Tag Archives: new building

Blogging live from #kentopenday

It’s Open Day today, and we’re very excited as it’s our first opportunity to welcome visitors to the University interested in music – in the new Colyer-Fergusson building!

In-spiring future students…

We’ll be here throughout the day until 3pm with information on all the extra-curricular musical activities open to students at Kent, as well as details about Music Scholarships for more advanced performers.

We’ve been setting up in the foyer this morning, and are now ready to go: follow us on Twitter throughout the day, or follow #kentopenday; either way, we’ll see you later!

11.00 and we’ve seen visitors from Norfolk, Surrey, Sussex, London, but the contender for the informal Visitor from the Farthest-Flung Shore has so far come from Toulouse! Lots of people interested in studying History as well… Clearly this year’s President of the Music Society, flautist and Historian Kathryn, has inspired them!

11.45am: a new contender for the Visitor from the Farthest-Flung Shore coming to talk about music – Rome! I wonder if anyone might beat that today…

1.30pm and we’ve seen a steady stream of visitors, over thirty interested in the musical possibilities offered as part of life at Kent. Quite a few interested in Musical Theatre as well; watch out, Music Theatre Soc, you might be very busy next year…!

3pm: and that’s it for the day. Many thanks to all those visitors who came to see us about making music here, safe trip home to wherever you may be going, see you in 2014 perhaps!



Medallion Man: RIBA plaque

Further to the previous post about the Colyer-Fergusson Building winning a RIBA award, here’s documentary evidence – project manager Mark Ashmore, from the University Estates Department, bearing the wall-plaque announcing the award.

Mark had to carry the award, made from lead, heroically back from the awards ceremony in London all the way to Dover after the event; and believe me, it’s heavy…Worth the effort, though…!

Mark Ashmore bearing the award
Mark Ashmore bearing the award

Music in this month’s Kent Staff magazine

I’m delighted to see that Music features several times in this month’s edition of the KentStaff magazine.

The nomination of the music building for a double architectural award appears on p.4; the fund-raising success of the From Bond to Basie concert appears on p.11; and the second appearance of the Estates Team Choir as part of ‘Watch This Space’ on p.19, complete with a photograph that appears to show yours truly glowing with radioactive dust… 😮

Read all these and more below.

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New building comes alive with music for Open View

Yesterday’s Open View event, hosted by architects Tim Ronalds, saw the new Colyer-Fergusson Building come alive with music, visitors and guests, as musicians performed in all the available spaces throughout the building.

Guests in the new foyer

Between 3-8pm, the entire place was abuzz with jazz, choral music, solo percussion and piano, acoustic guitar and string quartet music, an aural backdrop as invited guests toured the new facilities, and saw (and heard!) it in action. It was also the first opportunity to test-drive the new performance stage in the foyer, which proved to be a fantastic space with terrific acoustics, ranging from the delicate close-harmony singing of vocal trio ‘The Canterberries’ to the liquid soprano-sax improvisations from sax teacher, Peter Cook. There was even a guest appearance from Ned, the acoustic consultant from the firm Arup Acoustics, on sax (and congas) as well; truly an occasion in which music could be made by many.

Percussion Scholar Carina Evans
Pianist Scholar Sharon Yam puts the Steinway through its paces
Saxophonist Scholar Tim Pickering and your loyal correspondent try out the new foyer-stage
Guitarist Andrew Kitchin
Pianist Scholar Susan Li gets to grips with Rachmaninov in the concert-hall
Through a glass; darkly: string players in one of the upper rehearsal rooms
The Canterberries in ‘All I Want for Christmas’
Second-year Emma Murton rehearsing the Chamber Choir

With thanks to all the musicians who took part, and brought the entire building to life.

Ring for Children in Need this Thursday

A unique music premiere in support of this year’s BBC ‘Children in Need’ appeal will take place in the  new Colyer-Ferguson Hall this Thursday at 1.10pm.

Pudsey BearCombining the sixtieth anniversary of John Cage’s silent, yet controversial, musical masterpiece, 4’ 33’’, the event encourages audience participants to use their mobile phone ringtone as part of the one-of-a-kind performance. Each of the three movements will see participants ‘playing’ a different ring-tone from their mobile phone.

Three Movements in Ring-Tonality, written by your loyal correspondent, is both homage to Cage’s piece and an unusual opportunity to make music using an instrument normally banned from the concert-hall. It’ll be a terrific opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause, as well as to pay tribute to Cage’s masterwork in a novel manner that will make musicians of everyone who takes part.

The annual fund-raising event for Children in Need is a special part of our calendar and this year is even more exciting as we will be giving a world première in our brand-new concert-hall.

Come along; bring your mobile-phone (and a donation!) and prepare for the unexpected…

In pictures: Music Scholars lunchtime concert in the new hall

So, it finally happened; yesterday saw the first public event in the new Colyer-Fergusson Hall, a lunchtime recital given by some of this year’s Music Scholars.

An enthusiastic audience greeted the performers with terrific warmth – and how fitting that it should be the students, who after all are at the heart of the University’s musical life, who gave the first performance in the new building.

Director of Music welcomes the first audience


Susan Li (left) and Sharon Yam in Mozart
Carina Evans
Soprano Kathryn Cox sings Mozart
Bassist Gordon Wood, and Tim Pickering
Tim Pickering in some ‘Tenor Madness’
All together now! Including Amy Wharton

Pictures: Matt Wilson