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…
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…
Our resident professional ensemble, CantiaQuorum, returns to Colyer-Fergusson in two weeks time with a programme of music based around your living-room.
Lurking 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.
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..
Next week is the penultimate week of term, and the events are starting to come thick and fast;
Weds 10 Dec, 1.10pm; the Musical Theatre Society presents a lunchtime of carol-singing on the foyer-stage – admission is free
Thurs 11 Dec, Studio 3 Gallery, Jarman Building, 1pm; the Cecilian Choir presents a festive lunchtime of carols amidst the current exhibition in Studio 3 Gallery over in the School of Arts’ Jarman Building, followed by refreshments; the event is free, details on Facebook here
Saturday 13 Dec, 7.30pm; the University Chorus and Orchestra will be joined by musical alumni in the end of term concert featuring music by Mozart and Beethoven.
And there’s more to come the following week as well; see everything that’s to come on our What’s On page here.
Pictures from the afternoon rehearsal for the concert by the University Concert and Big Band, conducted by Ian Swatman; here, ace trumpeter Mike Lovatt, making a guest appearance that evening, works with the Big Band, and singers Ruby Mutlow and Steph Richardson in action.
I’ve spent a very productive and exciting afternoon in the new concert-hall, exploring some new ideas for next year.
Without giving too much away, Mark (our new technician) and I have been finding ways to re-imagine, or redefine, the hall for a particular concert I’m planning – this afternoon we mocked up the event, played with lighting and multi-media, and crafted a completely different space in the hall.
It feels almost as if we’re imposing, digitally, a new identity on the hall, re-purposing it both visually and acoustically using digital technology to make it feel very different to its customary incarnation. There’s some additional avenues to explore resulting from this afternoon’s efforts, which will enhance the effect further still.
We’re already very excited about the event – and the academic year hasn’t even begun! Watch this (re-imagined) space sometime in the spring…
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.