Tag Archives: Camerata

Concerts round-up: Chamber Choir at Wye and Peter and the Wolf

It was a busy weekend for the Music department; on Friday, the University Chamber Choir travelled out to perform at Wye Parish Church, at which the choir premiered three movements from Between Worlds by composer / violinist Anna Phoebe as part of an exhilarating programme.

And on Sunday afternoon, we were delighted to welcome back various alumni musicians as the University Camerata came together to perform Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Senior Lecturer in Drama, Will Wollen.

(l-r): Familiar faces from yesteryear, alumni Charlotte Webb, Lydia Cheng, Cory Adams and Jasper Webb

Now to get on with the rest of this week…!

Feeling the Cold: lunchtime with Vivaldi and Purcell

The University Camerata and Cecilian Choir teamed up for yesterday’s final lunchtime concert of the term, with Vivaldi’s Winter and Purcell’s ‘Frost Scene’ from King Arthur.

University Camerata with Jeremy Ovenden

Soloist in the Vivaldi, Jeremy Ovenden brought out the brittle, biting aspect of the piece in a strong, confident reading, and the Camerata responded with suitable fragility in the sul ponticello passages.

Making her debut at the Gulbenkian, Music Scholar Paris Noble cast a bright flame as Cupid, scolding the Cold Genius (a welcome return for alumnus Piran Legg) and bringing on a chorus of Cold Revellers to warm them up and spread love throughout the arctic countryside.

In rehearsal: Piran Legg (bass), Paris Noble (soprano) with the Camerata and Cecilian Choir

The Cecilian Choir, looking suitably chilly in winter hats and coats (there had been a fire-alarm that morning, so the musicians ended up waiting outside the Theatre for a while – true method-acting, as one of the altos wryly observed), shambled on before casting aside their winter attire for a heroic closing chorus.

Pictured also is the fine harpischord brought in for the concert (Christmas truly came early for me this year), a Ruckers-Hemsch copy by Ian Tucker, based on an instrument from 1763, which had a soundboard decorated identically to one owned by Handel. Many thanks to Edmund Pickering for delivering and tuning the instrument.

Tucker, after Ruckers-Hemsch

Bravo to all involved: a concert to ‘warm’ the heart…

(Photos: Chris Gray.)

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Sponsors of the Lunchtime Concert series

Was It Good For You: Christiane Litman

Continuing the series profiling musical alumni of the University of Kent. This week, Christiane Litman.

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Christiane Litman
Crossing the border: Christiane Litman

When were you at Kent ?

From Sept 2002 – July 2005

What subject did you study ?

BA (Hons) in English Culture and Language/ Comparative Literature.

What occupation are you now engaged in ?

Primary School Teacher (I was music coordinator in my previous school)

If music is not your profession, do you participate in any musical experiences now ?

Yes, I sing in a church choir, a university chorus (Glyndwr in Wrexham, North Wales) and a professional chamber choir called Voices of the North. I also play the viola in the Chester Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, I help run the junior choristers in my church.

How were you involved in music whilst at Kent ?

I played the viola in the Orchestra, as well as in the Camerata during my degree. During my first year I was also part of a student-run string quartet.

What did you gain from your University music experience, and has this helped you in any way since leaving Kent ?

It gave me a circle of friends which was unrelated to just my degree studies. Through my involvement in music I also met my husband in Canterbury during my first year. Having played in the orchestra, following my degree I joined the Maidstone Symphony Orchestra for a while and then rejoined the university orchestra for a couple of concerts before relocating to North Wales.

What was your most memorable musical experience at Kent ?

Playing the children’s concerts with the Camerata- always great fun and the children’s faces when they came to “try out” at the end are unforgettable. Particularly their confusion when I explained that my instrument was not a violin!

What would you say to current musical students at the University ?
Have fun! And if you get the chance, also get involved in music outside of uni. There’s lots going on in Canterbury and the more you can do, the wider your experience is going to be.
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If you’re an alumnus and would like to be featured, get in touch via the Music Department website: we’d love to hear from you!

Was It Good For You: Mick Norman.

Continuing the series profiling musical alumni of the University of Kent. This week, Mick Norman.

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Mick Norman
Still pulling strings: Mick Norman

When were you at Kent ?

I started my studies at Kent in 2004 and graduated in 2007 but I’m still here…albeit as a member of staff! 

What subject did you study ?

Law 

What occupation are you now engaged in ?

I am currently working as the Faculty Learning Technologist for Social Sciences at the University of Kent…which in English means that I support Schools at the University using technology to enhance learning and teaching in the classroom and online.  It’s a complete departure from my degree but I absolutely love it! 

If music is not your profession, do you participate in any musical experiences now ?

I’m currently a member of the University Symphony Orchestra, playing second violin, as well as performing with the University Camerata (Chamber Orchestra) and I occasionally play for local choirs when they require an orchestra. 

I also play electric violin in my band, Belleville (http://www.bellevillemusic.co.uk), and for my Church worship band. 

How were you involved in music whilst at Kent ?

As well as playing for the University Symphony Orchestra and Camerata, I was also awarded a bursary which allowed me to continue having lessons with some excellent teachers. In my final year I was the Concert Assistant for the lunchtime concerts. 

I was also part of the Music Society committee for the duration of my studies, as joint Social Secretary for one year and Publicity Officer for my final year.  This involved helping to organise many musical events, including the Cathedral concerts and the first ever (and subsequent) ArtsFest! 

What did you gain from your University music experience, and has this helped you in any way since leaving Kent ?

The wide range musical opportunities at Kent mean that music can become such a huge part of your life and your University experience as a whole.  Without the musical activities I took part in, my University experience would have been very different one so I think the most important thing I gained from my University music experience is an amazing three years at Kent that I will look back on with fond memories for the rest of my life. 

Has my University music experience helped me since leaving Kent?  Well, you could say that I haven’t really left, but in the spirit of the question I would say that my University music experience helps me every single day.  In fact, I have so many examples that I’m going to write a separate post for the Music Matters blog! 

What was your most memorable musical experience at Kent ?

I’m going to cheat and claim two most memorable moments, my first being  Verdi’s Requiem in Canterbury Cathedral which was an amazing experience and one I’ll never forget: Full Symphony Orchestra, off-stage trumpets high up in the organ loft, 200+ chorus and a bass drum taller than me!  The second is watching the fireworks display over the Cathedral with friends after the Prom concert at ArtsFest and then sitting on the grass between Rutherford and Eliot until the early hours of the morning. 

What would you say to current musical students at the University ?

Get involved in everything you can!  You’ll make some great friends along the way and have memories you’ll be looking back on for years to come.

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If you’re an alumnus and would like to be featured, get in touch via the Music Department website: we’d love to hear from you!