Congratulations to all the members of the University Cecilian Choir and Consort on last Friday’s night’s premiere of the new commission piece by Russell Hepplewhite.
The combination of words, music and images brought the new setting of the Magnificat, in which the sacred text was interspersed by new poetry by Nancy Gaffield, to vivid life. The Choir and strings, comprising students and staff from across the University, came together in vibrant form to deliver an accomplished performance of a brand-new work, always a challenge and especially in front of a live audience including both composer and poet!
If you missed it, the piece will be performed again on Friday 9 June as part of this year’s Summer Music Week, our annual music festival bringing the musical year to a close.
Many congratulations to Kent Gospel Choir, who won the 11th University Gospel Choir of the Year Competition at the weekend!
Pictured here in Colyer-Fergusson, the Choir travelled to Croydon to compete in this year’s final, one of seven choirs competing for the trophy. The choir fought off competition from Warwick, University of Birmingham, the BIMM Institute, UCL, Keele, Durham and our neighbours, Canterbury Christ Church, to lift the trophy on Saturday night at Oasis House.
Every Monday evening, Colyer-Fergusson resounds to the sound of the choir rehearsing in the concert-hall and various practice rooms each week, and it’s fantastic to see all the group’s hard work pay off as they are crowned this year’s winners in the eleventh year of the competition. The choir comprises students from across the university, taking part as part of many extra-curricular music opportunities at the University alongside their course of studies.
“UGCY was an unforgettable experience, and being a part of KGC made my first year of university incredible!” reflects one of the choir, Favour Joseph. “I am so grateful to be part of a choir that feels like a family and where God is at the centre of our music and lives, and I can’t wait for what we are going to do next. I’ve made so many memories that I will cherish, like our shared laughter during rehearsals, how supportive the other university choirs were, witnessing the amazing talents of the other choirs and just seeing how we were all unified by our love for gospel music.
Our choir’s dedication and hard work paid off and We poured our hearts into the performance, from the choreography to our harmonies. I’m so proud that we were able to bring home the trophy. However, our achievement was not entirely our own; all praise must go to God. ”
The choir has worked hard: many congratulations on their success!
Congratulations to the University String Sinfonia, who on Saturday headed to the Market Town of Kings, to perform at St Mary’s, Faversham, as part of the Coffee Concert series.
Directed by Floriane Peycelon, the players gave a spirited reading of Arensky’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky (a theme most often heard in the carol ‘A Crown of Roses’), followed by a performance of John Woolrich’s evocative Ulysses Wakes, featuring postgraduate Music Performance Scholar reading Chemistry, Kira Hilton, as soloist.
Woolrich’s hushed, agile responses to Monteverdi cast a shimmering spell as it lifted into the church’s generous acoustic, and the composer, who was present for the performance, talked before the piece about his music and the spirit behind his reimagining music of the past.
The String Sinfonia is back in action on Friday 31 March in Colyer-Fergusson Hall; more details here.
Congratulations to Minerva Voices and organist John Wyatt, who yesterday sang Choral Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral. Conducted by Your Loyal Correspondent, the choir presented contemporary settings by Jeremy Woodside and Justin Breame as part of the music sung during the service.
The service was livestreamed on the Cathedral’s YouTube channel, and can be viewed below:
(The choir begins processing in just after the four-minute mark)
Well done to all the students involved; the Choir will be in action again at the start of June, singing as part of the choral concert in the Cathedral Crypt on Friday 2 June as part of Summer Music Week.
Many thanks to the illustrious Delta Saxophone Quartet, who gave the first of this term’s Lunchtime Concerts in the concert-hall yesterday, and who then stayed on to work with some of the students exploring music both on and off the printed page…
Congratulations to the members of the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, on a splendidly seasonal concert last month. Part of the Anniversary Weekend celebrating ten years since Colyer-Fergusson first opened its doors,A Christmas Cornucopiabrought the choir and orchestra together (including many musical alumni) in music by Tchaikovsky, Handel, Buxtehude and Malcolm Arnold.
Pictured are the musicians in rehearsal and performance, including the post-concert reception in the foyer afterwards with guests, Music donors and alumni.
The Music department hosted players from the Glyndebourne Touring Orchestra and Pit Perfect Scheme for an afternoon performance and workshop, before we took a group of student musicians to see the production of La Bohème at the Marlowe that evening. Here, final-year Forensic Science student and cellist, Lois Cocker, looks back on her experience throughout the day.
Last Wednesday I had a fun day, full of music, which I was able to be a part of thanks to being part of the University String Sinfonia. The Glyndebourne touring orchestra visited Canterbury and put on a lunchtime concert in the Colyer-Fergusson hall which was incredible to watch. After the concert I was then part of the workshop where some musicians from the orchestra coached the String Sinfonia as part of their Pit Perfect scheme. I play the cello and so was lucky enough to sit next to one of the pro cellists who was so lovely and friendly! The professionals from Glyndebourne gave us great advice which we all took on board and will definitely use in our playing in the future.
After the workshop, some of us went into town to get some pizza before heading out to watch the Glyndebourne opera – La Bohème at the Marlowe Theatre, which we were lucky enough to attend thanks to being treated by the music department here at Kent. This was my second ever opera I had seen. (Last year I was able to see my first ever opera with the String Sinfonia, The Rake’s Progress which was also a Glyndebourne production). La Bohème was such a beautiful opera which I enjoyed so much- it even made me cry! The music from the orchestra was incredible, I almost forgot that it was all being performed live as it was immaculate! I’m so glad I was able to experience this.
Before I had ever watched an opera, I always assumed it wasn’t really my cup of tea, but after now seeing two operas I can’t wait to see more! I was so engrossed watching La Bohème, it was comedic and also emotional. The voices of the opera singers were so beautiful. After the performance we had the opportunity of speaking to some of the musicians again. I was able to learn about their musical upbringings and their musical careers which I found so interesting and inspiring.
All-in-all it was an amazing day and I feel so lucky to have been part of the experience. It’s a massive part of my university experience that I will cherish forever!
With thanks to Chris Stones (Head of Tour Development), Jonathan Tunnell (Tour Orchestra Manager) and all the visiting Glyndebourne staff and players.
First-year Philosophy, Religion and Ethics student and musician, Sara Davies, reflects on the recent opportunity to work alongside the Chan-Jack Duo on their recent visit to perform in Colyer-Fergusson as part of our Lunchtime Concert series.
On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of watching the superbly talented Chan-Jack Duo play their EP Air as part of the series of lunchtime concerts in Colyer-Fergusson Hall.
This included a 50 minute set of five songs that perfectly blended the east and the west whilst incorporating a multitude of genres from rock, pop, classical, Latin and many more.
I was totally enthralled by the immense talent of both Laure Chan (on violin) and William Jack (on cello and guitar). Their music, a fusion of different cultures, was colourful, emotional and transformative.
After the concert, I had the opportunity to participate in an improvisation workshop with the duo, where we created a fusion that revolved around the pentatonic scale. We explored the different ways in which our instruments could make non-melodic sounds, and I was able to use the body of my guitar to create amazing percussive lines alongside the other instruments.
Towards the end of the workshop, I had the honour of performing one of my original songs to the duo which was amazing! The support and feedback from both of them was particularly help as well!!
All in all, I have to say the Chan-Jack Duo have definitely been my favourite concert here at the university and the opportunity to work alongside them is something I will remember forever.
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.