Congratulations to the University Concert and Big Bands, who steamed in to Colyer-Fergusson Hall on Friday night for Musical Express!
A packed concert-hall was treated to a night of fabulous music-making from students, staff, alumni and guest musicians, steered expertly by conductor Ian Swatman.
Both bands will be back in action on Wednesday 8 June for Summertime Swing, their end-of-year concert that forms the centrepiece of Summer Music Week, our week-long musical festival bidding farewell to another year at Kent. Find out more details here; tickets have already started to go…!
Children and adults alike were treated to a lunchtime concert of magical musical mayhem this afternoon, as the Music department joined in the ‘Wonderful Week of Words’ celebration of literature with the University Hogwarts Society.
The University Concert Band, Minerva Voices, Flute Choir and third-year flautist Anne Engels came together to the delight of an audience comprised of visiting school-children, here for the literary festival, staff, students and visitors to music including a medley of music from Harry Potter, Double Trouble, and selections from the Goblet of Fire.
Terrific fun, thanks to everyone involved; wingardium leviosa!
Continuing the series profiling Music Performance Scholars at the University. This week, first-year flautist and bass reading Computer Science, Robert Loveless.
I first started flute back in primary school, where if you wanted music lessons in school, flute was the only option. I gave it a shot and have never looked back since! After a while my teacher introduced me to the West Sussex Youth Orchestra in which I moved up through the various bands and orchestras throughout my years there. Although this seemed daunting at first, it was here that I became hooked on the buzz of ensemble playing. As well as discovering loads of new music, I started playing piccolo there.
I later moved to Hurstpierpoint College where I had the opportunity to join a whole host of new ensembles. This included choirs as I had now started singing, however the Jazz band was my new favourite because I had started working on some jazz repertoire with my new teacher. Improvisation was especially enjoyable for me – In my lessons I would try to get away with as much as he would resist before he would give in to join me in a jam session until the lesson was up! I also gained a keen interest in chamber music on the singing side and would later get to sing with the choir in residence at the national pilgrimage in Walsingham. Other personal highlights include performing Vivaldi’s La Tempesta Di Mare Concerto accompanied by a full orchestra – a memorable experience! During my A-levels at Hurst I took Music Technology which allowed me to dabble in writing and recording my own music. The technological aspect of this was particularly interesting to me as a computer scientist and is an industry I still follow closely.
Now at Kent, I am very glad to be able to not only continue with music and developing my skills but also meet likeminded people with whom I share a common passion. I currently participate in the Concert Band, Flute Choir, Chorus and Cecilian Choir. The performances these ensembles have been in so far were thoroughly enjoyable and I am really looking forward to those yet to come, in particular the upcoming cathedral concert.
Continuing the series in which musical alumni look back on their musical life at Kent: this week, woodwind-player and singer, Anna Shinkfield.
When were you at Kent?
2007 – 2011
What subject did you study?
English and American Literature
What occupation are you now engaged in?
If music is not your profession, do you participate in any musical activities now ?
I am not currently involved in anything musical at the moment but I am hoping to find something musical to get involved in soon!
How were you involved in music whilst at Kent ?
I sang in the Chorus, played Flute in Concert Band and Tenor Sax in Big Band all three years I was at Kent as well as receiving a Music Lesson Scholarship. I was also a member of the Music Society Committee in my second and final year.
What did you gain from your University music experience, and has this helped you in any way since leaving Kent?
I think my experiences with the Music Society definitely helped me decide on what I wanted to do career-wise and allowed me to get enough experience to do a Masters in London after my degree.
Everyone says get involved with something at University, join as many clubs as you can – it looks good on your CV. I’m sure I rolled my eyes and brushed these sorts of comments off before and during University. but I can definitely say that it is true as much as you might be bored of hearing it! I’m pretty sure my musical activities have been discussed a lot more than my degree ever has in interviews.
What was your most memorable musical experience at Kent?
I think that would have to be every ArtsFest really (what’s now Summer Music Week). Although spending the morning in Eliot Hall rehearsing and blowing up balloons then rushing between concerts in the afternoon meant I didn’t get to see much of what else was going on I think it was those sorts of days that really made me think that’s what I wanted to do in the future.
What would you say to current musical students at the University ?
Make the most of Music at Kent! I don’t remember the hours spent in the library or Monday mornings in lectures half as well as I remember taking part in rehearsals and concerts.
It can be easy to skip rehearsals especially with essay deadlines and exams but that two hours of music will always be more productive than sitting staring at a screen and will probably give you the break from revision that you need. The rehearsals throughout the week are an excellent excuse to stop staring at computer screens or forcing myself to read books I wasn’t particularly interested in and focus on something a bit different!
Looking back I don’t really remember the hours spent in the library or in lectures but I do remember the rehearsals, concerts and socials.
The music continues unabated this week as Summer Music Week rings around the building; days Three and Four saw a lunchtime recital by some of the University Music Scholars, followed by the annual awarding of the Music Prizes; performers Jonathan Butten, Anne Engels, Rianna Carr and John Gabriel together with guest Benedict Preece performed two movements from Ravel’s magical Mother Goose Suite; Emily Farrell demonstrated the euphonium’s light-footed side in an arrangements of Mozart’s Rondo alla turca; cellist Faith Chan and mezzo-soprano Charley Tench performed Purcell’s Dido’s Lament; and harpist Emma Murton gave a dazzling rendition of Debussy’s first Arabesque and Salzedo’s shimmering Chanson dans la nuit. The concert was also the first formal outing for the department’s newly-commissioned harpsichord, a stunning instrument built by Andrew Wooderson, and a generous donation by Dr James and Jenny Bird, for which we are immeasurably grateful.
Day Four featured the Sax Ensemble on the foyer-stage at lunchtime, with Hannah Wiffen, Felicity Langford and Patrick Eves joined by Chris Murrell on drums, led by Peter Cook. In the afternoon, the hall rang to the sound of the Concert Band and Big Band in rehearsal under the baton of conductor Ian Swatman, and the evening saw the bands, together with vocalist and alumna Steph Richardson, bring their musical year to a rousing conclusion.
Thanks to Phoebe Hopwood for this splendid panoramic shot of the Big Band preparing to play in the evening!
Events continue until Saturday; find out more here.
Our annual Summer Music Week festival to celebrate the end of another musical year at the University is now published online, with all the details of what’s coming up.
Running from Sunday 7 to Saturday 13 June, the week kicks off with a seaside visit to the Deal Bandstand with the Big Band; some of the singing Music Scholars will present a programme of Operatic Heroines in Love on Monday 8; the Lunchtime Concert on Tuesday 9 from some of this year’s Music Scholars, followed by the Music Awards ceremony; Wednesday sees the Concert and Big Bands coming together in the evening; Thursday features an informal lunchtime performance from the String Sinfonia; on Friday the Music Theatre Society performs on the foyer-stage at lunchtime, whilst in the evening we present our choral commission from composer Matthew King, poet Patricia Debney with projected photos by Phil Ward, performed by the Chamber and Cecilian Choirs; and the week comes to a festive conclusion with the Chorus, Orchestra and Chamber Choir on the Saturday afternoon, followed by cream teas on the lawn and many fond farewells.
Relive the memories of last year’s festival on our Pinterest board here: full details of all the events are published online here, or you can collect a brochure for the week’s events from Colyer-Fergusson soon.
Don’t forget to follow @UKCSummerMusicon Twitter in the build-up to and throughout the festival. Bring me sunshine…
And with the sound of heralding in the distance, the clarion-call of trumpets and a celestial choir, we are delighted to announce that the full line-up of events for Summer Music Week has now been published online.
The annual music celebration of the end of the University year starts with the University Big Band beside the seaside, performing at Deal Bandstand in support of Porchlight on Sunday 8 June at 2.30pm. Events then continue throughout the week – choral music, jazz, Big Band Gala, Music Scholars‘ recital, period-costume with the Dance Orchestra, foyer-stage gigs and more – culminating eventually in Music for a Summer’s Day on Sunday 15 June at 3pm, in which the combined forces of the University Chorus, Orchestra, Concert Band and Chamber Choir bid a rousing farewell to the end of another musical year.
Venues this year range from the seaside at Deal to the historic venues of St Thomas’ Hospital and the ancient St Peter’s Anglican Church in Canterbury, as well as the lively foyer-stage and the Colyer-Fergusson concert-hall.