Sep 26

Where you go, I go: Preludes exhibition now open

We’re delighted to announce that the latest exhibition in Colyer-Fergusson Gallery is now open!

14184510_10154537619231180_3622527117156399451_nCreated especially for the Colyer-Fergusson Gallery, Preludes (where you go, I go) by visual artist Adam de Ville is a series of images in response to Sinking of the Titanic by composer Gavin Bryars, a haunting meditation on the idea of what happens to the music played by the band as the great ship sank.

Adam’s exhibition imagines the same effect happening to paint and paper in a sequence of images capturing particular moments before, during and after the event. Based on accounts, personal stories and surviving artefacts, the series is a moving contemplation of the human side to one of history’s great tragedies.img096

preludes_exhibitionThe exhibition is showing in Colyer-Fergusson Gallery until Friday 4 November during normal opening hours, and admission is free. Find out more about Adam here.

Sep 23

A love supreme: happy birthday John Coltrane

Happy birthday to the jazz giant and saxophone colossus, John Coltrane, born today in 1926.

john-coltrane-757011Legendary sideman, bandleader, endless searching to break new ground, Coltrane’s long shadow reaches beyond his untimely death from liver cancer at the age of forty, and embraces his time as sideman with Miles Davis to his own groups with figures including McCoy Tyner, Eric Dolphy, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones to his increasingly experimental work with Pharoah Sanders, and late recordings with his second wife, Alice, as pianist.

Difficult to choose a commemorative listening track, but I’ve gone with the opening to 1964’s Crescent; an exploratory, questing opening leads into a slow, stately articulation of the melody, punctuated by uneasy rumbles on kit, before stepping off into a brisk swing, fistfuls of McCoy Tyner’s colourful chords underpinning a bold, expressive improvisation from Coltrane that typically grows more expansive as it unfurls.

Happy birthday to a jazz great.

Sep 19

International Day of Peace: Minerva Voices

On Wednesday, to mark International Day of Peace, Minerva Voices, conducted by Dan Harding, performed Gounod’s motet, Da Pacem Domine, prefaced by a poem read by second-year Alice Baker.

WP_20151214_011Watch it online here.

Sep 16

What’s On: the virtual brochure

Read our new What’s On digital brochure:

Click to enter full-screen mode.

Sep 13

6,774 miles away: second-year Music Scholar on a year abroad

Studying at the University of Kent offers multitudinous opportunities to enrich your life, and this year one of our Music Scholars has taken it to a whole new level.

Music biosciences prizes webSecond-year Music Scholar and Biosciences student, Ruth Webster, (pictured above, second from left) will be familiar to those of you who have come to choral events over the past couple of years – Ruth sings with the University Chorus, Chamber Choir, Cecilian Choir, Minerva Voices and has sung as soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah and Horovitz’s Horrortorio; she was also joint winner of the John Craven Music Prize for her contribution to music-making last year.

accommodation_malaysiaThis year, though, Ruth is trading in the wood-panelled concert-hall and the Biosciences lab for exotic food and clothes markets, tropical storms and the richly-hued life of Malaysia, where and she and several other students from the University of Kent are studying at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in Johor Bahru, in the very south of Malaysia.

Gurdwana Sahib Sikh Temple, Johor Bahru

Gurdwana Sahib Sikh Temple, Johor Bahru

Ruth will be writing about and sharing her year abroad on her blog: see how she gets on at We wish her well for this coming year, and look forward to seeing her back singing in Canterbury in September 2017!

Sep 08

University alumna finds herself at Abbey Road studios as part of Final Fantasy XV launch

University alumna and singer Suzannah Lipmann found herself at Abbey Road studios yesterday, as part of a special livestream broadcast.

London_Phil_Choir_SuzannahFor one night only, there was a special performance to launch the soundtrack to the new Final Fantasy XV game by composer Yoko Shimomura, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Choir, conducted by Terry Davis; the composer herself was present at the performance. Pictured above, Suzannah is on the front row of the sopranos, eight from the left.

The hour-long event presented highlights of music from the forthcoming game soundtrack, and can be watched here:


Whilst reading Social Anthropology (including a year abroad in Japan) at Kent, Suzannah was a regular performer featuring prominently in the former Jazz @ 5 sessions on the former foyer-stage in the Gulbenkian, as well as singing with the University Chamber Choir and Chorus.

Using the skills developed as an undergraduate, she now handles the Japanese side of her family business in metal-trading, whilst slo learning Japanese at SOAS, and travels to Japan for three weeks each year on business. As well as the London Philharmonic Choir, Suzannah sings with the Godwine Choir and in a band.


“The LPC gets to do some pretty exciting gigs,” she enthuses, “like this one, the BBC Proms and others at the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall!” Suzannah is next in action singing in a performance of Verdi’s Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall on 24 September. Fantastic to see she’s still keeping up her music in Life After Kent in such a spectacular fashion!

With thanks to the London Philharmonic Choir for the images.

Aug 25

New What’s On brochure now out!

Our Autumn What’s On is now out, and is bursting with events throughout October to December here in Colyer-Fergusson.

Our termly Lunchtime Concert series launches with percussion ensemble Kopanya in October; the acclaimed musicians of the Kentish Piano Trio bring Beethoven’s ‘Ghost’ Trio in November; and eminent sitar-player Ustad Dharambir Singh is joined by Pt Sanju Sahai on tabla for a recital in December,

The University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra will be rounding-off the Shakespeare 400 anniversary in style with a concert including the suite from Walton’s famous film score for Henry V, and the Musical Theatre Society will present their ever-popular showcase. The season ends in rousingly festive style with the Big Band’s Christmas Swing-Along.

Whatever you do, make sure you have Friday 25 November inked firmly in your diary for what promises to be a memorable concert, as internationally-renowned bass, Sir Willard White, joins forces with the Brodsky Quartet to pay tribute to the relationship between Frank Sinatra and the Hollywood String Quartet; the evening will also include folksongs by Britten and Copland, Barber’s evocative Dover Beach, a selection from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, the Great American Song Book …and much more. Early booking is most definitely advisable! As ever, we also welcome the many visiting musicians to Colyer-Fergusson, including events promoted by both the Canterbury Festival and Sounds New and a birthday concert for Trevor Pinnock.

Furley Page logo

Sponsors of the Lunchtime Concert series

You can find out more about all these events online here, or download the new brochure here. We look forward to welcoming you to Colyer-Fergusson this season!

Aug 22

Preludes: new exhibition by Adam de Ville at Colyer-Fergusson

Colyer-Fergusson Gallery is delighted to be hosting Preludes (where you go, I go), a new exhibition by Kent-based visual artist, actor and illustrator Adam de Ville next month.

A Night To Remember Adam de Ville webAdam’s new exhibition, created especially for Colyer-Fergusson, takes inspiration from Gavin Bryars’ piece, Sinking of the Titanic, in which the composer imagines what the music the band was playing as the ship sank might have sounded like as the band played during the sinking, and what happened to the music as it continued to reverberate in the water.

“I hope to carry this poetic notion through, imagining how the paint might react under water both physically and poetically,” Adam observes, “with the preludes being eye-witness accounts before, during and after, with the ‘after’ forming a prelude to history, to the passing of living memory and our continuing / changing ‘imagining’ of the event, like the music and paint, transformed by the depths of the ocean, of time.”

image2 webFrom Bach to Debussy, the prelude as a musical form has appealed to composers, both for its concision as well as for its imaginative potential; the iconic collection by Bach exploring equal temperament, or the evocative dreamscapes of Debussy’s two books of piano preludes, the prelude offers both discipline as well as imaginative possibilities; Adam’s exhibition explores both concepts, inspired by Bryars’ music. The hauntingly beautiful strains of Bryars’ moving piece find echo in Adam’s evocative images, which hover on the cusp of dissolving, disappearing.

From May to August this year, Adam was the Armchair Artist-in-Residence at the Beaney Museum in Canterbury, for which he also created Something Between Us, an instillation exploring the life of the physical book, funded by Canterbury Arts Council; he has also had exhibitions at the Stark Gallery and the Beaney Front Room. His illustrations accompanied the book Richmond Bigbottom, a fairy-tale for children published in 2015.

Find out more about Adam hereand about his public theatre / art installation work herePreludes (where you go, I go) will be on display at Colyer-Fergusson Gallery on the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus from 24 September – 4 November; admission is free.

Jul 15

Get cape, wear cape – fly! Graduation week

It’s a busy week, with parents, family and friends thronging to Canterbury Cathedral for graduation ceremonies.

Many musicians are graduating throughout the week, including some here; congratulations to everyone celebrating their success over the past five days, as they pass through the doors of the Cathedral to become part of the world-wide University of Kent Alumni community.

Thanks for all your commitment and contribution to music-making here at Kent during your time; and remember: whatever you do, make music!


Jul 15

Strings attached: staff development takes a novel twist

Members of staff from the School of Law here at Kent came to the concert-hall yesterday for a spot of team-building and staff development with a twist.

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Organised by the Administration Manager for Kent Law School, Jill Holliday,  the hall rang to the strumming of ukuleles, as staff got to grips with playing throughout the afternoon.IMAG0677 web ‘The Law School decided it wanted to do something completely different for its end of year celebrations this year,’ says Jill. ‘The idea of something musical was originally a bit of a joke between the organisers but having discovered Musivate on line we decided to give it a go. It’s fair to say most staff approached it with a degree of trepidation, but once we all got going everyone had a great time! It was slightly surreal – sitting with over  fifty KLS staff singing along to The Lion Sleeps Tonight while strumming on a ukulele, but rather fabulous at the same time! It offered staff who have never picked up an instrument, or had the opportunity to use the Colyer-Fergusson Hall, to give this a go, which really added to the day.’

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Uku 2 web 20160714_142652 web Uku 1 web

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