Continuing the series in which musical alumni look back on their musical life at Kent: this week, woodwind-player and singer, Anna Shinkfield.
When were you at Kent?
2007 – 2011
What subject did you study?
English and American Literature
What occupation are you now engaged in?
If music is not your profession, do you participate in any musical activities now ?
I am not currently involved in anything musical at the moment but I am hoping to find something musical to get involved in soon!
How were you involved in music whilst at Kent ?
I sang in the Chorus, played Flute in Concert Band and Tenor Sax in Big Band all three years I was at Kent as well as receiving a Music Lesson Scholarship. I was also a member of the Music Society Committee in my second and final year.
What did you gain from your University music experience, and has this helped you in any way since leaving Kent?
I think my experiences with the Music Society definitely helped me decide on what I wanted to do career-wise and allowed me to get enough experience to do a Masters in London after my degree.
Everyone says get involved with something at University, join as many clubs as you can – it looks good on your CV. I’m sure I rolled my eyes and brushed these sorts of comments off before and during University. but I can definitely say that it is true as much as you might be bored of hearing it! I’m pretty sure my musical activities have been discussed a lot more than my degree ever has in interviews.
What was your most memorable musical experience at Kent?
I think that would have to be every ArtsFest really (what’s now Summer Music Week). Although spending the morning in Eliot Hall rehearsing and blowing up balloons then rushing between concerts in the afternoon meant I didn’t get to see much of what else was going on I think it was those sorts of days that really made me think that’s what I wanted to do in the future.
What would you say to current musical students at the University ?
Make the most of Music at Kent! I don’t remember the hours spent in the library or Monday mornings in lectures half as well as I remember taking part in rehearsals and concerts.
It can be easy to skip rehearsals especially with essay deadlines and exams but that two hours of music will always be more productive than sitting staring at a screen and will probably give you the break from revision that you need. The rehearsals throughout the week are an excellent excuse to stop staring at computer screens or forcing myself to read books I wasn’t particularly interested in and focus on something a bit different!
Looking back I don’t really remember the hours spent in the library or in lectures but I do remember the rehearsals, concerts and socials.