Another packed house last Friday greeted several of the University’s Music Scholars, in their annual lunchtime recital at the Festival Club, accompanied by Deputy Director of Music, Dan Harding.
A rare opportunity to hear not one, but two tubas, with third-year Architecture student Chris Gray, accompanied by his teacher, Steve Wassall, giving a deft reading of a Bach Two-Part Invention and the Minuet and Ecossaise from Catelinet’s ‘Suite in Miniature.’ Not only is Chris a member of the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band and Chorus, he’s also President of the Music Society this year: as he said to me in rehearsal, ”It’s like I’m doing Music with some Architecture on the side.’ A busy man indeed…
Soprano and second-year Drama student Paris Noble swept on-stage to portray three different damsels in distress: O mio babbino caro from Puccini’s ‘Gianni Schicchi,’ Granados’ coquettish El majo discreto, and finishing with Loewe’s dizzying I Could Have Danced All Night from ‘My Fair Lady.’
Second-year Historian, Kathryn Redgers, principal flautist with the Symphony Orchestra and section leader in Concert Band, then gave a dazzling reading of Chaminade’s Concertino, the piece for which Chaminade is chiefly remembered; a child-prodigy, Chaminade once played some of her compositions to Bizet. Kathryn gave an accomplished performance, showing great skill in matching the challenge of the piece’s virtuosic demands, including a finely-crafted cadenza.
Final-year English Literature student Sarah Davies, also in Orchestra and Concert Band and Treasurer of the Music Society this year, gave a suitably poised performance of the second movement of Saint-Saëns’ neo-Classical Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, followed by Gershwin’s jazzy Walkin’ the Dog, which had a swggering, sassy swing.
Chris and Steve then showed the tuba can be as fleet of foot as both the flute and clarinet, in the March and Fugue for two tubas by the prolific Derek Bourgeois.
To end the concert, Paris was joined by soprano Marina Ivanova, in her second year and reading Economics, for two operatic duets, the lyrical Flower Duet from Delibes’ ‘Lakmé’ and the lulling barcarolle, Belle Nuit from the ‘Tales of Hoffmann’ by Offenbach.
As the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Keith Mander observed in his closing remarks, the University has a fine crop of musicians and a vibrant musical life, with the Music Scholars at the heart of all its music-making. With the new Marlowe Theatre having just opened, and the Colyer-Fergusson centre for Music Performanc opening next year to house all the University’s music-making, together with the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate, it really is an exciting time for the cultural life of East Kent and the wider community.
Congratulations to all the performers, and thanks to Sarah Passfield from the Festival team who made us all so welcome.