After so long without them, it’s genuinely exciting to be back with musical events as the Christmas season starts to unfold.
The Cecilian Choir, comprising students, staff and alumni launched the Advent season with a sequence of plainsong and carols at St Michael’s Church, Hernhill, a meditative candlelit event interspersed with periods of silent reflection; there was a wonderfully atmospheric moment during one such moment, when the church clock struck on the hour at eight o’clock.
This year’s Chamber Choir, Minerva Voices, returned to the Cathedral on Monday 6 December, for the first time since December 2019, to sing for the University Carol Service; always a special event in the university calendar, drawing its community together in a modified, COVID-safe manner that was nonetheless a very welcome opportunity to come together at this time of the year. Congratulations to final-year Psychology student and Music Award Holder, Felicity Bourdillon (above, fifth from the right), whose solo verse to open ‘Once in royal David’s city’ lifted clear into the Cathedral Nave at the start of the service.
And last night, members of the String Sinfonia were in action in a fearless concert showcasing the versatility of music for string orchestra, including Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro and some light-footed folksong arrangements by John Rutter.
We’ve still a week of events to go before the term ends; but it’s great to be back.
The University Chamber Choir began its performance series last Friday, with a sequence of music and readings for Advent at the church of St Damian & St Cosmus, in Blean.
Our thanks to the team at Blean church for making us so welcome, and helping us to launch the beginning of the Advent season. Next stop for the Choir: the University Carol Service in Canterbury Cathedral…
Wednesday’s lunchtime concert sees the continuing #Britten100 celebrations from the award-winning Kent College Choristers, as they bring his Friday Afternoons for voices and piano to the Colyer-Fergusson Hall at 1.10pm.
Then, on Friday evening at 7.45pm, the Colyer-Fergusson Hall hosts a return visit from the Brodsky Quartet with its contribution to our tripartite centenary observance with music by Britten, Verdi and Wagner; there’s also music by Frank Bridge, Britten’s teacher, on the programme.
Finally, also on Friday evening, the University Chamber Choir will be marking the beginning of the Advent season with a sequence of carols and readings at the Church of St Damian and St Cosmus, Blean, in what seems to be becoming an annual tradition! Woven around the great Advent antiphons is a collection of carols old and new, poems and prose exploring the meaning of the Advent season.
Plenty to celebrate this week. More details on our online events diary here.
The months have reached November, and it’s the start of a busy period for music at the University.
Over the next few weeks, we’ve lots of events coming up, of which the the first is a lunchtime recital by the internationally-acclaimed pianist, Benjamin Frith, returning to the Gulbenkian with Mussorgsky’s mighty Pictures at an Exhibition.
Then it’s time to raise your voice for charity, as the Gulbenkian opens its doors to the annual ‘Sing for Children in Need;’ turn up with a donation and sing Handel’s rousing ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ in aid of a very good cause.
Towards the end of the month, the Chamber Choir will launch the Advent season in their ‘Music for Advent‘ concert in Blean; a sequence of music and readings to begin the Advent period, with proceeds for the concert in aid of Blean Church Restoration Appeal and Blean School Playground Improvements.
This Sunday, the Symphony Orchestra has its weekend workshop in preparation for its December concert with the Chorus. Also this week the Cecilian Choir forms for the first time this year, as we begin our rehearsals for the ‘Cold Concert‘ at the start of next month.
Details of each of these nearer the time, but in the meantime you can see the full brochure on-line here. Get ready for some exciting events to come…
(And just to whet your appetite, here’s Evgeny Kissin in a section of the solo-piano incarnation of Pictures at an Exhibition. If you’re excited by this, wait until you hear Frith’s performance…)
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.