Continuing the series profiling musical alumni of the University of Kent. This week, 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 ?
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.
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!