was a fantastic day for the students, who really threw themselves into performing,” said music teacher Chris Harris. “It was great to showcase the talent we have here and also ideal preparation for our appearances on the main stage and running the local music stage at the Wickham Festival in August.
“I’d also like to say a huge thanks to College Safety and Facilities Co-ordinator Jo Smith, who put in countless hours to organise a very successful event which provided a platform for our musicians to show off their skills to the community.”
Principal Andy Grant said he was delighted so many people were able to see the college and what it has to offer. “We are a big part of the community in Gosport so it was a real treat to be able to welcome so many people in. We have beautiful grounds and we love showing them off.
“I’d like to thank Cllr Pepper for coming along and also to our main sponsor Frost Creative who have given us tremendous support. Everyone I spoke to was having a brilliant time so all of the hard work put in by the St Vincent team paid off.”