An unforgettable experience; international student Anne Urabayen reflects on getting involved in music

Welcoming overseas students to Kent and making them part of the University community is very much part of what we do here in the extra-curricular Music department. In this post, Anne Urabayen, from Bilbao, who has spent the past year studying at Kent, reflects on her experience, which was generously supported by the Barry Wright Legacy.

When I arrived at the University in September, I did not know how important the Music Society was going to be during my year abroad. I have always loved music and I have been playing the viola for more than 10 years now. My favourite part of playing an instrument is being able to create music together, specially in orchestras. I did not want to stop playing for a year and after doing some research I discovered that Kent Uni had a big music programme. I only needed to solve one problem, how to obtain a viola for a year. Thankfully, Sophie and Dan helped me with all the process and I was able to play in the String Sinfonia and in the Orchestra.

The University Orchestra rehearsing in Colyer-Fergusson Hall

During the first few days, I felt a little bit lost but everyone was incredibly welcoming and supportive. The rehearsals were a perfect blend of challenging and fun and it was nice to play with people that shared the same passion. Thank you to Flo (director of the String Sinfonia) and Dan, for conducting the Sinfonia and Orchestra with excitement and always having a smile on their faces. I will never forget Flo’s anecdotes during rehearsals or Dan’s enthusiasm. Thank you to Sophie, who helped me making this possible and is always available for her students.

The String Sinfonia rehearsing in St Mary of Charity church, Faversham: Anne seated second from left.
International student, Anne, playing in the annual concert in Canterbury Cathedral with the University Orchestra.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Orchestra and the String Sinfonia, you made me feel at home. My time with the Music Society at the University is something I will always treasure and everyone in the music society made it an unforgettable experience.

University Orchestra and Chorus rehearsing in Canterbury Cathedral

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