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Portsmouth Music Hub recently presented Starshine!: An Inclusive Christmas Musical, which featured performances from children in primary schools across the city.

The online musical featured a retelling of the Christmas story, with different scenes performed by the children filmed at their individual schools. The event highlighted some of the many languages spoken across Portsmouth, with eighteen different languages included throughout the narration of the story.

With music from Starshine Music and the Salvation Army Band, including a trumpet fanfare performed at the Bandstand in Southsea, the musical event aimed to ensure that everyone has access to music this Christmas. This involved including song lyrics on screen so that children, schools, and families watching could take part in the event by singing along.

The event encouraged a celebration of diversity and inclusivity in Portsmouth, with as many children featured as possible from across the city, including those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND).

Councillor Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, said:

“It was an absolute delight to join in with the music at the Starshine! Musical and to hear all the children’s enthusiastic singing and story-telling in so many different languages. It was a fantastic celebration of diversity and inclusion in the city. This was a real bright spot in the calendar after a tough year for everyone and I’d like to wish all the children and their families a peaceful and safe holiday over the festive season.”

Starshine! originally premiered on Friday 4 December, but the video is available to watch and enjoy via the Portsmouth SEND Local Offer website, which provides information about the support that is available in the city for children and young people aged 0-25 with SEND, as well as their families. It includes sources of information and advice for children who may have English as an additional language (EAL), as well as for any children who may need extra help with their learning.