As those of you who follow us on Twitter will have seen, last term we took a trip around the University of Kent’s Monopoly board, commissioned as part of our fiftieth-anniversary celebrations. Now you can experience the entire odyssey in eighty seconds…
Here at Music Matters, your loyal correspondent is of course utterly dedicated to bringing you all the latest news from Colyer-Fergusson, heading fearlessly off in pursuit of the hottest gossip and most recent events.
In this spirit of dashing journalism, your loyal correspondent bravely set foot aboard the Kent Wheel yesterday, and was lofted into the skies over the University campus, armed with only a smartphone and an indomitable spirit, ready to undergo the most testing of physical hardships just to bring you, gentle Reader, another exciting, white-knuckle experience courtesy of the Music department.
It’s Open Day today, and we’re here in the Colyer-Fergusson Building until 3pm; if you want to come and look around the concert-hall and practice facilities, find out about all the music-making that takes place at the University, or want to know more about our Music Scholarships – come and say hi!
11am; we’ve seen visitors from Canterbury, Buckinghamshire, Vienna and Munich so far this morning, testament to both the local and international appeal of the University!
12pm; midday, and there’s been a flurry of visitors to the music building; bassoon, string-players, pianists, singers, a drummer, a flautist – not to mention oud and sitar! 2015 is shaping up to be an eclectic musical year if they all come to the University next year…exciting…
12.30pm ; the record for the Visitor-from-the-Farthest-Flung-Shore award appears to be going to the most recent visitor to the music building, who has come from Singapore: welcome!
Continuing with the jazz thread running through Summer Music Week next month, the new University Dance Orchestra brings the spirit of the 1930s to the Colyer-Fergusson Hall on Wednesday 11 June; to that end, Captain Murgatroyd has risen from the trombone section to create a Spotify playlist of tunes that we’ll be playing, to get you in the mood (d’you see what I did, there…)
Get your passports and boarding passes at the ready and join the University Music Theatre Society on a thrilling, whistle-stop tour of the world, including songs from Chicago, Lion King, Oklahoma, Annie and many more this weekend, as they embark on their showcase and extend the invitation to Come Fly With Me.
Performances are on Saturday 16th November at 8 pm, and Sunday 17th November at 4 pm / 8 pm in Darwin Missing Link; tickets are available from the Mandela building and are only £5 (the cheapest holiday yet!)
Fasten your seat belts, put your tray tables in the upright position and prepare for Come Fly With Me, as this is one journey you won’t want to miss. Here’s some of the Society in rehearsal this week…
The written and spoken word is celebrated next week, as Canterbury comes alive to the Wise Words festival.
Back for a second year, running from Thursday 12 – Sunday 15 September, the festival sees poets such as Sir Andrew Motion reading from his new collection, The Customs House; the Bard of Barnsley and presenter of Radio 3’s The Verb, Ian McMillan, will be here next Friday, in collaboration with composer Luke Carver Goss.
Three of the University of Kent’s poets from the School of Creative Writing will also be participating; award-winning poet Nancy Gaffield will be leading a workshop on poetry and the journey, in the wake of her prize-winning collection Tokaido Road, and Dorothy Lehane and Patricia Debney will also be featuring in the festival.
Canterbury Laureate Dan Simpson will be presenting a crowd-sourced poem celebrating the city, and there’s also an array of events for families and children, many of which are free to attend. Poets and story-tellers will be popping up in surprising locations around Canterbury, including in a yurt in the Franciscan Gardens; or take a punt on the river to explore myths, legends and fairy-tales in the company of Emily Parrish. Join poet John Siddiquefree each morning at Browns Coffeehouse for his daily journal-writing session; the Three Cities Garden will be full of mystery, wonder and story-telling; or re-discover the lost art of exploration with explorer, navigator and broadcaster Tristan Gooley.
Find out more about next week online here; promising to be a festival that “re-awakens wonder and encourages curiosity,” you won’t be disappointed.
From the opening, hypnotic circling of Atlas to the final, concise and vibrant rendition of Master & Margarita, jazz afficionados should grab the chance to hear Trish Clowes’ recent gig at King’s Place, broadcast on Jazz Line Up on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday. Regular readers (yes, both of you…) will have seen I’ve written about Trish before here, and a couple of features over on the Big Band blog here, since hearing her burst onto the scene at the ‘BBC Presents’ stage at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival back in 2011.
Trish is currently enjoying the status of this year’s Radio 3 New Generation Jazz Artist, and the gig showcases both familiar tracks and some new pieces. Her ear for sinuous, lyrical improvisation is always apparent, whilst the new Chorale is an understated exploration of the ballad form.
The quintet features the superlative drumming of James Maddren, and the dextrous pianistic skills of Gwilym Simcock (himself a former Radio 3 New Generation Jazz Artist), who delivers a scintillating solo-for-the-age in the final piece.
Here’s a live version of Atlas from last year:
Catch the King’s Place gig on iPlayer until next Monday online here.
I’m delighted to say that the details for Summer Music Week (Mon 3 – Sun 9 June) have just been published live.
The week-long events programme opens in rousing style with music for brass and percussion at lunchtime on Monday 3 June, and continues throughout the week with a recital from some of the Music Scholars; a day of jazz, culminating in the annual bun-fest that is the Big Band Gala with special guests; string music is the theme on Thursday, including the String Sinfonia; Friday celebrates choral music with a lunchtime of a cappella vocal music, whilst the University Chamber and Cecilian Choirs come together in the evening concert; and the whole week, nay, the whole musical year, reaches its climax on the Sunday, in a combined afternoon concert with the University Chorus, Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band and Chamber Choir.
Find out all that’s happening that week, including many free events, on the website here.
Just because it’s June…
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.