It’s 9am, and the doors have just opened to this year’s University Open Day; we’ve been here since 8.15 setting up, and the ‘Making Music at Kent’ stand is bursting with colour in the display of posters and photographs from recent years’ events. (If we can, I’ll get a photo uploaded to show
The Director of Music arrived with bags of sweets to sustain us throughout the day, and has already had her first cup of coffee; it’s always important to know when the tea-booth has opened. We’re looking forward to a stream of visitors interested in making music and the Music Scholarships.
We’ll keep you posted throughout the day as to how it’s going, thanks to wireless technology here in the Sports Hall.
10am: an hour in, and we’ve seen ten visitors and their families, coming from Norfolk, Surrey and elsewhere: the prize for the visitor who’s travelled the farthest is currently held by someone from Swansea. The Director of Music is celebrating a short lull by cracking open the ‘Revels’ as I type, and I’m going to grab my first cup of tea – I wonder if there’s any Earl Gray ?
11.45am: I’ve only just managed to get the tea (no Earl Gray, alas) as suddenly there was a swathe of visitors from especially far-flung corners of the globe: the number of people arriving at the stand has now risen to thirty three, with a particularly international appeal: the record for Visitor From The Farthest Place has now been smashed by someone from Hong Kong, although there’s competition from people from America and Italy. And I thought Kent was the UK’s European university ?!
1pm: four hours in, and we’ve now seen forty five visitors: that’s roughly ten an hour, one every six minutes: the interest is coming now from Devon, Essex and Oxford, with lots of singers, saxophonists, flautists and brass players. I nabbed a suitably toothsome-looking sandwich from the tea-booth back at 12pm, and it’s been sitting here ever since waiting to be consumed. There might be a slight lull now it’s lunchtime: let’s see…
1.40pm: good and bad news; we’ve managed to fit in lunch, but have eaten all the ‘Revels.’ Woe indeed…
2.15pm: visitor numbers have now reached over sixty, coming from Bucks, Berks, Harrogate, Leicester and Hampshire. With only forty-five minutes left, the end is in sight; our voices are starting to tire, but morale is boosted by the chocolate biscuits the Director of Music is about to open… There’s a definite sense that music is becoming an increasingly attractive provision for students making their university choices, wanting to continue with making music and taking instrumental or singing lessons alongside their formal degree programmes; with the new music building set to open its doors shortly before these visitors would arrive as first-year students, they’re in for a fantastic time.
3pm: and that’s it. Final count 67 visitors, including several more from Oxford, Windsor, Kent, and one from Sweden competing for the Farthest Distance Travelled. The winner must be the one who came from Hong Kong, surely ? Thanks to everyone who came to the music stand today, we’ve met a great many interesting and talented musicians: safe journeys home to all. We’re signing off: see you all again.