Tag Archives: concert

Serenade across the sea: Camerata performs in the city of Calais

A standing ovation from over six hundred people greeted the end of yesterday’s concert by the University Camerata in L’Eglise de Notre Dame in the heart of the city of Calais.

The Camerata is a real cross-section of the University community, comprising undergraduate and postgradudate students, staff and alumni, all coming together to represent the University in public concerts throughout the year. Yesterday’s performance was the result of an invitation earlier this year by Calais city council to bring the two cities of Calais and Canterbury together, to recognise and celebrate the cities’ shared history (Calais was once part of the Diocese of Canterbury) and to make cultural connections (see previous post here).

An early morning start saw the coach-load of musicians leaving Colyer-Fergusson in various stages of wakefulness (well, 6.30am on a Sunday can be a little early for some…), with a welcome coffee at the Folkestone terminal of Le Shuttle enlivening the group further still on its way to an 11am (French time) rehearsal in the church beneath glorious November skies.

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Music by Elgar and Warlock was soon swirling around the nave of the magnificent church, with later on the strains of Marcello’s Oboe Concerto lifting into the roof courtesy of Professor Dan Lloyd, who joined the string group on oboe, stepping out of his busy schedule as Deputy Head of the School of Biosciences.The Camerata’s international make-up mirrors that of the wider University community, with members from Germany, Lithuania, France and Canada, including an Erasmus-student cellist; the Schools of Psychology, Law, Mathematics and Biosciences were also represented by the ensemble’s constituents, many of whom are either current or former University Music Performance Scholars. It’s a testament to the nature of extra-curricular music-making at Kent that it transcends boundaries – geographical, hierarchical, institutional – as it creates communities working together in rehearsal and performance.

The concert, part of the city’s current festival, drew over six hundred people to witness the power of collaborative creativity which lies at the heart of the University’s vision. We’re already looking forward to the second event in our planned collaboration later in the year.

Congratulations to all the performers, to leader Floriane Peycelon and conductor Susan Wanless, on a magnificent ambassadorial showcase that illustrated, to an international audience, what an international University can do.

Click to view image
Click to view image

Facebook users can view an album of photos from the day here.

In pictures: Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert

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.

The early shift: Alice, Fleur, Tom, technician Marc and Estates member, Mark.
Members of the Music Society Committee confer during the morning set-up at the Cathedral
The view from the top tier of the soprano section of the University Chorus
Drummer boy: alumnus Cory, back to play percussion
The violin section, led by third-year Music Scholar, Zaneta Balsevic

Chorus and Orchestra in full swing
Soprano soloist Rachel Nicholls rehearsing Poulenc’s ‘Gloria’
The view from behind the Orchestra as it rehearses Mendelssohn’s ‘Italian’ Symphony
The orchestra being very attentive…
The lower strings of the Orchestra
Conductor Susan Wanless rehearsing Butterworth’s ‘A Shropshire Lad’
The evening stewards: Alex, Kiyan, Euan, Eloise and Tom
Some familiar faces back to take part: Alice H, Charlotte, Ben, Ruth, Alice B, Cory and Alice Sh!
A soprano selfie: but only if your name is Alice…
Chorus members Carmen, Maddie, Helen, Nicholas, Fleur (President of the Music Society), and Joseph
Strings attached: Melody, Zaneta (leader), Corinna, Millie, Molly and Rosie
Leader of the Symphony Orchestra, third-year Music Scholar Zaneta Balsevic
Chorus of approval

Back by popular demand: Fara

Our new concert series launches in exactly two weeks, and we’re delighted to be welcoming back Fara, who bring part of their 2018 tour to Colyer-Fergusson Hall on Friday 9 February at 7.30pm.

Bringing together four young musicans at the leading-edge of the Scottish folk music scene, the ensemble has been a previous winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, and will bring its mixture of original songs and traditional Orkney tunes to the concert-hall.

 

Tickets and details here: prepare to be transported to the Isle of Orkney…

All aboard! New brochure now online

Our new What’s On series of events from February to June has gone live this morning, with full details of all the events coming at you over the next six months.

Concert Band & Big BandOur annual visits to Canterbury Cathedral sees Minerva Voices in the Crypt next month in Vivaldi’s Gloria, whilst the Chorus and Orchestra come together in Beethoven’s Mass in C and the Symphonie fantastique by Berlioz in March. The first of two concerts from the Cecilian Choir and Sinfonia will recreate the era of Louis XIV in a lunchtime concert celebrating the music of Lully in February, and at the end of March they bring two dramatic choral works by Vivaldi to St Peter’s Methodist Church in Canterbury. You’re also invited to leap aboard the Musical Express! with the Concert and Big Bands later in March, with a steam-driven programme including music by Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and Philip Sparke.

flute_sheetmusicThe Lunchtime Concert series continues, with music from Total Brass and the Native Oyster Band, and our resident ensemble, CantiaQuorum, brings Wynton Marsalis’ Fiddler’s Tale to the concert-hall on 19 February –  the American theme continues in April with a concert by the Chorus and Orchestra including Gershwin’s popular Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Helen Crayford. And the #EarBox series exploring links between music and visual art returns to Studio 3 Gallery in two events – choral music from Minerva Voices and a concert by the Flute Choir. The Music Theatre Society takes the stage with some furry friends in a combination of puppetry and show-tunes, and there’s even some musical wizardry as part of ‘A Wonderful Week of Words’ in an informal lunchtime concert featuring music from Harry Potter and other magical pieces. There’s also a brief look ahead to come of the events taking place as part of Summer Music Week in June.

CantiaQuorumWe’re also pleased to welcome many external concerts and events to Colyer-Fergusson over the coming months, including pianists Malcom Binns and Imogen Cooper, the Aurora Orchestra, and many local ensembles; see all that’s to come in our online calendar here, or download a copy of the new brochure here (pdf). Or view the department events at a glance on our digital fridge-door of post-It Notes here.

All aboard…

Furley Page logo
Sponsors of the Lunchtime Concert series

Triumphant Verdi Requiem

From the infinite mystery of the opening bars to the dramatically hushed close, Saturday’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem by the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra for this year’s Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert was full of high drama.

Verdi_morning_crew
The morning shift crew

Standing in as a last-minute replacement for the billed soprano soloist, Rachel Nicholls took time out from her current ENO run of Die Meistersingers to step up alongside mezzo Carolyn Dobbins, tenor Gerard Schneider and bass Simon Thorpe, and together all four singers delivered Verdi’s demanding solo parts with consummate skill. Under the baton of Susan Wanless, the Chorus and Orchestra both rose to the occasion superbly. From the off-stage trumpets ranged high above in the organ-loft to the bass-drum positioned down the side-aisle, the combined forces filled the majestic Cathedral with Verdi’s profound meditation on death and redemption, rich in operatic detail crammed into oratorio form.

Rachel Nicholls, Carolyn Dobbins, Gerard Schneider, Simon Thorpe
Rachel Nicholls, Carolyn Dobbins, Gerard Schneider, Simon Thorpe

It’s a long day that starts at 9am with the heroic crew who pitched up on campus to load two vans with all the equipment to take down to the Cathedral, and ends with that same equipment delivered back to campus at 10.30pm, with rehearsal and performance in between. It was lovely to see many alumni come back to sing in the Chorus, with the concert a major highlight of the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations throughout this year.

Alumnus & percussionist, Carina Evans and tuba-player Chris Gray
Alumnus & percussionist, Carina Evans and tuba-player Chris Gray

(Much excitement was caused by the arrival of the 66-inch bass drum from Bell Percussion, which was mobbed by many people eager to be photographed with the monster-drum, you’d have thought it was a Hollywood Celebrity…)

Very many thanks to everyone involved; a triumphant conclusion to all the hard work put it by students, staff, alumni and members of the local community, who came together in the splendour of Canterbury Cathedral for a memorable performance.

Quantus tremor est futurus: getting ready for Saturday

A big week this week, as we continue our preparations ahead of the annual Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert on Saturday, for which the combined might of the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra will come together in Verdi’s Requiem.

Here’s the Chorus in fine form yesterday afternoon, rehearsing old-skool style in Grimond, where for many years the Chorus used to meet each Monday night. Although we don’t recall its ever having been quite so green before…

Dies irae: Chorus rehearsing in Grimond
Dies irae: Chorus rehearsing in Grimond

Yesterday’s all-day rehearsal is followed by rehearsals tonight, Thursday and on Saturday morning. It all culminates on Saturday evening; how much tremor there shall be…

 

At Home Funk: CantiaQuorum back in two weeks

Our resident professional ensemble, CantiaQuorum, returns to Colyer-Fergusson in two weeks time with a programme of music based around your living-room.

220px-John_Cage_portraitLurking at the heart of a fascinating programme that include Bach’s sumptuous Concerto for Two Violins in D minor and Telemann’s Tafelmusik Suite in D is Cage’s Living Room Music, written for an unspecified quartet that plays any object or architectural feature which can readily be found in a living-room. The second movement sees the performers turn to speech, using parts of ‘The World Is Round’ by Gertrude Stein, whilst the contrasting outer movements see household objects transformed into funky percussion – less ‘Uptown Funk’ than ‘At Home Funk.’

The concert also includes Bach’s wonderful Concerto for Two Violins; I’ll leave you with the achingly-beautiful second movement, performed here live at the Proms by Rachel Podger and Andrew Manze.

Further details about the concert online here.

Alumni soloists return for December concert

The termly concert by the University Chorus and Orchestra last night saw three musical alumni returning to the Colyer-Fergusson Hall.

Soprano Caroline Kennedy, tenor Andrew Macnair and bass Piran Legg came back to Kent for a performance of Mozart’s Vespers, joined also by mezzo Bethan Langford. whilst the Orchestra furnished the remainder of the programme with Mozart’s overture to The Magic Flute and Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

Under the baton of Sue Wanless, the Orchestra delivered a sprightly and rousing reading of the Beethoven, in particular with an agile second movement that deftly steered clear of the more usual funereal tempi often heard in performance. The concert also saw second-year violinist Chantelle Yau making her debut as orchestral leader.

The next time Chorus and Orchestra perform, it’ll be in the august surroundings of Canterbury Cathedral for Verdi’s Requiem as part of the University’s fiftieth-anniversary celebrations. And That Famous Bass Drum Bit..