Apr 04

Lost Consort makes its debut performance

The department’s newest (or oldest, depending on how you look at it) ensemble, the Lost Consort, made its debut yesterday in a lunchtime concert in the evocative Roman Undercroft of St Thomas’ Hospital, Canterbury.

Formed by Your Loyal Correspondent back in November in order to explore the music of Hildegard von Bingen, the group gave its first performance to a packed audience, with a programme including an evocative setting of the Kyrie and the luminous Columba Aspexit.

After the concert, the Choir moved out onto the high street in order to sing to one of the members of the audience who was unable to come into the Undercroft because of their wheelchair. Members of the public drew to a standstill to listen to a twelfth-century flashmob bringing medieval music to the ancient stones of the city.

Welcome to the newest, oldest, departmental ensemble; expect to hear more from the Lost Consort in the future.

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Apr 04

Speake the Truth: workshop with British jazz giant

After a mesmerising lunchtime concert from the Martin Speake Trio on Wednesday, some of the University students had the opportunity to work with the musicians in the workshop that followed.

Led by saxophonist Martin Speake, the students shared insights into aspects of jazz and improvisation with guitarist Mike Outram and drummer Jeff Williams, exploring in particular Secret Woods, one of the pieces the trio had played in the lunchtime concert. The musicians examined what working together as a group involves, the role of different instruments and aspects of space and silence in music; as Mike Outram put it, “I think of space [in music] as active, rather than passive. You’re actively putting it out there.”

A terrific opportunity for some of our musicians to learn from three of the finest musicians working in the world of jazz. Our thanks to the trio.

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Mar 31

Leading British composer in rehearsal with the Chamber Choir

Students from the University of Kent had the opportunity to work with one of the country’s leading composers last week; composer Paul Patterson was in attendance at the University Chamber Choir concert in Canterbury Cathedral Crypt last Friday, to hear the Choir perform his sacred motet Salvum Fac Populum Tuum Domine, and earlier in the afternoon came to the rehearsal to work on his piece with the Choir.

AH4A0390Born in 1947, Paul Patterson was a pupil of Elisabeth Lutyens and Richard Rodney Bennett. He is currently Manson Professor of Composition at the Royal Acadmey of Music. Major compositions include his Mass of the Sea (1983), Stabat Mater (1986), Te Deum (1988), Magnificat (1993), Hell’s Angels (1998) and the Millennium Mass (2000).

Time Piece (1972), was written for the King’s Singers, and has been performed extensively ever since as a staple part of their repertoire. His Cracowian Counterpoints (1977) was toured worldwide by the London Sinfonietta, and the phenomenally-successful Little Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs continue to be performed. In 1997, in celebration of his 50th birthday, he was the featured composer on BBC Radio 3′s long-running series ‘Composer of the Week.’ He has also been Artistic Director of the Exeter Festival (1991-97), and Composer-in-Residence of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (1997-2010).

AH4A0466It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to work with someone of Paul’s  calibre. A major figure on the British music landscape, the chance to work with him was a great privilege. Paul leads a hectic life following his music being performed all over the world (he was recently in Holland attending a concert combining his Magnificat with works by Eric Whitacre, and is shortly off to Denmark), and we are tremendously grateful that he found the time to come to the concert, and to be a part of the rehearsal earlier in the day.

Here is the Choir in the Crypt in the afternoon, working with Paul, together with Yours Truly and fourth-year student Matt Bamford rehearsing.

Images © Matt Wilson / University of Kent

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Mar 27

Image Gallery: University Chamber Choir at the Galvanising Shop

The University Chamber Choir in rehearsal prior to its concert at the Galvanising Shop, at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham, last Wednesday.

Images: © Matt Wilson / University of Kent

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Mar 27

Image Gallery: Jonathan Mayer / Mitel Purohit workshop

After their mesmerising lunchtime concert last week, sitarist and composer Jonathan Mayer and tabla-player  Mitel Purohit stayed on to lead a workshop with some of the University students, exploring aspects of Indian classical music.

Our thanks to two stellar musicians for sharing their insights with our students.

Images © Matt Wilson / University of Kent

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Mar 20

Image Gallery: Cathedral Concert

Images from last week’s annual Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert, with the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, together with soprano Sally Silver.

Images: Matt Wilson / University of Kent

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Mar 14

Cathedral Concert tomorrow: nearly there…

Just under twenty-four hours until baton-down in the Nave of Canterbury Cathedral, as tomorrow’s all-day musical extravaganza looms.

cathedral_cloud_floodlit_webOrchestra and Chorus in fine form last night; the Orchestra meets again tonight to put some finishing touches to the Vaughan Williams symphony, and then it’s back on campus at 9am sharp tomorrow, for the technical team (including your loyal correspondent) to organise all the equipment to be moved down to the Cathedral.

Not long to go, team…

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Mar 12

HAIR raising adventure next week

Prep-HAIR for an adventure next week, as the University Music Theatre Society brings its annual production to the Gulbenkian Theatre.

Hair runs from Wednesday 19th March to Friday 21st March in a series of evenings shows starting at 7.30pm.

Here’s a trailer of the Society in rehearsal to whet your appetites.

Book your ticket on the Gulbenkian website here. Good luck to everyone involved!

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Mar 11

Image Gallery: Mike Lovatt and the University Big Band

Pictures from the afternoon rehearsal for the concert by the University Concert and Big Band, conducted by Ian Swatman; here, ace trumpeter Mike Lovatt, making a guest appearance that evening, works with the Big Band, and singers Ruby Mutlow and Steph Richardson in action.

Images © University of Kent / Matt Wilson

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Mar 07

Preparing for the Cathedral Concert next week

Next Saturday sees the annual Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert, in which the University Chorus and Orchestra will come together to commemorate the start of the First World War in music by Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Bach and Fauré.

This Sunday is our all-day rehearsal in the hall, a first combined run-through; then it’s Monday – Thursday – Friday – Saturday over the course of next week, and then Sunday for everyone to recover…

In rehearsalThe concert on the 15 March features Elgar’s Spirit of England, for which we’ll be joined by soprano Sally Silver, Fauré’s Cantique de Jean-Racine, Elgar’s arrangement of Bach’s Fantasia in C minor, and Vaughan Williams’ Symphony no.3.

Looking forward to Sunday’s Greater Coming Together; Ladies and Gentlemen of the Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, we’ll see you there!


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