Tag Archives: new building

Hall-mark of excellence: Music Scholars lunchtime concert next week

Next week, Weds 7 November, sees the first lunchtime concert given by some of this year’s Music Scholars, accompanied by Yours Truly as we try out the new concert-hall.

The new Colyer-Fergusson concert hall

From Mozart to Sonny Rollins, several of the Scholars will be giving an informal lunchtime concert in the brand-new Colyer-Fergusson hall, in a programme that includes Mozart’s sublime aria, ‘L’amerò sarò costante’ from Il Re Pastore, Monti’s string-showpiece, Czardas, music for piano duet (also by Mozart) and for solo marimba, ‘Think of Me’ from Phantom of the Opera, and two tunes, Tenor Madness and Doxy by Sonny Rollins from a jazz trio.

Admission is free, and the concert lasts from 1.10-1.50pm; more details online here or on the event’s Facebook page here.

Come along to hear the new hall in action, and to hear some of the stars of the University music scene.

And to whet your appetites, here’s the aria by Mozart sung with delicate grace by Kathleen Battle.

Chorus of approval

Last night saw the last of the ‘first’ rehearsals in the new Colyer-Fergusson concert-hall, this time the turn of the University Chorus.

There was a general air of wonderment as members came through the entrance lobby into the new hall, waiting to be seated on the new choral risers.

Everyone waits to be seated

First to be seated were the tenors and basses, ably regimented by ‘Director of Choral Seating,’ Steve;

Seating the tenors and basses

Followed by the ladies of the alto section:

The alto section

And finally the ladies of the soprano section:

The Sopranos

And with everyone seated:

Tutti: this year’s Chorus

Now the hard part is over, the work can begin! 🙂

A week of firsts…

So far, it’s been a week of firsts.

Moving into the new building on Tuesday, Tuesday night saw the first Chamber Choir rehearsal in the new concert-hall.

University Chamber Choir

Yesterday, Day Two of the move, saw the Sirocco Ensemble meeting for the first time this year in one of the upper rehearsal rooms:

Sirocco Ensemble

Following this was the inaugural rehearsal of the newest departmental ensemble, the University String Sinfonia, which became the first instrumental ensemble to use the new hall.

Strings attached: the String Sinfonia

And finally, in the evening, Concert Band and Big Band came into the new building for each of their first rehearsals here.

Band substance: Concert Band

Today is Day Three, which will see the Cecilian Choir rehearsing in the hall this afternoon, followed by the Symphony Orchestra tonight. Which will leave Chorus to meet in the hall on Monday of next week for the first time, and we’ll have run the gamut of all the current ensembles trying out the new building. Plus the development of the building’s social spaces as its furniture is installed.

What an amazing week; and it’s not over yet…

The big day: we’re on the move

The day is here, and we’re moving into the new music building as I write – literally. I’m standing amongst various items of furniture in the new foyer, which we’re gradually dispatching to the various practice-rooms, watching the modular staging being put together that will form a performance area in the new foyer.

As is customary, we’ve been carrying chairs hither and yon; I’m sure that’s in our job descriptions somewhere. And former Music Society President and tuba-player alumnus Chris is back, helping oversee moving equipment from Eliot into the new hall.

Rehearsals will start in the new building forthwith; exciting times beckon… Follow pictures from the day on Twitter.

(Now back to the chairs…!)

New building: latest images

The excitement’s getting almost unbearable, as the date for moving in to the new music building looms ever closer; in the meantime, here are photos from last Friday’s site visit.

View from the foyer balcony towards the Gulbenkian
Looking down the foyer towards stairs to first floor
Rooflight in the concert-hall
View from the balcony behind the audience seating towards choral risers

See a full gallery of all the images from the project, by clicking the album below.


It’s all kicking Orff tonight…

With rehearsals for the University Concert Band and Big Band having begun last Wednesday, and those for the Symphony Orchestra last Thursday, it’s all choral this week – the University Chorus starts rehearsing this evening, and the Chamber Choir tomorrow night, whilst Sing! starts rehearsing this Thursday.

Tonight, we’ll be getting to grips with Handel’s Coronation Anthem The King Shall Rejoice and Orff’s riotous Carmina Burana with the Chorus – both pieces will feature in the Grand Gala concert which will officially launch the new music building at the inaugural concert in December (details online here).

7.30pm this evening, Grimond Lecture Theatre II; open to staff and students of the University without audition, and auditioned external members as usual – see you then!

And to whet your appetites, here’s Seiji Ozawa and the Berlin Philharmonic in a performance from 1989…

N.B. For those interested in Sing! – it starts on Thursday, Rutherford Music Room, 6pm. Be there…

New building: look, no hoardings!

There was a very exciting moment partway through this week, when the hoardings around the construction site were removed; hitherto, the building has been largely hidden behind giant boards (bearing, it has to be said, though, some terrific photos of some of the Music Scholars, courtesy of @mickelous). Alas, all good things must come to an end, and the boards were taken away to reveal the exterior of the building’s reception area and practice rooms.

Exterior of the entrance

In the image above, the nature of the front of the building is finally revealed; the north-east corner boasts large windows around the social space, and the view continues down past the entrance lobby along the foyer; the windows along there will afford views of the foyer-space and its small performance stage. The walkway alongside will be bedecked with trees and a grassed area, in what has already been christened ‘The Boulevard’ by the Director of Music.

View along the northern aspect

Above, you can clearly see the northern facade, leading around to the western-side car-park; this section houses, beyond the social space, the ground-floor practice rooms and kitchen, and above, the first-floor ensemble rehearsal rooms and staff offices.

With the move into the new building now only a few weeks away, we’re starting to get very excited indeed; we hope you are too…

Blogging live from Open Day today

We’re at the ‘Making Music’ stand at #kentopenday today. In a change to our usual spot, we’re in Eliot Hall throughout the day, greeting visitors to the campus who want to find out more about making music at the University, music scholarships, and the brand-new music building (the hoarding around the outside started to come down yesterday, and it’s looking very exciting indeed: pictures to come tomorrow, I hope!).

In-spiring future students…

We’ll be keeping you posted as to how we’re getting on throughout the day both here and on Twitter as well.

10.15am; just over an hour since we started, and we’ve see about ten people already; the usual prize for the Visitor from the Farthest-Flung Corner is currently held by someone from Nottingham. Quite a few string-players too… and the coffee is going well.

12pm; halfway through the day now, and over twenty visitors to the stand; the VfFFC award has now gone to a visitor from Colwyn Bay in Wales! Interest in scholarships from drummers, singers and a saxophonist too. Going well, although our voices are starting to tire…more caffeine required, or possibly even lunch…

2pm and we’re into the last hour; a trickle of visitors over lunch means we’ve now met over thirty people. I popped out earlier to take some photos of the exterior of the building, as all the hoardings have now been taken down (they’re on Twitter if you want to view them), which is particularly exciting a milestone to reach: the end is in sight!

3pm and that’s it for today! Good to meet everyone who came to find out about music at Kent, safe travelling home and we look forward to seeing you this time next year, perhaps! We’re off to recover our lost voices, and to go and leap around outside the newly-revealed exterior of the new building in heady excitement. And no, we won’t be tweeting any photos of that