Tag Archives: Children in Need

The Unsemble next week: help us raise money for Children in Need!

Our very first scratch band, the Unsemble, will meet for the first time at lunchtime on Friday 13 November when we come together for a light-hearted playing of the Pink Panther theme in aid of this year’s Children in Need appeal.

pink_pantherIf you’ve ever started an instrument and then given up, or not played for many years, then this is for you! It’s all about taking part – the more terrible a player you are, the better! Come and join in at 1.10pm when Colyer-Fergusson Hall will resound to a ‘performance’ unlike anything it has seen hitherto. We’ll even provide kazoos if you haven’t got an instrument with you, and there promises to be an unmissable brass section…


Here’s a short promotional video for the occasion, featuring the highly-accomplished brass-playing of Nicholas Thurston and Your Loyal Correspondent. What could be more enticing…

Brass cheek: preparing for Unsemble Children in Need next month

Some serious preparation has been taking place this morning, as some of the Music staff had a brass sectional rehearsal, led by the Deputy Director of Music’s son, himself a budding trumpet player.


IMG_3579_webTo the astonishment of Ian Swatman, Jonty put the Director and Deputy Director of Music through their paces in a bid to form a fledgling brass ensemble for the department’s Children in Need event on Friday 13 November.

Open to anyone who’s ever started an instrument – and then stopped! – or only taken up to Grade 3, the Unsemble will be getting together for a scratch performance of ‘The Pink Panther’ theme on the day to raise money for this year’s Children in Need appeal.

Come along and find out how we get on (there’s even the prospect of two sousaphones adding to the brass section, and the Music Assistant on viola); and if you’ve an instrument yourself, come and take part!

Pudsey BearMore details here.

Children in Need at Kent: the video

Courtesy of KentTV, here’s footage of the Children in Need events from last Thursday, with your loyal correspondent conducting the scratch Ringtone Orchestra in Three Movements in Ring-Tonality, followed by an awful lot of people doing the ‘Time Warp’ next door in the Gulbenkian Theatre.

Thanks to everyone who took part, and to KTV.

Bear Necessities: Children in Need

The new concert-hall played host to a certain Yellow Bear and members of the University community and friends earlier today, as a scratch ‘orchestra’ of performers wielded their mobile-phones in aid of Children in Need.

Marking sixty years of John Cage’s notorious 4′ 33”, a band of willing volunteers flocked to the new concert-hall to give the premiere of Three Movements in Ring-Tonality by your loyal correspondent, aided in conducting duties by none other than Pudsey Bear himself.

After a brief rehearsal of each movement, the baton was brandished and a delicate tapestry of ring-tones rose to the roof in a texture of which we feel Cage would have been proud.

Ring when you’re winning…

With thanks to everyone who turned up either to participate or to listen, to Pudsey, and to the staff of the Gulbenkian who were on hand to help with the smooth running of what was a unique occasion. The BBC were on hand to film the proceedings, keep an eye out on the round-up of local events on BBC South East tomorrow night for a glimpse of what went on…

And what will next year bring ?

Pudsey with four of the ‘orchestral’ musicians

Ring for Children in Need this Thursday

A unique music premiere in support of this year’s BBC ‘Children in Need’ appeal will take place in the  new Colyer-Ferguson Hall this Thursday at 1.10pm.

Pudsey BearCombining the sixtieth anniversary of John Cage’s silent, yet controversial, musical masterpiece, 4’ 33’’, the event encourages audience participants to use their mobile phone ringtone as part of the one-of-a-kind performance. Each of the three movements will see participants ‘playing’ a different ring-tone from their mobile phone.

Three Movements in Ring-Tonality, written by your loyal correspondent, is both homage to Cage’s piece and an unusual opportunity to make music using an instrument normally banned from the concert-hall. It’ll be a terrific opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause, as well as to pay tribute to Cage’s masterwork in a novel manner that will make musicians of everyone who takes part.

The annual fund-raising event for Children in Need is a special part of our calendar and this year is even more exciting as we will be giving a world première in our brand-new concert-hall.

Come along; bring your mobile-phone (and a donation!) and prepare for the unexpected…

Autumn Concert Diary now online!

After an industrious summer of event and programme planning, not to mention the minor task of preparing to move to the new building, I’m delighted to say our new Concert Diary for the Autumn term has now been published online.

Total Brass
Total Brass

The Lunchtime Concert series continues, as we welcome musicians from Total Brass, sitarist Jonathan Mayer, and close-harmony group Sector7 in concerts throughout the term.

University Music Scholars will be giving an informal lunchtime concert in the first week of November – an exciting moment, as it will be the first event in the brand new Colyer-Fergusson music building and its wonderful new concert-hall!

Jonathan Mayer
Jonathan Mayer (sitar)

We’ll also be gathering to raise money for Children in Need again this year; come and be part of a whacky world première with a difference, written by yours truly – all you will need is a donation and your mobile-phone, complete with three different ring-tones…

The world-famous Brodsky Quartet continue their fortieth-birthday celebrations in inimitable style, as they bring their ‘Wheel of Four Tunes’ to the Colyer-Fergusson hall. Armed with an array of forty pieces from their hugely eclectic repertoire, the pieces in this concert will be decided by the spin of a wheel in what promises to be a unique event.


Finally, the term comes to a grand finale with the inaugural Gala Concert, with the combined ranks of the Chorus, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Concert Band and Big Band, in a spectacular evening celebrating the formal opening of the new Colyer-Fergusson music building, complete with two new works especially written for the occasion.

An exciting term ahead: find out more online here.

Furley Page logo
Sponsors of the Lunchtime Concert series

Bear-faced cheek: singing for Children in Need

Many thanks to everyone who came along to the Gulbenkian Theatre at lunchtime, and joined in to sing Handel and raise money for this year’s Children in Need appeal.

The Yellow Bear turned up and conducted the massed ranks of visitors and musicians in a rousing rendition of the ‘Hallelujah Chorus,’ whilst members of the Music Society charged around with buckets and balloons to take the collection.

After some lively warm-ups and a run-through of key moments in the piece, the performance was delivered with gusto and vibrant enthusiasm.

Pudsey with violinist Jo Pearsall

Afterwards, Pudsey was almost swamped by a crowd of eager…err… grown-ups all clamouring for a picture with the Great Bear: and not a child in sight!

Our thanks to Pudsey for coming along, to the Gulbenkian for throwing its theatre doors open to the massed and eager rabble, to the ever-enthusiastic Music Committee for being on hand to help (and rattle collection-buckets), and to everyone who turned up, made a donation, and took part. We raised £270 for a very worthy cause.

Keep an eye out on local BBC at 6.30pm and possibly 8.30pm tomorrow night: that’s all I’m saying…

Sing for Children in Need: counting down!

There’s only three days to go until we gather in The Gulbenkian to sing Handel’s rousing ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ for Children in Need.

Thursday, 1.10pm in the Gulbenkian Theatre: even if you’ve never sung before, just bring your voice, enthusiasm and a donation as University musicians and members of the community join to raise money for a very special cause. More details online here.

Pudsey BearIf you can ‘bear’ it…