Jan 22

#EarBox: new collaborative project launching with Studio 3 Gallery

We are very excited to be launching #EarBox,  a new collaboration between the School of Arts’ Studio 3 Gallery and the Music Department next Wednesday, 28 January, at 1pm.

WP_20150122_10_42_55_Pro#EarBox is a series of events exploring the meeting-point between visual art and music, where visitors can experience the latest Studio 3 exhibition, or listen to the unfolding musical performance – or wander the new emotional landscape mapped by the intersection of art and music, where the experience of one medium informs and influences a response to the other.

The event next Wednesday will feature piano works by Debussy, John Cage, Chick Corea and Philip Glass; visitors can explore the paintings during the performance, or sit and listen to the music – admission is free.

This term’s exhibitions features an exploration of colour and form in paintings by  Brian Rice, and sculpture by Richard Rome, and the music includes piano works performed by Deputy Director of Music, Daniel Harding, as well as performances later in the term by University ensembles including the Chamber and Cecilian Choirs and the Wind Ensemble.

WP_20150122_10_42_24_ProAdmission to all these events is free; make sure you’re following @Unikent_music or @Studio3Gallery for event details, or visit the Music department’s What’s On or the Studio 3 blog page.

Indulge the senses: #EarBox at Studio 3 Gallery.



Jan 20

Snow arrives on campus

Thanks to Phil Ward for this wonderfully atmospheric view of the campus this morning, overlooking Canterbury Cathedral. Shortly after this cold and frosty morning, it started snowing too.

Image: Phil Ward

Image: Phil Ward

Phil’s photographs will form part of the new commission piece which will be premiered by the Chamber and Cecilian Choirs on Friday 13 June during Summer Music Week (details here).

Image: © Phil Ward

Jan 19

What’s On: a digital fridge-door guide

For those of you who like your information a little more visual, our What’s On guide to our own events is now available to view online here - created with Padlet, it now looks like a digital fridge-door a-blossom with virtual Post-It-Notes; great for a single-glance guide to what’s to come.

Click to view online

Click to view online

See more here.

Jan 15

New events brochure now online

Our new What’s On has now gone live, and is packed with lunchtime concerts, choral and orchestral concerts, visiting ensembles and special events.

Around The World InWe continue to celebrate the University’s fiftieth anniversary with the annual Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral concert in a performance of Verdi’s Requiem in March, whilst in June we bring a department-commissioned choral piece from members of the University community. Our Lunchtime Concert series sees tangos from Piazzolla, jazz with the Geoff Mason Quintet, and a second concert from our ensemble-in-residence, CantiaQuorum, in music by Bach, Handel and Telemann. The Concert Band and Big Band will take us on a trip Around The World In… in February; the new Alumni chamber choir Invicta Voices launches; pianist and Honorary Doctorate recipient Freddy Kempf gives a recital in June; and the year ends as usual with the now-customary week-long musical festivities of Summer Music Week.

Take a look at all that’s happening from January to June online here, or download a copy of the brochure (pdf) here.

Jan 15

Kentopoly – the movie

As those of you who follow us on Twitter will have seen, last term we took a trip around the University of Kent’s Monopoly board, commissioned as part of our fiftieth-anniversary celebrations. Now you can experience the entire odyssey in eighty seconds…

Here’s to the next fifty years!

Dec 18

Wednesday: a festive musical finale to the term

The Colyer-Fergusson building rang to some festive music-making throughout yesterday afternoon, as various musical ensembles took it in turns to bid a festive farewell to the term.

The foyer-stage hosted a seasonal ‘Watch This Space,’ in which the Flute Group made its debut in carols and the ‘Dance of the Swans’ from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (well, you can’t have Christmas without Tchaikovsky, can you ?!); members of the Cecilian and Chamber Choirs sang a collection of carols; and the Trumpet Trio brought the lunchtime event to a jolly conclusion with popular tunes including All I Want For Christmas (Is You).

Later in the afternoon, it was the turn of the Big Band, directed by the irrepressible Ian Swatman, to treat a packed concert-hall to its now-customary seasonal Swing-along, featuring a guest appearance from our very own Sophie in a sassy rendition of Santa Baby and White Christmas, whilst the Brass Group led some communal carol-singing in robust fashion. The Big Band’s selection-box included a deft rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, a solo spot for baritone sax-player Adam Rose to open a bold arrangement of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen and a lively Jingle Bells.

After the gig, audience and performers spilled out into the foyer for mulled wine and mince pies. A terrific day, concluding a very busy musical term; thanks to everyone who took part yesterday – it’s a wonderful testament to the ethos of music on the Canterbury campus, so many students, staff and members of the local community coming together in various groups to enjoy collective music-making.

We’ll be back in the New Year with details of events throughout the spring and summer; it promises to be an exciting six months ahead, judging by the draft of the forthcoming brochure; see you in January, and from all the music team – a very Merry Christmas!

Dec 17

Pictures (and music) at an exhibition 2: Beach Creative

Members of the Cecilian Choir sallied forth from campus into Herne Bay this week, as guests at Beach Creative arts centre, for a festive lunchtime of carols.

Ranging from the plainchant Hodie Christus natus est to popular seasonal favourites such as God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, a packed gallery space hosted an enthusiastic audience.

The Choir sang amidst the colourful backdrop of the December exhibition at Beach Creative, ‘Gold,’ which provided a myriad colours and textures as a visual enhancement of the programme of carols.

Our thanks to the board of Directors at Beach Creative for the invitation to perform, and to Mandy Broughton and Mandy Troughton for making us so welcome. We look forward to taking future musical events into the gallery next term.

Dec 14

Alumni soloists return for December concert

The termly concert by the University Chorus and Orchestra last night saw three musical alumni returning to the Colyer-Fergusson Hall.

Soprano Caroline Kennedy, tenor Andrew Macnair and bass Piran Legg came back to Kent for a performance of Mozart’s Vespers, joined also by mezzo Bethan Langford. whilst the Orchestra furnished the remainder of the programme with Mozart’s overture to The Magic Flute and Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

Under the baton of Sue Wanless, the Orchestra delivered a sprightly and rousing reading of the Beethoven, in particular with an agile second movement that deftly steered clear of the more usual funereal tempi often heard in performance. The concert also saw second-year violinist Chantelle Yau making her debut as orchestral leader.

The next time Chorus and Orchestra perform, it’ll be in the august surroundings of Canterbury Cathedral for Verdi’s Requiem as part of the University’s fiftieth-anniversary celebrations. And That Famous Bass Drum Bit..

Dec 11

Pictures (and music) at the exhibition: carols in Studio 3 Gallery

Studio 3 Gallery resounded to the sound of Christmas earlier today, as members of the Cecilian and Chamber Choirs took a festival programme of carols across to the School of Arts’ Jarman Building.

An enthusiastic audience was treated to a mixture of carols old and new, ranging from Ravenscroft’s seventeenth-century Remember, O Thou Man to Lauridsen’s sumptuous O Nata Lux and the enduringly-popular Ukrainian carol, Carol of the Bells.

The ravishing choral colours were given extra lustre by the current paintings on display in Studio 3, Rose Hilton’s Give Life To Painting (about which more here). Afterwards, audience and performers mingled over refreshments to explore the paintings further still.

Our thanks to Katie McGown and Denise Twomey for the invitation to come and perform; there are exciting plans afoot to develop a series of music events in Studio 3 throughout next term; watch, as they say, this space…

Dec 10

Wolcum, Yule! Lost Consort opens seasonal musical calendar

The seasonal musical calendar was opened last Friday, as the University Lost Consort brought the ancient undercroft of the Pilgrim’s Hospital in Canterbury alive to the sound of Benjamin Britten.

The audience filled the historic space to bursting for a performance of Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, in which the choir was joined by harpist and fourth-year student, Emma Murton, conducted by Dan Harding. First-year alto Ruth Webster captured the mournful air of the dissonant ‘That Yongë Childe,’ whilst third-year soprano, Gabriella Grandi, lulled the listener in ‘Balulalow.’ After the opening plainchant, ‘Hodie Christus natus est,’ had died away, the choir launched into a vibrant ‘Wolcum Yole!’ and moved through the lyrical ‘There is no rose’ through to the fierce ‘This Little Babe;’ the challenging ‘In Freezing Winter Night’ rose and fell in the hushed confines of the packed undercroft, before the evergreen ‘Spring Carol’ and the animated ‘Deo Gracias’ led into the reprise of the plainchant, and the piece dissolved amidst the ancient stone.

Credit to Emma for deftly delivering a tricky harp-part, and to the whole ensemble for a spirited and enthusiastic way in which to begin the Music department’s musical Christmas.

Photos © Matt Wilson / University of Kent

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