Category Archives: Legacy for the future

Donations, legacies, bequests and other financial support for the future of the Music department

Generous gift to support extra-curricular music at the University: the Ed Tyler Fund for Flute Scholarships

Thanks to the generosity of a thoughtful donor, the Music department is incredibly grateful to receive a donation made in memory of the late alumna, Edwina Tyler, in support of extra-curricular music-making.

Known as Ed, she was a keen musician and flautist, reading German and French at Kent between 1970 -74, going on after further qualifications into a career in teaching in Worcestershire. Particularly fond of her years at Kent, she returned to visit from time to time, including the University’s 50th anniversary reunion events in 2015. In her memory, the substantial gift is given specifically to provide opportunities for flautists taking part in extra-curricular music at Kent, and will support annual instrumental lessons for an outstanding flute-playing Music Performance Scholar, as well as the Flute Choir and other opportunities for players alongside their course of studies.

Concert Band flautists backstage prior to performing in Colyer-Fergusson Hall

It’s a wonderful way to support the musical life of students during their time at Kent, and will allow a particularly gifted Music Performance Scholar to develop their performing experience. Much of our extra-curricular music-making is funded thanks to the generosity of donors and supporters, who recognise the value that taking part in music offers as part of student life; rehearsals, performances and scholarship lessons do so much to enhance the lives of musical students who come to the University, and want to continue their musical experience whilst they are studying all manner of subjects. This particular gift will allow us to offer plenty of practical opportunities, both to the E H Tyler Music Performance Scholar as well as to other flute-players, helping them to flourish musically whilst they are here.

The new Scholarship will be launched in September.

Legacy to the Music Department to build choral collection in memory of Cynthia Hawes

The Music department is very grateful to have received a legacy from the late Cynthia Hawes, one of the University’s very first employees, who passed away shortly before Christmas in 2020.

Cynthia Hawes

Cynthia was Secretary to Vice-Chancellors Geoffrey Templeman and David Ingram, subsequently transferring to the Graduate Studies Office as an Assistant Registrar. An enthusiastic choral singer, Cynthia was a long-time member of University Chorus, regularly singing with Chorus in concerts in Eliot Hall (prior to the opening of the Colyer-Fergusson Building) and Canterbury Cathedral, and also sang with Canterbury Choral Society; Cynthia sang with Chorus up until 2018.

University Chorus and Orchestra performing in Canterbury Cathedral in March, 2010

Thanks to her generous legacy, the Music department has founded the Cynthia Hawes Collection, in which her Fund will be used to support the continued activities of Chorus by purchasing vocal scores for the choir to use in its rehearsals and performances.

It’s a lovely gesture from a committed member of Chorus, who was a regular performer with the choir. Thanks to this wonderful legacy, Chorus will be able to build a library of vocal scores for the choir to use, and each time we sing from them, the choir will be performing in her memory; a very special way to commemorate and reflect Cynthia’s long-standing commitment to music here at Kent.

Read more about about Cynthia here.

Supporting an international student musician: Aline Kellenberger

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.

The Symphony Orchestra rehearsing before the concert, conducted by Dan Harding. Photo: Jeni Martin

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.

Members of the Symphony Orchestra backstage before the performance

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.

Aline Kellenberger, University of Bern

The Barry Wright legacy: a generous gift to enhance the musical experiences of the future

The Music Department is very grateful to have received part of a legacy left to the University by Barry Wright, an alumnus of the University of Kent.

Barry completed a Diploma in Christian Theology and Ministry as a mature student in the School of European and Cultural Learning, graduating in 2003. During his lifetime, he supported the University as a donor to the Kent Opportunity Fund and supported the Colyer-Fergusson Building, attending the opening event of the award-winning facility in December 2012.

An enthusiastic audience at the Gala concert to open the Colyer-Fergusson Building in December 2012

The Music Department delivers a vibrant extra-curricular music provision as part of the experience of life at Kent, ranging from large-scale ensembles such as Chorus, Orchestra, Concert Band and Big Band to chamber ensembles, as part of a rich programme of performances and events each academic year. The end of the academic year is marked by the annual Summer Music Week, a popular series of musical events to mark the end of the University year, involving concerts both in Colyer-Fergusson Hall as well as in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral and the Memorial Bandstand at Deal.

“Barry’s legacy will greatly enhance the lives of the musical students who pass through the University of Kent,” said Head of Music Performance, Dan Harding “as one of the bequests that generously support the Music department’s activities each year; from concerts on campus and around the region, workshops with professional musicians, exploring new repertoire and keeping the department pianos and instruments in tip-top condition, the legacy is a wonderful gift that will allow the Music department to continue to develop and enrich the lives of students, staff and members of the local community who take part in its activities each academic year.”

The annual Summer Gala concert in Colyer-Fergusson Hall

The University remains grateful to Barry for his generosity during his lifetime and in planning his legacy to enhance the lives of future participants in Kent’s extra-curricular musical life. It’s thanks to support from all its donors that the Music Department in particular is able to continue to provide uplifting experiences to all those who pass through the doors of Colyer-Fergusson.

Seat of learning: dedicating the David Humphreys memorial bench

A lovely occasion this morning, which saw the dedication of the memorial bench to the late David Humphreys, a wonderful supporter of music-making at the University, and whose legacy continues to support the University Chamber Choir’s annual concert in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral.

(l-r): Peter Coleman, Joseph Bryant, Dan Harding, Floris Claassens, Marek Iwaniak; Carmen Mackey, Alice Shires, Helen Sotillo, Fleur Sumption(lir): Peter Coleman, Joseph Bryant, Dan Harding, Floris Claassens, Marek Iwaniak; Alice Shires, Helen Sotillo, Fleur Sumption

The bench, which overlooks the historic Cathedral city from the hill between Eliot and Rutherford Colleges, commands perhaps the finest view of Canterbury, and was a favourite spot of David’s. Members of his family were present at the occasion, at which some of this year’s Chamber Choir sang Tallis’ If Ye Love Me, one of David’s favourite choral works.

Members of David’s family together with staff from the Development Office, Estates, and the Chamber Choir

Our continued thanks to David and his family for their terrific support, which provides a wonderful experience for members of the Choir each generation.

David Humphreys with the University Chamber Choir at the Crypt Concert in 2012