There’s no let-up in the frantic pace of music-making here in Colyer-Fergusson over the next few days; tomorrow night sees our own ‘Three Choirs’ concert as Invicta Voices, the Chamber Choir and the Cecilian Choir come together for a programme celebrating the richness of choral music from Monteverdi to the present day, for which they will also be joined by the String Sinfonia; and on Sunday, there’s a bonus concert from the Symphony Orchestra featuring movements from Sibelius’s Katelia Suite and Dvorak’s New World Symphony, again featuring the String Sinfonia.
Details of both concerts can be found online here. It’s going to be fun…
The University Cecilian Choir and String Sinfonia have each been quietly preparing for the concert at the end of the month, at which they will come together to perform Monteverdi’ brilliant Beatus Vir and a motet by Hassler.
The two forces came together for the first time yesterday to unleash Monterverdi’s dramatic piece in the hall, with fantastically exciting results. It’s not an easy work; dialogue between the various sections of the choir, and between the choir and the strings, means that there’s no respite – you can’t lose concentration for a moment, and need to be poised constantly for the next entry.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed the digital piano to the fore, which with its harpsichord patch is currently standing in for the genuine article, which is being built and which we hope will be arriving in time for the concert.
Well done to the assembled team; the final performance will involve yet more musicians who were unable to make yesterday’s rehearsal, bringing the combined forces to just under fifty students, staff and alumni. Choir and Sinfonia will be performing on Friday 27 March in a programme shared with the University Chamber Choir and the launching of the new Alumni Chamber Choir, Invicta Voices. The concert is free to attend: more details here.
To whet your appetites, here’s the piece in a vivacious performance from the excellent Collegium Vocale Seoul.
An exciting new project this year is the development of Invicta Voices, a Choir formed from University alumni and former Chamber Choir members under the direction of last year’s student conductor, Matt Bamford. The Choir met for the second time earlier this week, and here’s what Matt had to say.
This week saw the second rehearsal of Invicta Voices, a chamber choir formed of University of Kent Alumnus. The choir, who are resident in London, meet bi-weekly and explore a wide range of choral music from Byrd and Hassler right the way through to more contemporary music from Gjeilo and Whitacre. The idea for an alumni choir first came about after discussions that many members of last year’s choir were graduating and moving to London and wanted to carry on singing together. The establishing of the choir has fallen hand in hand with the University’s 50th anniversary year and the choir are looking forward to our inaugural concert in the Colyer-Fergusson Hall next year.
Our first rehearsal was surrounded by a buzz of excitement and also nerves – not knowing who would turn up, whether the ‘hurricane’ weather would delay people, would people find the venue, do we have enough music… As people arrived it was a case of saying hello to people we had never met and also people who we may not have seen for over four or five years. The most surreal moment came as we sang Barnum’s Dawn. The colour of the piece really suited the sound that the choir made and one of the members commented how strange it was to be singing with ‘familiar faces’ once again. This is one of the most fantastic things about an alumni choir – each member has now carved out, or is in the process of carving out their career and the next steps of their lives yet when we come together and sing we can take a step back to university life whilst looking forward to our upcoming concerts as a newly formed choir.
During our second rehearsal things really took off as we spent two hours getting through as much repertoire as we possibly could. New pieces for all included Ola Gjeilo’s Northern Lights. The choir had the confidence to really sing through the colourful harmony and our ‘choir sound’ began to identify itself. A real excitement also came as we sang through all of Barnum’s Dawn a capella for the first time.
We are incredibly excited to be officially launching the choir at our inaugural concert in March. The opportunity to return to Canterbury and sing in the fantastic Colyer-Fergusson will be a very special occasion for all those involved. Including those who fundraised for the hall in the early stages but are yet to see the new building. With a wide range of repertoire to explore before then, the hard work can now commence.
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.