Tag Archives: cathedral

Let there be Light…

The whole of the Creation process, from the gradual emergence out of Chaos through first Light to Man and Woman, will take place in Canterbury Cathedral tomorrow in considerably less time than the original Seven Days the Lord took.

The University Chorus, Orchestra and soloists will render the whole series of events for you at one sitting (well, two, if you count the Interval) on Saturday at 7.30pm in the Nave.

Tickets and details here: think of us all early tomorrow morning, as the logistical process gets underway at 9am as we move instruments and stands down into Canterbury in preparation for the morning rehearsal…

On a Haydn to nothing with the cellos ?

As the cellists know, it’s green-light for this weekend’s all-day rehearsal on Haydn’s The Creation  with the Choir and Orchestra ahead of the Cathedral Concert a week on Saturday.

No strings attached

Sunday will see the combined forces gather in Eliot Hall to rehearse together for the first time, in preparation for the concert; next week sees a particularly busy time for the University’s musicians, with rehearsals on Monday, Thursday and Friday; not to mention the rehearsal in the Cathedral itself on the morning of the day.

Details of the concert on our online diary here. It should prove to be a memorable occasion…


Full steam ahead for tomorrow’s Cathedral extravaganza

With less than thirty-six hours to go before the Chorus and Orchestra storm the Cathedral (musically, that is) for the annual Colyer-Fergusson Concert, all systems are powering ahead.

Chorus of approval: photo credit Robert Berry

Final rehearsals this week, including tonight, before rehearsing in situ tomorrow, when the Chorus are reminded of the literal heights to which they can ascend on the tiered choral seating, and the Orchestra remember just how close they will be sitting to the audience. With a battery of percussion required for the Stravinsky ‘Firebird Suite,’ there’ll be an even bigger orchestra than usual.

Combined with the mighty Meistersingers Overture by Wagner and Mozart’s sublime Requiem, it promises to be a titanic occasion: see you there!

Was It Good For You: Keri Sherman.

Continuing the series profiling former musical students at the University of Kent. This week, Keri Sherman.


Keri Sherman
Laying down the Law: Keri Sherman

When were you at Kent ?  

Autumn 2003 – Spring 2006

What subject did you study ?

Law & Business Administration

What occupation are you now engaged in ?

I am currently a Barrister in The Bahamas.

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

Yes, I rejoined the Bahamas National Youth Choir {a touring Choir and the official national choir of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas} in the Fall of 2008. In addition to performing with the Choir as a chorister and soloist, I have begun freelancing, as it were, as a classical soloist in New Providence. As a freelancer I have had the opportunity to sing for the past two years at the Lyford Cay International Golf Tournament.

How were you involved in music whilst at Kent ?

I received private voice lessons from Sophie Meikle, who is amongst other things a musical assistant at the University, from January of 2004 – 2005. At Sophie’s urging I joined the University Chorus in the fall of 2005 and took part in the Christmas concert at the Canterbury Cathedral. With the University Chorus Itackled singing in Hebrew for the first time when we performed Leonard Bernstein’s work, the Chichester Psalms in the spring of 2006.

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

My University music experience made me comfortable as a performer and gave me confidence in my ability as a soloist. And it goes without saying but I received invaluable training and advice from Sophie which has helped me to blossom a musician. 

What was your most memorable musical experience at Kent ?

I would say my first performance as a soloist at a student concert in Keynes I believe. I trembled like a leaf through most of the song “Caro Mio Ben”, but I got through it and it was an exhilarating experience!


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: Suzannah Lipmann.

A series profiling musical alumni of the University of Kent. This week, Suzannah Lipmann.

Suzannah Lipmann
On her metal: Suzannah Lipmann.


When were you at Kent ?

2005 – 2009

What subject did you study ?

Social Anthropology with a Year in Japan

What occupation are you now engaged in ?

I am a Minor-Metals trader.

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

Yes, I have weekly singing lessons and I am going to be singing Bernstein’s Mass with a choir from the Southbank Centre in  July at the Royal Festival Hall.  I also am in a band (Jazz/ Rock) with a family friend and my old art teacher from school!

How were you involved in music whilst at Kent ?

In my first year I was a member of the Chamber Choir and in my final year I was a member of the Chorus and a permanent fixture in the first year of Jazz at 5 (Sept 2008 – Jun 2009).

What was your most memorable musical experience at Kent ?

Singing with the Chamber Choir in 2005 in the Christmas concert in Cantebury Cathedral.

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

Take every opportunity and make time, because no matter how little time you think you have at uni it is nothing like life after uni when you work!  I missed a whole year of being involved with singing at uni, because I thought I didn’t have enough time.  This was a big mistake as that is a whole year in which you could have improved that bit more.  After uni it is so much harder to find a good auditioned choir with people your own age.  So definitely do as much as you can while it’s on a plate for you.  At the very least you can make friends with whom you share an interest which is rather rare. 


If you’re a musical 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: Mitesh Khatri.

Continuing the series profiling musical alumni of the University of Kent. This week, Mitesh Khatri. 


Mitesh Khatri
In tune with the times: Mitesh Khatri

When were you at Kent?
2002 – 2005 

What subject did you study ?
Computer Systems Engineering 

What occupation are you now engaged in ?
Music – currently finishing my 2nd postgrad year at the Birmingham Conservatoire. I’m hoping to stay in the music industry as either a teacher or, preferably, an opera singer. 

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

How were you involved in music whilst at Kent ?
I sang with the University Chorus and Chamber Choir, both for three years. I was also assistant conductor to the Chamber Choir for one year. I was involved with the Music Society for all three years at uni, and I also received a bursary for singing lessons for three years. I was also a member of a barbershop quartet that was set up by four of us, called Fortunes (or possibly FourTunes, I’m not sure which!). 

What did you gain from your University music experience, and has this helped you in any way since leaving Kent ?
It gave me a release from the academic side of being at university, and in doing so also helped me get through uni by providing me with the opportunity to continue doing something I had already been doing, and that I already enjoyed. Since being Kent, and partly because I was involved with the music so heavily, I’ve never really looked back from singing, and I’ve continued to have lessons and sing with amateur groups, and go on to do a postgrad degree and aim to make singing my career. 

What was your most memorable musical experience at Kent ?
In December 2003 we did a performance of Carmina Burana in Eliot College, and I was the tenor soloist for it. That was my first solo experience with a full orchestra and it was one ofthe best things I’ve ever done. I’ll never forget it. There were also a number of Cathedral Concerts in my final year, the university’s 40th anniversary. The ones that stick out are the Verdi Requiem and the Elgar Nimrod Variations. I have to also say that everyone I worked with was so friendly and it was all so much fun! 

What would you say to current musical students at the University ?
Don’t underestimate what you can get from people like Sue, both on a musical and personal level. She’s put her heart and soul into music making at Kent and she does a terrific job. The variety of musical opportunities at Kent don’t present themselves outside university life so easily, and some are just less easily accessible. If you want to try your hand at something musical or if there’s a chance to do something you’ve always wanted to do but never been able to, then Kent ‘s the place to do it. It’s only because Kent doesn’t have it’s own music degree or department that anyone can get involved with projects and productions, and people do it for fun and to enjoy it, not to prove themselves. Everyone worked together, and had a great time doing it. So just dive in and see what you can find!


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!

Alanya Holder is ‘Wrapping up Spring.’

Be My Guest: an occasional series featuring guest posts and contributions. This week, a look back over the musical events of the Spring term, the second article from second-year Law student and recently-elected President of the Music Society, Alanya Holder.

Wrapping Up Spring.

“Sometimes I forget I’m doing a Law Degree…”

When I first sat down and thought of everything musical that has happened over the last term I realised that if I talked about every single one in detail, this blog post would never end. So instead here is a whirlwind tour of the Spring term with the Music Society… 

University Chorus and Orchestra
University Chorus and Orchestra in Canterbury Cathedral: Photo: Robert Berry

January began with everyone complaining how much they had eaten over Christmas and how none of us at Chorus could make sense of the Szymanowski Stabat Mater. With the Cathedral Concert only a couple of months away, nerves set in immediately and adrenaline kept us all going until the day. However I must admit that by the day we had come to love the Szymanowski in a strange kind of way and I definitely loved the Poulenc Gloria. A fellow musician, Chris Gray has written a fantastic blog post all about the Cathedral concert day – one of the longest days of my life, but a fantastic one.

So a few weeks into term, not much going on – I know, let’s have a SOCIAL! The Music Society had a ‘blues’ themed social at the Orange Street Club. It was blues night at the club, and the Society all came dressed in blue – or as a Blues Brother in one case (good effort Andrew Bailey!) And as we all danced the night away, I was contemplating my first concert of the term – the Concert Band and Big Band annual concert in the Gulbenkian Theatre.

University Big Band
Good Times Roll! The University Big Band

The band concert is well known for being a night of fun and fantastic music, this year featuring the singing sensation Crystal Cowban! However while the concert all looks fantastic and sounds even better, few know of the hours and hours of preparation that go into it! In the weeks running up to the concert it’s a mad rush making sure that there are enough copies of all the music and trying to tie people down to saying if they are definitely performing so that a seating plan can be made! On the day instruments pile into a van and make their way to the theatre, chairs are stolen from seminar rooms because there just aren’t enough and generally everyone rushes around like a headless chicken until we sit down to rehearse in the afternoon. Similar goings-on after the concert make the day long and hard but definitely worth it – even if my clarinet playing skills are not something to shout about. [Not true! – Ed.].

Altogether now: Sing!

Something new for me this year was singing in ‘Sing!’ a student run choir that performed in the Gulbenkian Cafe as a warm-up act for the concert. We sang such greats as Lean on Me and a Disney Medley. More to come from ‘Sing!’ at ArtsFest and next year.

At the end of February (yes I’m only up to February!) I took the plunge and volunteered to sing at Dan Harding’s ‘Jazz at 5’ – a brilliant innovation which got me listening to some different kinds of music and gave me the opportunity to sing solo, something I haven’t done for over a year. I sang two songs by Fairground Attraction and Why don’t you do right by Peggy Lee. I’ve loved watching all my friends take part in Jazz at 5 and couldn’t have asked for a better experience in life when I got up there and did it for myself.

Two days after this was the Chamber Choir Crypt Concert. This was my first year in the Chamber Choir and it has been tonnes of fun! Amy Clarke has been a fantastic conductor this year and the Cathedral Crypt just made the evening so special. That evening truly was one of those nights that gives you a shiver down your spine as you’re doing something you love, with people you love in a place that you can’t help but love! Can’t wait for next year…

And finally to my last concert of the term – the Littlebourne Concert. This was a great opportunity for the Chamber Choir to have another chance to sing our repertoire in another location and for a good cause. We were also joined by the Cecilian Choir who sang Vivaldi’s Gloria. This was fantastic, a piece that is a personal favourite of mine.

And so the term comes to a close…I’ve sung, I’ve played, I’ve watched and I’ve organised. This term has been hectic and stressful but also wonderful. I’ve made some really good friends and been given new and amazing opportunities. I will never forget my time with the Music Society at Kent University – it has been my life this last term! I don’t think my parents will forget it either, as they have been at every single concert I’ve been involved in – dedication and a half!

Sometimes I forget I’m doing a Law Degree…