Huge gratitude to percussionist and award-winning photographer Molly Hollman, who, went not diligently playing percussion in the orchestra on Saturday, took time during the rehearsal at Canterbury Cathedral to capture the atmosphere of the moment in these fabulous photographs.
Pictured here are University Chorus and Orchestra in action, rehearsing Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest, ahead of a marvellous performance later that night.
Our thanks to Molly for permission to share these fantastic shots; all this and playing percussion too…!
Last weekend saw the University Chorus and Orchestra come together for a blazing concert of Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony and Dan Forrest’s epic Requiem for the Living, for the annual Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert.
Here are photos of the combined forces in action rehearsing on the morning of the concert.
As part of the continuing ten-year anniversary of Colyer-Fergusson, the Music department continues to explore new musical frontiers in commissioning a piece from composer Russell Hepplewhite; an innovative take on the Magnificat, written for the University Cecilian Choir and string orchestra.
Bringing the Song of Mary together with new poetry by Nancy Gaffield, Emeritus Professor in the School of Creative Writing, the choir has been working on the piece in rehearsals, and we were delighted to welcome the composer to the concert-hall this week as the choir worked together with Russell.
It’s always a nervous experience to rehearse a piece with the composer present, but there was a tremendous rapport between the choir of students and staff and Russell, as the group continued to develop the piece with direct Composer Input. Heroically, Russell volunteered to be the repetiteur for the rehearsal, and choir, composer and poet spent a lively session bringing the piece to life.
Before the rehearsal, Russell and Your Loyal Correspondent filmed a conversation about the commission, about the process of writing a piece that combines a well-known sacred text with contemporary poetry, and techniques of writing for voices and strings – the interview will appear soon!
Pictured are Russell and Nancy with the Cecilian Choir; the piece receives its premiere performance in Colyer-Fergusson on Friday 31 March; tickets here.
Our latest exhibition in the gallery space here in Colyer-Fergusson is a mesmerising exploration of portraiture by Canterbury artist, Adam De Ville.
When out one day presents a series of ten images reflecting Adam’s interest in exploring the human condition, brought vividly to the canvas in an array of arresting paintings that pushes through the space between viewer and subject, looking to capture the essence of the moment.
My work is the result of how I see the things around me. As well as portraiture, I paint landscapes and cityscapes. Recurring themes of displacement and belonging colour my portrait work especially. I always aim to capture a moment and something of the inner life of the subject. I don’t have any conscious theme for painting as I paint; themes are only attributed afterwards. it’s very much an unconscious process; I paint what I want at the time, the things around me. But the work can therefore be said to be reflexive in that my inner life is the guide. In the case of portraiture, I am painting my state at the time.
Based in Canterbury, Adam De Ville is a self-taught artist exhibiting both nationally and internationally, most recently with the Royal Cambrian Academy of Arts (Award Winner), Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (Award Winner), Wales Contemporary (Award Winner), Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours (Award Winner), Pastel Society, ING Discerning Eye as well as galleries in London, Dublin, and Paris.
Adam’s work can also be found on Instagram at adamleedeville. His work is currently being shown at the Lilford Gallery in Canterbury, The Doorway Gallery, London Contemporary Art Gallery, Art5 Brighton and Queen Street Gallery, Neath. One of Adam’s portraits will also feature as the cover of the programme for the concert by the University Cecilian Choir and Consort at the end of March.
The exhibition is free to view, open during the day until 9pm; there is wheelchair access, and the images are on display until May.
Congratulations to everyone involved in last Saturday’s annual Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert; to all the performers in the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, the stewards, those working behind the scenes, conductor Susan Wanless and soprano soloist, Rachel Nicholls.
Music and art come together throughout the month of March, as the Kent-based collective of artists, Earthbound Women, presents a new exhibition in Colyer-Fergusson Gallery. Worn and Weathered will feature landscape in the extreme eroded by centuries of wind and relentless rain and the pounding of the sea.
Earthbound Women are united by a passion for clay, earth, form and landscape. Exhibiting together regularly, they record their dreams, annotations, observations, aspirations and their life in Kent. The exhibition features work by ceramicists Barbara Colla and Clare Curtis, painter Julie Frampton, painter and printmaker Ruth McDonald, and printmaker Kristiina Sandoe.
The exhibition reflects the Lunchtime Concert which will be given by Minerva Voices, the University’s female-voice chamber choir, and ensemble on 13th March, and links particularly to the idea of exploring landscapes, in Tundra, an evocative piece by Ola Gjeilo reflecting part of his native Norway, and Fly away, fly away over the sea, a recent setting of a words by Christina Rossetti by the exciting British composer Russell Hepplewhite, who will be in attendance. The programme also includes music by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen. Both the concert and the exhibition explore concepts of the natural landscape, and also celebrate women in the arts, as musicians, writers, composers and artists.
Earthbound Women’s Worn and Weathered will be on display in Colyer-Fergusson Gallery from Saturday 2 to Saturday 30 March during normal working hours; admission is free, and there is disabled access. The Lunchtime Concert by Minerva Voices and Ensemble is on Wednesday 13 March at 1,10pm in Colyer-Fergusson Hall; admission free, suggested donation £3, more details online here.
Despite the twin threat of soaring summer temperatures and the quarter-final match as this year’s England football squad edge ever closer to the World Cup Final, last Saturday’s University Open Day brought visitors aplenty both to the Canterbury campus as well as to Colyer-Fergusson.
Amongst the visitors filing through the doors of the music building were people from Somerset, Devon, Northamptonshire, Surrey, Hertfordshire as well as from London and Kent itself; however, the prize for the Visitor from the Farthest-Flung Shore went to a lady from Paris.
Thanks to some of our loyal Music Scholars and student ambassadors (pictured above), who took the time to lead tours of the building and its facilities for extra-curricular music-making, sharing their experience of combining their academic studies with their musical life, and to Fleur, President of the Music Society for the next academic year.
To everyone who visited, hope you had a safe trip home – hopefully the roads at 3pm, when the day closed, were rather quiet for you…
Congratulations to all the performers involved in Saturday night’s annual Colyer-Fergusson Concert, which saw the Nave of Canterbury Cathedral resounding to the heroic strains of Beethoven, Haydn and the premiere of a new work by Matthew King.
The Chorus and Orchestra came together under the baton of Susan Wanless in Haydn’s dramatic ‘Nelson Mass,’ joined by several alumni, and the Orchestra (led by final-year Law student and Music Scholar, Lydia Cheng), delivered Beethoven’s mighty Eroica symphony with aplomb.
Composer Matthew King and family were present for the first performance of Matthew’s A Hero Passes, an orchestral tribute to his late father, James King OBE, with which the concert opened. Matthew attended rehearsals the night before and on the morning at the Cathedral.
Thanks to all the behind-the-scenes crew as well, on what is a particularly long day; here’s Your Loyal Correspondent and the Music Administrator clearly early on the day…There are still plenty of events to come over the next few weeks: see what’s next here.
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.