Two days of music-making crowned the Music department’s celebrations as part of the University’s 50th anniversary weekend, and saw musical alumni returning to Kent to relive their musical experiences, this time transplanted to the sonorous surrounding of Colyer-Fergusson.
Chorus, Chamber Choir, and Concert and Big Bands were well represented, alongside smaller chamber ensembles including a woodwind trio, wind ensembles, and a cappella vocal quartet, each day meeting to rehearse but – more importantly! – to catch up over coffee, share memories and find out where Life After Kent had taken each other.
A showcase gave the opportunity for informal performances of repertoire put together over the course of the day; a drinks reception late on Saturday afternoon saw the foyer abuzz, and there was a lively air on the Sunday as an impromptu jazz gig on the foyer-stage from General Harding’s Tomfoolery brought the weekend to a festive conclusion. There was even some spontaneous two-piano jazz in the foyer to entertain visitors. We even managed to photograph some of the former Music Society Presidents from 1992 onwards (as well as the present incumbent, the irrepressible Joe Prescott), although as they weren’t all present on the same day, it took two group photos!
Terrific to see many faces from yesteryear; there was a decisive will to make it an annual occasion – watch this space…!
With Summer Music Week set to begin this Sunday, we’ve a week-long series of musical events celebrating the end of the musical year here at Kent; one of the highlights will be a performance on Friday 12 June of Ringing Changes, a Music department commission written especially for the University’s fiftieth-anniversary celebrations this year.
Part of the celebrations focus on the creativity of members of the University community, and Ringing Changes is a genre-busting, multi-media experience written for the University Chamber and Cecilian Choirs, piano, harp and electronics by composer Matthew King, to words by Patricia Debney from the School of Creative Writing, inspired by landscape photography by Deputy Director of Research Services, Phil Ward. The piece combines live performers with a shimmering electronic tapestry that will pick up and re-imagine live sounds captured during the performance, creating a sonic stained-glass window that responds to and refracts the music as the piece unfolds; during each electronic interlude. each photograph that has inspired a response from both poet and composer will be projected above the heads of the performers
The first half of the concert includes choral music by Tallis, Lassus, Schütz and Monteverdi’s joyous Beatus Vir, and it’s very exciting to be combining great figures of the choral tradition with a piece that brings that same tradition right up to date. It’s what universities are about – exploring new territory, creative collaboration, new directions; the piece promises to be a landmark addition to the University’s fiftieth-year celebrations and to Summer Music Week itself.
Read more about the Ringing Changes project on the blog here; details and tickets for the concert on Friday 12 June here.
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.
On to the next one…
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.