And with a fantastic flourish, the Estates Team Choir made its debut in front of a packed audience in the foyer of the Colyer-Fergusson Building.
There was no sense of stage-fright at all as the team walked out to enthusiastic applause – the foyer was so full that there wasn’t even any standing room around the upper balcony – and formed up to take part in the lunchtime concert. With considerable aplomb, the gentlemen of the choir launched into the opening accompaniment to Santa, Baby, before the ladies joined them. Walking in a Winter Wonderland had the audience clapping along with the final verse, and at the end there was sustained applause ringing round the space.
In concert: the Estates Choir
(Update: this just in: the video!)
They were then followed by the first performance this term from the ladies of the Cecilian Choir, who gave a sneak preview of two movement’s from Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, which we will be performing in its entirety in a lunchtime concert in March as part of the Britten centenary.
The Cecilian Choir
The concert concluded with some deft close-harmony singing from the student trio, ‘The Canterberries,’ ending with a rendition of ‘All I Want For Christmas (Is You).’
A terrific afternoon; the first real opportunity to hold a lunchtime concert in the foyer-space, and explore the possibilities offered by the stage for the performers, the balcony and social spaces for the audience, and the acoustics.
There are already enquiries as to what the Estates Choir will be working on next term. Gentle readers – you’ll just have to come back to the blog in January to find out…
Playing to the gallery
Christmas fever has hit members of the Estates Team, who (as regular readers of the blog will know) have recently formed their own Choir; led by Deputy Director of Music, Dan Harding, the Choir will be making its debut in an informal lunchtime concert on Wednesday 12 December in the new Colyer-Fergusson Building.
The Estates Team Choir will sing versions of ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Santa Baby,’ whilst also in the programme will be two pieces sung by the University Cecilian Choir and some festive a capella songs from student vocal trio, The Canterberries.
The event is a department Facebook Event page online here: sign up!
Come and indulge in the seasonal spirit in the music building at 1.15pm, and hear the Estates Choir make its festive debut, in what promises to be a very special occasion…
A colleague who leads the University Interweb Presence (not his official title, which I can’t now recall) was reflecting on the recent success of the Gareth Malone Choir-in-the-Workplace phenomenon, and the idea of getting people involved in music who might not otherwise do so. With the new music building here at Kent now in operation, what about doing something similar here ?
A great idea, I said; a chance to involve more of the University community in music-making, and to entice staff into this fantastic performing space who might otherwise not cross the threshold.
That was on a Friday; an exchange of e-mails with one of the Senior Managers in the Estates department, who sprang into action and sent out an invitation to her team to participate, and six working days later a group of about twenty-five of the Estates department duly arrived on Tuesday lunchtime. (That must be some kind of record, surely…)
A ring of chairs in the concert-hall was our workshop arena, and we played a variety of muscial and rhythmic games, tongue-twisters, call-and-response pieces, and forty minutes later had a working choir who were champing at the bit to work on some suitably festive pieces to sing at the end of this term around the University Christmas tree. There was much laughter, lots of leaping around making star-shapes and strange faces, but what came through most strongly was a tremendous sense of fun, combined with a willingness to take on absolutely any activity which I was prepared to throw at them, and which they threw back in spades with an infectious enthusiasm.
So; here’s our first term plan – singing a couple of festive pieces and some Gershwin in four weeks’ time. None of the singers reads music, or has done very much singing before, and we’ve three rehearsals to pull something together. Can we do it ? Watch this space…