Tag Archives: Minerva Voices

Was It Good For You: Felicity Bourdillon reflects

Recent graduate from the School of Psychology and Music Award holder, soprano Felicity Bourdillon, President of the Music Society 2021-22,reflects on being involved in extra-curricular music as part of her experience at the University.


When I joined Kent, joining the Music Society, and getting involved with the music department was one of the best decisions I made.

Felicity (front row, middle) with the Chamber Choir performing in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral.

During my time at the university, I sang in multiple choirs and was able to experience many different opportunities by singing in a number of unique and historical venues; singing in Canterbury Cathedral is always such an amazing experience! The Colyer-Fergusson building is such a special place for many members of the  Music Department as it is where we came together for our rehearsals, concerts and where we share many student memories.

Minerva Voices, the upper voices chamber choir, singing at the University Carol Service in Canterbury Cathedral

During my time in the music department, I gained so much confidence not only as a musician but as an individual. I was able to develop so many skills and found my singing abilities to improve greatly over the years I was at Kent as a result of the opportunities within the Music Department. This is due to being surrounded by so many other young musicians and the amazing music department staff that always encourage and support you to challenge yourself musically.

Filming a Scholars’ Spotlight in Colyer-Fergusson Hall during the pandemic 

By being part of the music department and the Kent Music Society, I was able to meet so many lovely people; joining in first year as a fresher can be so daunting but the members of the music society were so welcoming. Meeting so many people who share the same passion and love for music making is such a lovely experience and working with them towards concerts is very rewarding. The music department is where I met many of my closest friends and to have all these shared music experiences, makes the friendships even stronger.

Felicity making her valedictory speech as the outgoing President of the Music Society at the Gala concert marking the end of Summer Music Week 

Image Gallery: Summer Music Week: Part Five: Saturday Gala

The closing rehearsals and concert to bring both Summer Music Week and the musical year at the University to a rousing conclusion, featuring the Symphony Orchestra, Chorus, Minerva Voices, and soloists Will Morgan (Economics) and Ridima Sur (Physics), together with a closing speech from the outgoing President of this year’s Music Society, final-year Psychology student Felicity Bourdillon.

Images © Chris Wenham / University of Kent

Minerva Voices @ Studio 3 Gallery Weds 1 June for an evocative lunchtime concert

Ahead of its performance in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral next month, our upper-voices chamber choir, Minerva Voices, will fill the resonant acoustic of Studio 3 Gallery on the University’s Canterbury campus with music ranging from across the centuries.

From Hildegard von Bingen, through works by Brahms, Gounod and Alvin Lucier to contemporary pieces by Russell Hepplewhite and Sarah Quartel, the half-hour programme will ring round the art gallery in an immersive sonic treat for the audience.

The performance is on Weds 1 June at 1.10pm in the gallery in the Jarman Building; join the choir for an evocative celebration of sacred and secular song.

More details on Facebook here.

Seasonal events get underway in the Music Department

After so long without them, it’s genuinely exciting to be back with musical events as the Christmas season starts to unfold.

The Cecilian Choir, comprising students, staff and alumni launched the Advent season with a sequence of plainsong and carols at St Michael’s Church, Hernhill, a meditative candlelit event interspersed with periods of silent reflection; there was a wonderfully atmospheric moment during one such moment, when the church clock struck on the hour at eight o’clock.

This year’s Chamber Choir, Minerva Voices, returned to the Cathedral on Monday 6 December, for the first time since December 2019, to sing for the University Carol Service; always a special event in the university calendar, drawing its community together in a modified, COVID-safe manner that was nonetheless a very welcome opportunity to come together at this time of the year. Congratulations to final-year Psychology student and Music Award Holder, Felicity Bourdillon (above, fifth from the right), whose solo verse to open ‘Once in royal David’s city’ lifted clear into the Cathedral Nave at the start of the service.

And last night, members of the String Sinfonia were in action in a fearless concert showcasing the versatility of music for string orchestra, including Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro  and some light-footed folksong arrangements by John Rutter.

We’ve still a week of events to go before the term ends; but it’s great to be back.

 

Find out more: Weds 18 September

With Welcome Week about to burst into vibrant activity here at the University, make sure you come along to Colyer-Fergusson on Wednesday 18 September to find out about getting involved in extra-curricular music, whatever you are studying.

Between 11am and 3pm, members of the music staff and the various Music Societies will be on hand to enthuse about the many opportunities to get involved in music as part of student life at Kent. Visitors can look round the award-winning Colyer-Ferguson concert hall, practice rooms and band room, as well as learn about the differing ways in which to become a part of music: whether it’s singing with Chorus, Chamber Choir, Cecilian Choir or the upper-voice choir, Minerva Voices; instrumentalists can join the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band or Big Band, and there are other music societies active during the year including the Musical Theatre Society.

Plans for the Wednesday event include live music on the foyer-stage throughout the day, and there’s the possibility of a Scratch Orchestra play-through of popular film scores, and even choruses from Messiah.

We look forward to welcoming you through the doors of Colyer-Fergusson during Welcome Week, and especially next Wednesday – come and find out how to make rehearsing and performing a part of your university experience, whatever course you may be studying!

Image round-up: Minerva Voices and the String Sinfonia

It’s been an action-packed musical week this week, with several events unfolding across three days.

Composer Russell Hepplewhite came to Colyer-Fergusson on Wednesday to hear Minerva Voices, the University’s upper-voice chamber choir, perform his recent work, Fly away over the sea, as part of the choir’s lunchtime concert. Members of the String Sinfonia joined the choir for a programme which includes music by Vivaldi, Mozart and Ola Gjeilo, alongside plainsong and an American spiritual

Russell Hepplewhite (centre) with Minerva Voices at the Lunchtime Concert

Minerva Voices, conducted by Dan Harding, in rehearsal that morning

Yesterday, the string were in action once again as the String Sinfonia performed a tea-time concert of serenades, including works by Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Britten’s Simple Symphony.

The action continues tonight, as the University Chamber Choir performs a meditative service by candlelight at St Michael’s Church, Hernhill, called Breathing Space, an hour-long event combining music and silence that creates a space for tranquility and reflection. The event starts at 7.30pm and is free, and draws the week to a close in an oasis of calm.

Which will last until next Friday’s annual roof-raising gala concert with the University Concert and Big Bands…

Worn and Weathered: new exhibition comes to Colyer-Fergusson Gallery in March

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.

Coastal Strata: Ruth McDonald
Russell Hepplewhite

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.

Painting by Julie Frampton

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.