Tag Archives: Orchestra

Image Gallery: Summer Music Week 2024 in pictures

A marvellous end to the academic year at the University, our annual Summer Music Week festival saw a packed programme of events bidding a musical adieu to the year.

From the opening Bond and Beyond with the Big Band, String Sinfonia and Festival Voices, through the Big Band gigging at Deal Bandstand, two student lunchtime recitals, Minerva Voices and Consort at the Cathedral Crypt, and concluding with Chorus, Orchestra, Cecilian Choir, Concert Band and student soloists in the closing gala, it’s been an action-packed week showcasing the extra-curricular music provision here at Kent in vibrant, robust form.

(Here’s a small snapshot of the events over the course of the festival; many more can be found on our Facebook Group).

Congratulations and huge thanks to everyone who took part, to all the performers, to the various donors and music supporters, and to the audiences who came to support the concerts. It’s been a great year of music-making – we’re already looking forward to the next!

Standing ovation for this year’s Cathedral performance

Many congratulations to everyone in the University Chorus and Orchestra, who received a standing ovation at the end of Saturday’s epic performance in Canterbury Cathedral.

This year’s annual Colyer-Fergusson concert, in honour of Sir James Colyer-Fergusson, saw the combined ranks of students, staff, alumni and members of the local community coming together to present Brahms’ inventive Symphony no.4, alongside Fauré’s Requiem, performed to the mark the centenary this year of the composer’s death.

Photo by Hilary Edridge

Conducted by Your Local Correspondent, and joined by soprano soloist Julie Bale and baritone soloist Ben Bevan, the concert was a resounding success, greeted with an enthusiastic ovation from the audience who stood and applauded as the final notes of the Requiem receded down the Nave.

Plenty of happy faces in the Chapter House, which functioned as the dressing-room on the night, as evidenced in these images of some of the choir and orchestra.

Formal photographs to follow; thank you to everyone who took part.

Easy like Sunday morning: Chorus and Orchestra warm up for the Cathedral concert

A busy weekend for the Music department; following the Saturday concert at St Mary of Charity in Faversham with the String Sinfonia, Sunday brought together the combined forces of the Chorus and Symphony Orchestra in an all-day rehearsal, as we prepare for our concert in Canterbury Cathedral this coming weekend.

A morning devoted to Faure’s sublime Requiem was followed by an afternoon working on Brahms’ epic Symphony no.4 with the orchestra alone.

It was a pleasure to welcome back a few familiar faces as some alumni who will be joining us for Saturday’s concert came back to Colyer-Fergusson to take part in the rehearsal.

Join us this Saturday to see how all the hard work pays off…

Image Gallery: December concerts round-up

Our seasonal programme has brought the musical term to a richly-colourful conclusion, ending a busy term for the University’s extra-curricular music provision.

The Cecilian Choir, comprising staff, students and alumni, travelled to St Michael’s church, Hernhill, at the start of the month to sing a sequence of Advent plainsong and carols to usher in the festive season.

Our Wild Musical Revelry Weekend presented a pair of concerts exploring themes of myths and legend; the first evening with String Sinfonia, directed by Floriane Peycelon, and Concert Band with Ian Swatman:

Concert Band backstage before the second half

and the second evening with the University Orchestra, Chorus and soloists,

Chorus and Orchestra in rehearsal
Members of University Chorus deploying the selfie frame ahead of Saturday’s performance

The upper-voices chamber choir, Minerva Voices, sang as part of the University Carol Service in Canterbury Cathedral, conducted by second-year Wildlife Conservation student and Music Performance Scholar, Charlotte Farmer:

Minerva Voices, conducted by Charlotte Farmer, rehearsing in the Cathedral

and the term came to a rousing conclusion with the Big Band’s annual Christmas Swingalong, conducted again by the evergreen Ian Swatman sporting a Christmas Hull City jumper.

Up the Tigers! Ian Swatman gets in the festive mood ahead of the gig…

And making her debut with the big band was first-year singer, Tayo Fanifosi, whi delivered several crowd-pleasing festive numbers.

A fitting conclusion to an industrious term; with thanks to everyone who took part!

Circle of Remembrance: new album on Spotify features Kent alumna Aisha Bové

Fresh out on Bandcamp is a reflective album, The Circle of Remembrance, by singer-songwriter Jeska Onderwater, which also features the cello-playing of Kent alumna, Aisha Bové.

Aisha graduated in 2013 with a BA in English & American Literature and English Language and Linguistics, and played cello in the Symphony Orchestra, leading the section, as well as playing chamber music, whilst at Kent; she is also one of the founding members of the String Sinfonia. Aisha currently teaches English on the IB programme at L’Athénée de Luxembourg.

Aisha, pictured playing in Colyer-Fergusson Hall in 2013Aisha recently had the chance to record some backing cello sounds for Jeska, who originally came from the Netherlands but now lives and works in Luxembourg.

Jeska contacted her in March when she was looking for a cellist to add some final parts to her recordings. The album was recorded in different places, mixed and mastered in again other places, including Portugal and Luxembourg. Jeska and Aisha met up at Unison studios in Luxembourg to record the cello lines.

“She gave me a lot of freedom in deciding what I wanted to play,” recalls Aisha, “ and so I added some background sounds that went nicely with her singing, but also some solo parts. As her music is generally quite calm, I saw it as my main role to add that extra layer, almost like a cushion/ carpet. We recorded the four tracks in one afternoon.”

A gently meditative album, drenched in birdcalls and sounds of nature, Aisha’s cello provides a warm counterpoint to some filigree guitar and an intimate vocal line, playing as she does on tracks 6,7,8 and 11.

“The musical memories from Kent are some of the fondest ones I have, and I believe that the variety of music-making, from orchestra, to different ensembles and even busking in the streets of Canterbury have really helped me become the musician I am today.”

The String Sinfonia performing on campus in the summer of 2013

Take a reflective listen on Bandcamp here.

Image Gallery part II; Chorus and Orchestra by Molly Hollman

Huge gratitude to percussionist and award-winning photographer Molly Hollman, who, went not diligently playing percussion in the orchestra on Saturday, took time during the rehearsal at Canterbury Cathedral to capture the atmosphere of the moment in these fabulous photographs.

Pictured here are University Chorus and Orchestra in action, rehearsing Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest, ahead of a marvellous performance later that night.

Our thanks to Molly for permission to share these fantastic shots; all this and playing percussion too…!

Image Gallery: Chorus and Orchestra at the Cathedral

Last weekend saw the University Chorus and Orchestra come together for a blazing concert of Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony and Dan Forrest’s epic Requiem for the Living, for the annual Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert.

Here are photos of the combined forces in action rehearsing on the morning of the concert.

Images © Chris Wenham / University of Kent

Image Gallery: A Christmas Cornucopia

Congratulations to the members of the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, on a splendidly seasonal concert last month. Part of the Anniversary Weekend celebrating ten years since Colyer-Fergusson first opened its doors, A Christmas Cornucopia brought the choir and orchestra together (including many musical alumni) in music by Tchaikovsky,  Handel, Buxtehude and Malcolm Arnold.

Pictured are the musicians in rehearsal and performance, including the post-concert reception in the foyer afterwards with guests, Music donors and alumni.

Photos © University of Kent / Nathan Eaton-Baudains