Huge gratitude to percussionist and award-winning photographer Molly Hollman, who, went not diligently playing percussion in the orchestra on Saturday, took time during the rehearsal at Canterbury Cathedral to capture the atmosphere of the moment in these fabulous photographs.
Pictured here are University Chorus and Orchestra in action, rehearsing Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest, ahead of a marvellous performance later that night.
Our thanks to Molly for permission to share these fantastic shots; all this and playing percussion too…!
Last weekend saw the University Chorus and Orchestra come together for a blazing concert of Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony and Dan Forrest’s epic Requiem for the Living, for the annual Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert.
Here are photos of the combined forces in action rehearsing on the morning of the concert.
Tremendously sad to hear of the passing of Jazz Giant, legendary saxophonist Wayne Shorter, at the age of 89. whether as side-man in the Second Great Miles Davis Quintet, co-founder of fusion giants Weather Report, working with Joni Mitchell, or forging his own solo albums such as Speak No Evil and Maiden Voyage, Shorter’s unique sound has been creating new paths in jazz since the 60s. Songs like ‘Footprints’ have become popular jazz standards, or another Shorter original, the achingly lyrical ‘Infant Eyes’ from Speak No Evil;
Here’s Shorter weaving his unique magic alongside Joni Mitchell on the latter’s Mingus in Mingus’ own ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat:’
Listen to his heart-breakingly beautiful, lyrical playing on Miles’ timeless album In a Silent Way:
or his fiercely inventive sound on ‘Havona’ from Heavy Weather this weekend to commemorate a true Jazz Giant.
As part of the continuing ten-year anniversary of Colyer-Fergusson, the Music department continues to explore new musical frontiers in commissioning a piece from composer Russell Hepplewhite; an innovative take on the Magnificat, written for the University Cecilian Choir and string orchestra.
Bringing the Song of Mary together with new poetry by Nancy Gaffield, Emeritus Professor in the School of Creative Writing, the choir has been working on the piece in rehearsals, and we were delighted to welcome the composer to the concert-hall this week as the choir worked together with Russell.
It’s always a nervous experience to rehearse a piece with the composer present, but there was a tremendous rapport between the choir of students and staff and Russell, as the group continued to develop the piece with direct Composer Input. Heroically, Russell volunteered to be the repetiteur for the rehearsal, and choir, composer and poet spent a lively session bringing the piece to life.
Before the rehearsal, Russell and Your Loyal Correspondent filmed a conversation about the commission, about the process of writing a piece that combines a well-known sacred text with contemporary poetry, and techniques of writing for voices and strings – the interview will appear soon!
Pictured are Russell and Nancy with the Cecilian Choir; the piece receives its premiere performance in Colyer-Fergusson on Friday 31 March; tickets 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…
Our upper-voices chamber choir, Minerva Voices, makes the pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral on Weds 15 February to sing the service of Choral Evensong.
Comprising students from across the University community and Kent and Medway Medical School, Minerva Voices will sing some gloriously colourful contemporary settings as part of the service, including pieces by Jeremy Woodside and Justin Breame; details are in the Music Listings on the Cathedral website here.
Last heard in action singing part of Britten’s Ceremony of Carols in December, the choir is sounding in excellent form, and the service promises to be a wonderful occasion.
The service begins at 5.30pm, and will also be livestreamed on the Cathedral’s YouTube website below.
(Update: the choir begins processing in just after four minutes in to the broadcast!).
The University Cecilian Choir has been hard at work rehearsing a brand-new setting of the Magnificat, the Song of Mary, which the Music department commissioned as part of its year-long anniversary celebrations of the Colyer-Fergusson Building’s ten years. Last night, the Choir was delighted to welcome poet Nancy Gaffield to the rehearsal; Nancy has written four new poems which are interspersed with the text of the Magnificat, with music written by Russell Hepplewhite for mixed choir and string orchestra.
The new piece is an exciting blend of high energy, driving rhythms, lyrical melody and sumptuous harmonic colours, particularly in the sections setting Nancy’s poetry; each of the four poems is written in response to a famous piece of art representing stages in the life of Christ, including Michelangelo’s The Birth of Adam, Ghirandaio’s The Visitation, and Piero della Francesca’s The Baptism of Christ. Here, the music revels in the same richly-colourful textures as each of the paintings; last night was an opportunity for Nancy to talk with the choir about her poems, the relationship to the paintings, and to hear some of the piece coming to life in rehearsal.
The first performance takes place in Colyer-Fergusson Hall on Friday 31 March, with a second performance on Friday 9 June as part of this year’s Summer Music Week; details and tickets for the premiere performance online here. It should be quite something…
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.