Category Archives: Summer Music

Summer music events at the University

Special guests to appear in Big Band Gala at the Gulbenkian

The University Big Band, conducted by Ian Swatman, will be joined by some very special guests when it returns to the Gulbenkian Theatre for its Gala evening  on Wednesday 6 June, at 7.30pm.

Appearing alongside the Big Band is British saxophonist Simon Bates, pianist Paul ‘Harry’ Harris, bassist with Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Dave Swift and Mike Osborn (drums) in a rousing finale to the University’s musical year.

Kent's First Lady of Jazz: Ruby Mutlow

Conductor of the Big Band, Ian Swatman, is particularly excited about this year’s extravaganza. ‘’Simon Bates is regarded as one of the country’s finest saxophonists, and to have him appear with his own quartet is tremendous. All the players in their own right have illustrious careers; Dave Swift is in the middle of Jools Holland’s UK tour with the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, and is fitting this date in especially amidst his tight schedule. Drummer Mike Osborn has become a regular and spectacular guest with the University Concert and Big Bands, and the combination of all these musicians, together with our own very talented singer Ruby Mutlow and all the University band musicians, is a very exciting prospect!’’

The event is part of the University’s Summer Music, a five-day festival of events both on campus and in Canterbury to celebrate the end of another year of music-making and the end of the academic year. The festival also includes the Music Scholars in a lunchtime concert at the Gulbenkian, the Sirocco Ensemble and Brass Group in a Lunchtime at the Labyrinth, Chamber and Cecilian Choirs at St Mildred’s Church, and the annual Music Society Sunday concert: including cream teas!

Details about all the events, as well as tickets for the Big Band Gala, online here.

More about saxophonist Simon Bates online here.

The Last Five Years: Music Theatre Society in action once again

Members of the University Music Theatre Society, not content with resting on their laurels after a tremendously successful spring production of ‘Into the Woods’ at the Whitstable Playhouse, are back once again this term with two events, the first of which is next week, ‘The Last Five Years.’

Production poster
Click to view

Jason Robert Brown`s emotionally powerful and intimate musical is about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The narrative follows Jamie’s story chronologically from start to finish, while seeing Cathy’s in reverse order; the two characters meet only once during the course of the show – at their wedding.

Director Lucie Nash, who’s also starring as Cathy in the performance, is very excited at the prospect. “”It’s a must-see for lovers of contemporary music or theatre everywhere,’’ she enthuses, ‘’a beautifully written musical with an unusual dramatic twist.’’’ Anyone who saw the Society’s production of ‘Into the Woods’ (reviewed in a previous article here) will remember Lucie’s scene-stealing appearance as the Baker’s Wife in the highly accomplished production of Sondheim’s musical last term.

Alongside Lucie as Jamie is the excellent Richard Simpson, a former member of the University Chamber Choir last seen in tremendous form as the Baker in ‘Into the Woods’ last term, whilst the musical direction is once again in the assured hands of conductor Adam Abo Henriksen, who also oversaw the musical side of the Sondheim at the Whitstable Playhouse.

The performances are on Wednesday 30th May, Thursday 31st May and Friday 1st June, all at 8pm, in Darwin Lecture Theatre 3, Darwin College, University of Kent, Canterbury.

Tickets are a mere £5, with all profits in support of the Dogs Trust; find out more on their Facebook page here.

There will be a final flourish from the entire Music Theatre Society on Saturday 9 June, when it returns to the Gulbenkian Theatre for ‘There’s No Business Like Show-Business!‘ as part of the University’s Summer Music celebrations (details online here), under the direction of Lisa Crowhurst. Catch them if you can!

Summer events diary now published online!

I’m delighted to say that details of our Summer Music events here at the University have just been published online.

Summer MusicTaking place from Wednesday 6 – Sunday 10 June,  Summer Music celebrates the end of the academic year with a rich feast of musical events, including a Scholars’ Lunchtime Concert; the annual Big Band Gala at the Gulbenkian; Lunchtime at the Labyrinth; a two-choirs choral concert at St Mildred’s, Canterbury; the Musical Theatre Society; and the traditional summer Music Society concert, complete with balloons and cream-teas!

Click here to view all that’s happening, as University Music provides a vibrant conclusion to another year of music-making.