With Freshers’ Week in full spate, today and tomorrow sees the Freshers’ Fayre, when all manner of societies across the University will be endeavouring to convince and cajole new students into joining the vast swathe of societies that makes up University Life.
The Music Society is no exception, and is currently ensconced in the foyer of the Colyer-Fergusson Building, as various committee members meet-and-greet new members of the University, talk to them about the various musical ensembles and opportunities on offer, and even bribe them with sweets…
There’s even been live jazz from some of the University Music Scholars on the foyer-stage, the first live musical event of the year.
Come and find them tomorrow, when they’ll be in the Freshers’ Fayre over in Eliot; see what’s on offer musically here at Kent, and maybe there’ll even be some sweets left…
Secretary of this year’s Music Society, cellist and soprano Aisha Bové was away from the University recently; it turns out she was involved in a very royal occasion indeed…
Some of you might not have heard the news, but one of Europe’s monarchs got married on the 20th of October, reuniting all the important kings and queens from around the world in one place. Prince Guillaume from Luxembourg, heir to the throne, married Countess Stephanie de Lannoy in a sumptuous celebration at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Luxembourg. I myself was there in person, as a member of the cathedral choir, singing in the mass which was broadcasted live on Luxembourgish and German national TV.
The royal couple is known to be very down to earth and approachable, and they played a major role in the process of choosing the musical program. The main piece was Mozart’s Missa in C. Additional pieces were Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42, which was sung in German, small liturgical pieces, in French and Luxembourgish. The mass was finished off by Handel’s well known Hallelujah, to give the couple a joyful ending to their ceremony. The choir was accompanied by organ and the Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra.
You can watch the whole ceremony online or on Youtube, and be amazed by the glamorous appearance of it all. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of it, even though it meant that I had to stand still from 9am – 1pm, and could not find a way out of the city for another two hours afterwards. It was a lifetime opportunity and sure was a unique experience, to see the people you normally know out of the magazines sat a stone’s throw away, listening to your music.
This year’s new trio at the helm of the Medway Music Society are feeling very pleased with themselves already; meeting them in the third week of the new academic year, membership is already up on last year’s total.
The man in charge this year is Jack McDonnell, who assumes the Presidency after being Vice-President last year. Vice-President for 2012-13 is Garrick Wareham, and Treasurer is Joe Tinker.
The trio have once again set the musical life of the Medway campus rolling in continuing their highly successful Tuesday night Band Night and Rockaoke sessions, both of which were instigated last year and continue to attract crowds to Coopers on Tuesday nights. They’ve also set up special deals for Medway’s burgeoning Music Society members with music stores in town, and are hinting at some exciting new projects in collaboration with other societies at the campus that could lead to some large-scale projects in the year ahead.
“We were all over Freshers’ Week,” declares Jack decisively over lunch at the No.1 Cafe, “but there’s still more we can do. With the new BMus course that’s started here at Medway, there’s a bunch of new students we can get involved in the Society. We’ve already got more paid-up members than we had last year; and we want to get them all into Coopers!”
Garrick, meanwhile, is busy co-ordinating the return of the Medway Big Band which, he says enthusiastically, “we’re re-christening the Medway Jazz-Funk Band, which is the new direction we want to go.”
This year, Rockaoke starts next Tuesday from 8pm in Coopers; there’s also the launch of the Universities at Medway String Group, Big Band and Chamber Choir this term. The Society is now taking signups for Battle of the Bands which starts next month, and there’s even a Pub Golf social coming up! Get in touch with them via e-mail.
The Society has an active Facebook page and lively presence on Twitter, and looks set to continue developing the musical life at Medway. Keep an eye out; there’s plenty of exciting times ahead…
Today sees the Welcome Fayre as part of Freshers’ Week, as the various Societies flock to campus to entice this year’s students into joining.
Pictured right is what Hannah P has suggested is the new motivational means to encourage you to pay your subscription to the Music Society this year…
Members of this year’s Society Executive have been on campus since early this morning to prepare; here they are in action in the marquee in Eliot car-park a short time ago. They’ll be at the stand until the end of the day; drop by, say hello, and find out what’s happening musically this term.
Congratulations to our brothers and sisters over on the Medway campus, who won ‘Society of the Year’ and ‘Most Improved Society’ for the Medway Music Society at the UMSA awards ceremony at the King Charles Hotel last night.
Vice-President and Secretary, Jack McDonnell won Personality of the Year, whilst President this year Ethan Sacre picked up the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution.’
This is some well-deserved recognition for all the hard work the trio of Executives (together with Secretary, Clive Berry) has done to create a vibrant musical society life on the Medway campus, with band nights, competitions, links with local music businesses and charity fund-raising. As anyone who’s followed their activities on Facebook and their blog will know, it’s been a buzzing year both for musical activities as well as other society life on the Medway campus.
Hats off to the team; what will next year bring, I wonder.
I’m delighted to say that details of our Summer Music events here at the University have just been published online.
Taking place from Wednesday 6 – Sunday 10 June, Summer Music celebrates the end of the academic year with a rich feast of musical events, including a Scholars’ Lunchtime Concert; the annual Big Band Gala at the Gulbenkian; Lunchtime at the Labyrinth; a two-choirs choral concert at St Mildred’s, Canterbury; the Musical Theatre Society; and the traditional summer Music Society concert, complete with balloons and cream-teas!
Click here to view all that’s happening, as University Music provides a vibrant conclusion to another year of music-making.
The executive at the helm of this year’s Medway Music Society has burst onto the scene in a vibrant fashion, brimming with ideas and a vision for the musical life at Medway.
We travelled to Medway yesterday to meet this year’s dynamic trio of Djack Mcdonnell (Vice-President and Treasurer, Music Technology), Clive Berry (Secretary, Engineering) and Ethan Sacré (President, Business), who are brim-full of plans for leading musical activities and events over the course of this year.
For these three, music lies at the heart of the student experience, on a campus which combines three universities – Kent, Canterbury Christ Church and Greenwich. In fact, two of the team are Kent students and the third is at Greenwich – a small glimpse of the co-operative Medway tripartite experience. Meeting Djack, Chris and Ethan, you’re immediately struck by their fiery enthusiasm for enriching the muscial life of all the students across Medway, and their vision for a vibrant society life.
Numbers in the Medway Music Society are rising steadily, and their musical life really got underway last week with ‘Rockaoke’ (read the Medwire review here, complete with photos). The whirlwind continues next week with the first heat in their ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition, competing for prizes including studio recording time, vouchers and performing opportunities.
The team, in true enterprising fashion, has demonstrated a sound business sense: it has arranged links with local music shops and services in the area, giving members of the Society discount opportunities at a range of stores.
”Campus life is very de-centralised,’ says Ethan, ”with students going into town in the evenings for their social life. And if you don’t go into town, you go to the Student Union by default.” The team aims to change this, by bringing events back to the Medway campus and encouraging students to come to gigs and shows. Spaces and venues are a challenge, they admit, but they are exploring potential spaces here and there, and have a wealth of flexible events lined up, from small-scale open mic nights to…well, I can’t say more.. . They are also aware of the importance of striking the right note at Open Days and during Freshers’ Week; of demonstrating to potential students that there is a student social life to be had at Medway. Plans are afoot to develop new ensembles as well, to cater for the diversity of musical interests that has come to Medway this year.
Having interviewed several Medway students this year, and reading the dialogue on their active Facebook page, it’s already apparent that the artistic side of life on the campus could potentially be very lively: the task now is to harness that energy and realise its potential. And if anyone were capable of doing just that, it would be this team. Prepare for the tide to turn….
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.