Tag Archives: Open Day

Season of mists and mellow Open Days…

Brochures: check. Leaflets: check. Laptop: check. Wireless connectivity: check (finally, thanks Sarah Y!). Scholarship information: check.

But there’s something missing, something crucial. Oh wait: Revels! Check. Phew.

University campus
Green and pleasant land...

Yes, it’s Open Day again, and the Director of Music and I are once again at the ‘Making Music at Kent’ stand, o’er-brimming with details about the musical life of the University and the music scholarships. Campus is buzzing with visitors to the University, and the hall is full of vibrant youth enquiring about courses and musical opportunities at Kent. And we’ve got chocolate…

11am update: we’ve seen visitors from Derby, Herts, and the prize for Coming from Farthest Flung Corner is currently by someone from Lincolnshire. Singers, guitarists, a violinist, bass-players have all passed by the stand. Hopefully there’ll be a lull so we can grab a quick coffee shortly…

12.45pm: (after coffee!); a steady stream of visitors to the stand, coming from Surrey, Essex, Bedford, and including singers and instrumentalists, and suddenly a trend of interest in Music Theatre (Music Theatre Soc: take note!). Lots of interest, too, in the new music building – visitors to the campus today are walking past the construction site, so there’s something tangible towards which to point them: “See that steel skeleton ? In year’s time…”

2pm: heading into the final hour, further visitors from Cambridgeshire, Chelmsford, Surrey, and the Revels are running low, a sure sign the end of the Open Day is in sight. If all the visitors translate into students here in 2012, our Concert and Big Bands and choirs are going to be bursting, Music Theatre Society will be awash with soloists and RockSoc inundated with guitarists and bass-players. Bring it on!

Open Day: live from the stand!

It’s 9am, and the doors have just opened to this year’s University Open Day; we’ve been here since 8.15 setting up, and the ‘Making Music at Kent’ stand is bursting with colour in the display of posters and photographs from recent years’ events. (If we can, I’ll get a photo uploaded to show

In-spiring future students...


The Director of Music arrived with bags of sweets to sustain us throughout the day, and has already had her first cup of coffee; it’s always important to know when the tea-booth has opened. We’re looking forward to a stream of visitors interested in making music and the Music Scholarships.

We’ll keep you posted throughout the day as to how it’s going, thanks to wireless technology here in the Sports Hall.

10am: an hour in, and we’ve seen ten visitors and their families, coming from Norfolk, Surrey and elsewhere: the prize for the visitor who’s travelled the farthest is currently held by someone from Swansea. The Director of Music is celebrating a short lull by cracking open the ‘Revels’ as I type, and I’m going to grab my first cup of tea – I wonder if there’s any Earl Gray ?

11.45am: I’ve only just managed to get the tea (no Earl Gray, alas) as suddenly there was a swathe of visitors from especially far-flung corners of the globe: the number of people arriving at the stand has now risen to thirty three, with a particularly international appeal: the record for Visitor From The Farthest Place has now been smashed by someone from Hong Kong, although there’s competition from people from America and Italy. And I thought Kent was the UK’s European university ?!

1pm: four hours in, and we’ve now seen forty five visitors: that’s roughly ten an hour, one every six minutes: the interest is coming now from Devon, Essex and Oxford, with lots of singers, saxophonists, flautists and brass players. I nabbed a suitably toothsome-looking sandwich from the tea-booth back at 12pm,  and it’s been sitting here ever since waiting to be consumed. There might be a slight lull now it’s lunchtime: let’s see…

1.40pm: good and bad news; we’ve managed to fit in lunch, but have eaten all the ‘Revels.’ Woe indeed…

2.15pm: visitor numbers have now reached over sixty, coming from Bucks, Berks, Harrogate, Leicester and Hampshire. With only forty-five minutes left, the end is in sight; our voices are starting to tire, but morale is boosted by the chocolate biscuits the Director of Music is about to open… There’s a definite sense that music is becoming an increasingly attractive provision for students making their university choices, wanting to continue with making music and taking instrumental or singing lessons alongside their formal degree programmes; with the new music building set to open its doors shortly before these visitors would arrive as first-year students, they’re in for a fantastic time.

3pm: and that’s it. Final count 67 visitors, including several more from Oxford, Windsor, Kent, and one from Sweden competing for the Farthest Distance Travelled. The winner must be the one who came from Hong Kong, surely ? Thanks to everyone who came to the music stand today, we’ve met a great many interesting and talented musicians: safe journeys home to all. We’re signing off: see you all again.

Live blog tomorrow

It’s that time of year again: the University Open Day, when we’ll be at the ‘Making Music at Kent’ stand for all your enquiries about musical activities at Kent, as well as information on music scholarships and how to apply.

And as we’re hi-tech hip over here, we’ll be blogging live from tomorrow morning again, as we did last year. We’ll be in front of the stand emblazoned with spectacular images of our music-making over recent years, and you can come and collect a copy of this year’s brochure to discover what happens musically during the year. From choirs to jazz bands, orchestras to rock bands and madrigal consorts to music theatre, we’ve got something for everyone.

If you’re coming to the University Open Day tomorrow, we’ll see you there!

Dispatches from the front-line: Open Day


Making Music stand
Taking a stand...

It’s 9am; here we are, present and correct, the ‘Making Music’ stand is ready, resources are lined up, computer is plugged in, linked up and ready to go: another University Open Day is here.

Armed with coffee and an assortment of confectionery courtesy of the Director of Music’s penchant for chocolate, we’ll be talking to visitors about the musical opportunities on offer at Kent and the Music Scholarships scheme. If you’re an instrumentalist or singer and want to carry on with your music-making, continue with music lessons, and have fun making music as part of a University community, then you’re in the right place!

We’ll be keeping you up-dated throughout the day as to how it’s going.

11am; at least fifteen visitors to the stand so far this morning, coming from Devon, Surrey, Cambridge, Staffordshire, Bedfordshire and Colchester; singers, pianists, a clarinettist, a jazz sax-player, a couple of kit-drummers, a trumpeter and a cellist. 2011 is looking very good already!

11.30am: a couple of improvising jazz sax-players have just come to the stand, leading to great conversations about Sonny Stitt and David Sanborn; plus a kit-drummer into Prog Rock prompting a chat about Muse, Avenged Sevenfold,  Pink Floyd and Genesis (early Genesis, that is) and the whole prog Canterbury scene.  A new ProgRock Soc next year, anyone ?

1pm: the last hour or so has seen a sudden rush of visitors, now over thirty-three have come to the table; so far, the prize for Longest Distance Travelled Today goes to a pianist from Luxembourg; recently we’ve seen people from Devon, Dorset, Bicester, Norwich, Coventry, Reading and Suffolk. We interrupt this news up-date for luncheon: back shortly.

(2pm: A bit of a lunchtime lull meant I could read further depressing news over on Tom Service’s classical music blog in The Guardian about funding cuts: hot on the heels of announcements about cuts in Scotland and the Netherlands comes news about wage-cuts to members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. With funding cuts looming here in the UK, the outlook is rather gloomy: I shouldn’t have bothered, it’s getting more depressing by the week.)

3pm: visitors from Herts, Surrey, Leicester, Wiltshire and Suffolk. A fair few from Norwich, too: perhaps they should have had a shuttle-bus to bring them all ? A lot of enquiries about opportunities for jazz, from a number of improvising saxophonists; excellent. And at least three double-bass players as well: excellent again.

3.45pm: we’ve had over fifty visitors now, including a guitarist, a cellist, flautist, and a bag-pipe player.  No, you read that last one correctly, and no, I didn’t make it up. ‘Twill be a rich and varied musical community next year, potentially. The last few visitors are looming towards the desk, so I’m signing off: safe return journeys to all those who’ve come to Kent today, we look forward to seeing you in 2011. I’m now going to go and buy some throat-sweets…

Open Day: despatches from the front-line

In-spiring future students...

Writing from the front-line: it’s Saturday morning, 11 o’clock, and we’re present at the University of Kent Open Day, having begun at 9 o’clock.

We’re wireless, and able to show visitors for the first time the department website and the blog straight away. The Director of Music is industriously working her way through a jumbo-bag of Rowntrees’ Pick ‘n Mix, and I’m taking the opportunity, in a brief lull in the morning, to report on how it’s going.

It’s been different this year, as visitors have registered in advance to come today: here at the Music at Kent stand, we’ve had a steady stream of visitors enquiring about making music. People have come from Chelmsford, King’s Lynn, Frome in Somerset, Slough, Camberley, Peterborough, Sissinghurst, Bournemouth, and even my hometowns of Worthing and Lancing, Sussex. We’ve also had international visitors, including one from Luxembourg!

It’s now 1pm, and I still haven’t managed to publish this to the blog: it’s been extremely busy this morning and it’s now lunch: I’m sure they’ll all now arrive as we decide to open our sandwiches: it usually happens… We’re about to avail ourselves of the bounteous foodstuffs provided by hospitality, so there’ll definitely be a queue form as I broach the sandwich cartons. I’ll publish this now – finally.

2.20pm: quite a few pianists, singers and brass players making enquiries: I wonder who won the BBC Young Musician of the Year about twelve years ago, when they were making decisions about which instrument they were going to take up ? Two trombonists, two tenor-horn players, a cornet player and a trumpeter: interesting…

3.30pm: with half an hour to go, there’s a lull in the thronging masses: I suspect Uruguay-South Korea or Petzschner-Nadal is commanding people’s attention now. People are still coming through the doors, though, and we’ve had a busy and productive day on the Music stand. If these enquiries translate into successful student applications and Music Scholarship students, the standard of music-making in 2011-12 will be very high indeed, and we’ll have to run several orchestras, a brass group, several choirs and a ensemble comprised entirely of pianists as well as the regular ensembles: Six Pianos by Steve Reich, anyone ?!