KMMS Music Performance Scholar plays Bach

In the final film of the short series featuring Kent and Medway Medical School’s first Music Performance Scholarship student, Michael Lam, the Canadian first-year student plays the Musette in D from the Anna Magdalena Notebook.

You can watch all three performances in the series on YouTube here.

Filmed in Colyer-Fergusson Hall on the Canterbury campus by KMTV.

Interview: Laura Osswald

Former Erasmus student and musician, Laura Osswald, recently spoke about her experience at Kent, and her involvement in extra-curricular music during her time at the University, in an interview with the Dean of Internationalisation, Anthony Manning.

Laura in the cello section of the Symphony Orchestra, performing in Colyer-Fergusson Hall

Laura’s interview is part of a series, My Journey to Kent, in which students share their experience; Laura highlights the value of the threated Erasmus programme, and how being involved in music helped form friendships which still endure.

Going digital

It’s been a busy period here in the Music department; on top of the usual online rehearsals and coaching sessions that have been running throughout the term, we’ve recently started filming in order to bring you some online programming during the current lockdown and over the remainder of this term.

Last week, Your Loyal Correspondent was busy recording some weird and wonderful pieces on the stage of the Gulbenkian theatre for an event combining music and landscape photography and a bonkers piece for piano and digital delay unit; it promises to be quite something…

This week, we’ve also been filming for a lockdown presentation of the Cellular Dynamics project, combining high-resolution photography and film from cutting-edge research from the School of Biosciences with live piano music, with Professor Dan Lloyd and a sequence of music by Debussy, Philip Glass, Tarik O’Regan and John Cage.

Today and next week, we’re also filming some of the University Music Performance Scholars and Award Holders performing individually, and we’ve also formed a new department ensemble, the Almas Ensemble, bringing together some of the visiting music staff, to film a performance including seasonal Baroque music by Vivaldi and Corelli.

Thanks to the hard-working technicians, Thomas and Luke; it’s all coming your way over the next month, as we work to provide a programme of digital content to engage and entertain you – stay tuned as the projects unfold…

KMMS Music Performance Scholar plays from the Anna Magdalena Notebook: Minuet in G

The second performance by the new Music Performance Scholar at the Kent and Medway Medical School, first-year international student Michael Lam, features the charming Minuet in G from the Anna Magdalena Notebook, attributed to Christian Perzold.

You can see the first piece in the series, and read more about Michael, here.

The Virtual Music Project returns

The Virtual Music Project swings into action again this month, as we invite students, staff, alumni, families and friends to participate in creating virtual recordings of some seasonal carols.

Over the lockdown which began in March (Lockdown 1.0, if you will), the project brought musicians from across the University community together in music by Vivaldi, Mozart and some 1940s swing tunes; this month, the first piece is In the bleak midwinter featuring voices, strings and chamber organ.

Sound thinking…

We’re putting the accompaniment together first, before inviting choral singers to record themselves singing, and this morning is a first bringing-together of recordings from alumni Jeni Martin, Melody Brooks and Laura Osswald, together with a chamber organ part recorded by Your Loyal Correspondent.

Many thanks to former Erasmus student and cellist, Laura Oßwald, seen here recording for the project all the way from Germany!

Vielen Dank, Laura!
String specialist and alumni from the School of Economics, Jeni

(Thanks to Jeni (pictured above) who has recorded both a violin AND a viola part – I think we should start a competition to see who can record the most parts for any one piece…

Thanks also to Melody (pictured below) who has similarly recorded not one but TWO string-parts; looks like there’s a theme developing…!

Two-part Melody

If you’re a university string-player, now’s your time! Follow the Virtual Music Project on Facebook to find out how to get involved – singers, your turn will come shortly.

We’re also hoping to record a second carol featuring a brass ensemble later this month as well.

Selfies featuring Christmas jumpers, festive headgear and / or tinsel and fairy-lights also very welcome…

Small steps as in-person rehearsals bring music to the concert-hall once more

Small steps; slowly but surely, live music-making has been returning to the concert-hall this week, and various ensembles have begun small, socially-distanced rehearsals.

Concert Band sectional rehearsal

For the first time since March, harmonies have been blossoming in the hall; the Chamber Choir on Monday, the Cecilian Choir on Wednesday, four string-players from the String Sinfonia in the afternoon, and on Wednesday night, sectional rehearsals for the Concert Band and Big Band.

The Cecilian Choir in rehearsal

We find ourselves, of course, having to manage rehearsals differently in these strange times, with strict protocols, socially-distanced seating set out on a grid, and rehearsal time limited to one hour. It’s taking some getting used to, but there is a growing sense of joy at being able to make music with others, in person, in real time; from the Renaissance polyphony of Italy to the swirling desert of Arabia and the forests of Finland, and the highly-apposite Who’s That Masked Man concert band piece, music from around the world has filled the concert-hall for the first time after seven months of silence; and it’s been quite an experience to be part of the return of live music.

Players from the String Sinfonia

It’s been a very exciting week; thank you to all the staff and students who’ve been with us as we find our feet once more.

Here in the Music department, of course, we do take our roles very seriou…

Oh well…

Online rehearsals bring music-making to life once more

We’ve reached the end of our first week of music-making – but a different way of making music in these different times. Since Monday, Chorus, Chamber Choir, Concert Band, Big Band and Orchestra have all be taking place online, and it’s been great to see people accessing the resources and taking part.

There’s a great sense that, wherever people are – in their rooms, in their homes around the local area – that we’re able to come together once more, in order to tackle repertoire, keep making music, and be working creatively.

Many thanks to the various tutors who have been leading these online rehearsals, filming their virtual rehearsals and still keeping everyone engaged, as we start to get the musical term underway.

Music Department and Kent and Medway Medical School celebrate inaugural KMMS Music Performance Scholarship

The new Kent and Medway Medical School and the Music department are delighted to celebrate the award of the inaugural KMMS Music Performance Scholarship, which has been awarded to first-year international student, Michael Lam.

First-year KMMS student and Music Performance Scholar, Michael Lam

The first Scholarship of its kind for the new Medical School, the award is given in recognition of outstanding musical abilities which can be supported as part of an extra-curricular aspect of University life. Pianist Michael Lam, who comes from Canada, has been awarded the scholarship, which combines a cash award of £1,000 with a programme of instrumental lessons designed to encourage excellence and to support a student’s musical development alongside their academic studies. The University of Kent has a thriving extra-curricular musical provision, open to all students whatever they are studying, as well as to members of staff, alumni and the local community, with concerts and events throughout the academic year.

Image: Molly Hollman

Head of Music Performance, Dan Harding, is delighted to welcome such an exciting pianist to the University community; “Michael’s audition was extraordinary; he played seven movements from the Anna Magdalena Notebook from memory with skill and craftsmanship, and showed himself to be a remarkable performer. Talking with Michael at interview, it became apparent that he is going to be able to make a very exciting contribution to University music-making, at a very high level of accomplishment, and we are looking forward to seeing him flourish during his time at Kent.”

Here is Michael playing Bach’s March in Eb major BWV Anh. 127, filmed in Colyer-Fergusson Hall.

Find out more about the new Medical School here, or about the extra-curricular Music Performance Scholarships here.

With thanks to KMTV.