Charlotte Jeanneret, who studied at Kent last year in the School of English as an exchange student and played the flute in Concert Band and sang in Chorus in the Music department, looks back on her experience.
Music has been the highlight of my experience as an exchange student at the University of Kent.
I must say the many extracurricular opportunities are what made me choose Canterbury in the first place, but I never thought it would bring me so much joy and discoveries. Indeed, for example, I used to be stuck with the idea that I could not sing… But the openness of the University Chorus convinced me to take it up and I loved it so much that I am now considering joining the choir of my home university, here in Switzerland!
Although I still have nightmares about Goodwin’s Freefall [who chose that ?! Ed] Wednesday evenings with the Concert Band were always very entertaining and spurred me on musically more than any other ensemble I have ever been part of. I left for England with just one flute and came back with a piccolo also!
Finally, music at Kent has allowed me to meet beautiful people with whom I have loved practising, sharing stands and scores, and who have become awesome friends.
One of the excellent facilities the Music department is able to offer is particular support for international students involved in extra-curricular music at the University, thanks to the Barry Wright Legacy fund. Here, woodwind player Aline Kellenberger reflects on her experience with the University Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band this year.
One year ago I started to plan my Study Abroad at the University of Kent. As I was looking into all the different societies the university offered, I saw the music society with the Orchestra and the Concert
band. That day I decided not to join as it would be complicated to bring my oboe with me, both in luggage space and out of fear of something happening to my instrument.
I arrived in England last September for the autumn term, I joined different societies, met new people and overall enjoyed my time abroad. But two weeks into the term I already missed playing music. So I decided to get into contact with the Music Administrator of Kent, Sophie Meikle, and asked if I could rent an oboe for myself. She immediately answered me and told me that the music department would like to rent it for me. A few weeks later they also offered to rent the cor anglais!
One of the greatest things here at Uni has definitely been being able to practice together with so many people. Due to Covid all group rehearsals and concerts over the last years were cancelled, so it felt
really great to play with other people again. Especially being able to perform the Christmas Concert at the end of last year’s term together with the choir in front of an audience! I have now started my second term here at Kent and have another three months to look forward to playing with the Orchestra as well as the Concert band. If somebody had told me one year ago that I would get to play in the
Cathedral of Canterbury I would have not believed them.
I am extremely grateful for the warm welcome I got from everyone in the music society and especially for this opportunity. Since I am an exchange student I was not able to bring my own instrument with me, this was due to the amount of luggage I could bring with me. The University of Kent gives me the chance to not only study abroad and improve my English, but also allows me to continue my hobby of 17 years. Playing with the Orchestra as well as the Big Band gives me new experiences, helps me keep up with practice and helps me improve my English. It is also a very good opportunity to improve my own skills by playing with so many different people.
I decided to come to the University of Kent specifically for its language department and now I am so happy that I got the
opportunity to also join the music department.
The Music Department is delighted to reveal that composer and sitarist, Jonathan Mayer, will be mentoring one of the University’s Music Award Holders during the coming academic year.
An active composer exploring connections between traditional Indian music and Western instruments, Jonathan’s Sitar Concerto No.2 was recorded with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales last year, as part of his continuing synthesis of east-west musical idioms.
Following his recent concert in Colyer-Fergusson to launch the new season of Lunchtime Concerts, Jonathan will be working with Ridima Sur, (pictured above), a third-year student at the University reading Astrophysics. Hailing from the Hoogly district, West Bengal, Ridima holds a Music Award at Kent, and last year was filmed as part of the Scholar’s Spotlight series of short performances in Colyer-Fergusson Hall given by some of the students.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity, and to have met with Jonathan,” enthused Ridima, “we talked about my vocal range and all the ragas I’m currently doing. He’s going to support me in my music-making this year, and we will also plan a few performances. My mum’s sister was a classical singer, she professionally pursued Hindustani classical music and was my motivation to keep following music myself; partially a reason I am trying to continue my music is a tribute to her.”
The extra-curricular Music department provides opportunities for its Music Performance Scholars and Award Holders to develop their musicianship alongside their academic studies, and runs a vibrant provision for all students and staff, as well as members of the local community, to be involved in University music-making. Thanks to the generosity of the donors who support the Music Scholarship Scheme, it promises to be an exciting mentorship, and a unique opportunity for one of the University’s students to learn with an established figure on the British musical landscape.
It’s not Christmas without a performance in the Music Department of Santa Baby, and we’re delighted to bring that annual tradition round again this month, albeit in a slightly different format.
Although we can’t bring you the traditional Christmas Swingalong, we hope you enjoy this short jazz session, featuring third-year singers Elle Soo (reading Social Anthropology) and Robbie Frederick (Comparative Literature and Drama) in a handful of festive favourites, concluding with the evergreen seasonal duet, Baby It’s Cold Outside.
A little festive cheer for us all…
Filmed in Colyer-Fergusson Hall; with thanks to Thomas Connor, Luke McCann and George Morris.
A remarkable event next week, in our first ‘virtual’ Lunchtime Concert – first-year international pianist from Canada and Music Performance Scholar at Kent and Medway Medical School, Michael Lam, will mark the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven next week with a filmed performance of the mammoth Piano Sonata in A major, Op.101.
A keen enthusiast of Beethoven’s rich repertoire for piano, the performance, which was filmed in Colyer-Fergusson Hall earlier today on the University’s Steinway piano, will be Premiered on the Music Department’s YouTube channel as part of this year’s Beethoven anniversary celebrations.
Michael’s performance will be a continuous, unedited take, of the first of Beethoven’s Late Period piano sonatas, rich in complexity and a formidable challenge to pianists everywhere.
The Premiere is free to watch online on YouTube on the Music department’s channel here: to whet your appetites, you can watch Michael performing three pieces from Bach’s Anna Magdalena Notebook, filmed earlier this term, online here.
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.