Continuing the series profiling musical alumni of the University of Kent. This week, Jo Shave.
When were you at Kent ?
I was at Kent from 2006 – 2009.
What subject did you study ?
I studied English Language and Linguistics.
What occupation are you now engaged in ?
I’m currently taking a gap year to earn some extra pennies, before embarking on an MSc in Neuroscience, Language and Communication at University College London.
If music is not your profession, do you participate in any musical experiences now ?
Sadly these days, my musical participation is limited to singing in my car and the occasional twang on my guitar. However, I still regularly attend concerts of all genres particularly recent University of Kent Chamber Choir concerts. It’s worthwhile listening from another angle, and particularly enjoyable to see the choir flourish in the years after you’ve gone.
How were you involved in music whilst at Kent ?
I was involved across most aspects of the Music Society. I was a fully fledged Chorus and Chamber Choir member from 2006 – 2009 and continued the position of Chamber Choir Librarian for two years too. In my third and final year, I conducted the group ‘Sing!’ which was extremely successful. It was a huge achievement for myself and the performers and a fantastic way to promote the joy of singing. I also participated in the female Barbershop at ArtsFest each year and due to my Music Lesson Scholarship I was given a wealth of additional opportunities to perform and promote how the Music Society was crucial to my University experience.
What did you gain from your University music experience, and has this helped you in any way since leaving Kent ?
My University experience just wouldn’t have been the same without the Music Society. From that first Freshers Open evening I was hooked as everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Of course, the music itself was fantastic too. I relished the opportunities to perform in the Cathedral each year, and sing music I hadn’t sung before. In addition, touring to Paris with the Chamber Choir in April 2008 was a brilliant experience and opportunity. The Music Society certainly helped me to mature from a Fresher into a Graduate in a huge number of ways. Most importantly, I left University with a huge number of very close friends and it is wonderful to be able to stay in contact and meet up as regularly as possible. We often sit and sing tonnes of pieces from years gone by and reminisce about the ‘good old days’.
What was your most memorable musical experience at Kent ?
Without doubt, my most memorable musical experience at Kent was the Chamber Choir 2008 tour to Paris. I was extremely lucky to be involved in such a rewarding experience, and the choir and company were fantastic. There have been so many other opportunites too, but Artsfest each year has to be one of the best events on earth! A whole day filled with musical activities is a dream come true! I especially loved the performance of the finale of Die Fleidermaus in the Eliot Hall in my final year; it was the best and only way to say goodbye to the best three years of music-making.
What would you say to current musical students at the University ?
Get involved! One of the best ways to be a part of the Music Society is to join the Committee, so stand for election and go for a college rep, or if you’re feeling ambitious go for an Exec position like President or Secretary. Take full advantage of the opportunities you are given no matter what ability or instrument and enjoy yourselves to the full!
If you’re an alumni and would like to be featured, get in touch via the Music Department website: we’d love to hear from you!