Beginning a new series profiling musical alumni of the University of Kent. This week, we feature Gerard Collett, who recently returned as a soloist in the annual Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert earlier this month.
When were you at Kent ?
I studied at Kent from 2001 to 2004.
What subject did you study ?
I took a combined degree in Philosophy and History and Theory of Art.
What occupation are you now engaged in ?
I am an opera singer.
How were you involved in music whilst at Kent ?
I conducted the University Chamber Choir, and sang in the University Chorus, and also sang in the Summer Opera Projects.
What did you gain from your University music experience, and has this helped you in any way since leaving Kent ?
The value of working as part of a company, whether it was the Chamber Choir or Chorus, or as part of the Music Society in general, and the shared sense of satisfaction of a job well done are lessons I gained from my time at the university. There is no better or more beneficial contrast for a student who must sit in front of a computer or in the library writing essays, than to make music with other students and lecturers, usually from different disciplines. Music is a great leveller – we are all created equally, and so can be equally creative. I strongly believe that. It can also be great fun!
What was your most memorable musical experience at Kent ?
I couldn’t pick one, but my most memorable and happy musical experiences were rehearsing for the opera productions. I think there is something special about the Kentish Summer, there was a real end-of-year-joy in our summer productions. A close second would be a well deserved beer in Simple Simons’ – (now ‘The Parrot’)… which is a musical experience of sorts…
What would you say to current musical students at the University?
To current musical students I would definitely say,
If you’re an alumni and would like to be featured, get in touch via the Music Department website: we’d love to hear from you!