Tag Archives: Orchestra

Image Gallery: Summer Music Week: Part Five: Saturday Gala

The closing rehearsals and concert to bring both Summer Music Week and the musical year at the University to a rousing conclusion, featuring the Symphony Orchestra, Chorus, Minerva Voices, and soloists Will Morgan (Economics) and Ridima Sur (Physics), together with a closing speech from the outgoing President of this year’s Music Society, final-year Psychology student Felicity Bourdillon.

Images © Chris Wenham / University of Kent

Image Gallery: Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert: in rehearsal

Congratulations to all the members of the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra on Saturday’s electrifying return to Canterbury Cathedral. For the first time since 2019, the annual Colyer-Fergusson concert resounded in the Cathedral Nave, and we were delighted to welcome back several alumni to take part.

Thank you also to our fantastic soloists: soprano Rachel Nicholls, mezzo Emma Stannard, and two Kent alumni, tenor Andrew Macnair and bass-baritone Piran Legg.

Images © Chris Wenham / University of Kent

Image gallery: University Symphony Orchestra in rehearsal

It’s a busy time for the Music department, and for the Symphony Orchestra in particular; not only is the annual Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral concert looming, for which the Orchestra is preparing works by Haydn and Mendelssohn – but the musicians are also performing as part of next month’s Composer in Focus event featuring John Woolrich.

Pictured here at a recent weekend rehearsal are the musicians working on Woolrich’s Gesänge der Frühe, which the Orchestra will perform as part of the event on 2nd April, alongside the String Sinfonia and several Music Scholarship pianists, exploring John Woolrich’s music and approaches to composition.

Images © Chris Wenham / University of Kent

Supporting an international student musician: Aline Kellenberger

One of the excellent facilities the Music department is able to offer is particular support for international students involved in extra-curricular music at the University, thanks to the Barry Wright Legacy fund. Here, woodwind player Aline Kellenberger reflects on her experience with the University Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band this year.


One year ago I started to plan my Study Abroad at the University of Kent. As I was looking into all the different societies the university offered, I saw the music society with the Orchestra and the Concert
band. That day I decided not to join as it would be complicated to bring my oboe with me, both in luggage space and out of fear of something happening to my instrument.

I arrived in England last September for the autumn term, I joined different societies, met new people and overall enjoyed my time abroad. But two weeks into the term I already missed playing music. So I decided to get into contact with the Music Administrator of Kent, Sophie Meikle, and asked if I could rent an oboe for myself. She immediately answered me and told me that the music department would like to rent it for me. A few weeks later they also offered to rent the cor anglais!

One of the greatest things here at Uni has definitely been being able to practice together with so many people. Due to Covid all group rehearsals and concerts over the last years were cancelled, so it felt
really great to play with other people again. Especially being able to perform the Christmas Concert at the end of last year’s term together with the choir in front of an audience! I have now started my second term here at Kent and have another three months to look forward to playing with the Orchestra as well as the Concert band. If somebody had told me one year ago that I would get to play in the
Cathedral of Canterbury I would have not believed them.

The Symphony Orchestra rehearsing before the concert, conducted by Dan Harding. Photo: Jeni Martin

I am extremely grateful for the warm welcome I got from everyone in the music society and especially for this opportunity. Since I am an exchange student I was not able to bring my own instrument with me, this was due to the amount of luggage I could bring with me. The University of Kent gives me the chance to not only study abroad and improve my English, but also allows me to continue my hobby of 17 years. Playing with the Orchestra as well as the Big Band gives me new experiences, helps me keep up with practice and helps me improve my English. It is also a very good opportunity to improve my own skills by playing with so many different people.

Members of the Symphony Orchestra backstage before the performance

I decided to come to the University of Kent specifically for its language department and now I am so happy that I got the
opportunity to also join the music department.

Aline Kellenberger, University of Bern

Nice to see you again: welcoming two University alumni as soloists for the Cathedral Concert in March

For the first time since 2019, the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra return to the magnificence of Canterbury Cathedral in March, for the annual Colyer-Fergusson Concert.

Named in honour of Sir James Colyer-Fergusson, the yearly event has been sorely missed; the Music department is very excited at the prospect of returning to the heart of the cathedral city once more this March, and to add to the occasion we’re looking forward to welcoming two alumni and former Music Scholars as soloists.

Haydn’s dramatic Nelson Mass, written in the shadow of Napoleon’s advancing army, will feature tenor Andrew Macnair and bass-baritone Piran Legg.

Andrew Macnair in costume in a producttion of the Marriage of Figaro, in severe black and white
Andrew Macnair: Image credit Edmond Choo

Andrew arrived at the University of Kent in 1987 to read Physics, and was a Music SCholars as well as President of Music Society and Chamber Music Society.  Numerous concerts, several operas, eight years and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance later, he took up a career in singing after Kent, and has been singing with the Royal Opera Chorus, Covent Garden, since 2006.

Piran Legg. Image credit Clive Barda / ArenaPAL;

Hailing from the seaside town of Whitstable, Piran studied History at Kent; he moved onto the Opera School at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has since performed extensively in opera
around the UK and abroad, working as a soloist with companies such as Wexford Festival Opera, Garsington Opera, Scottish Opera and the LSO.

Bringing together musicians amongst the University community of staff and students, as well as members of the local community and alumni, the concert in March will be something to remember, as we pass through the doors of the Cathedral for the first time in three years to fill the space with Haydn’s epic mass setting, coupled with the youthful vigour of Mendelssohn’s first symphony.

Tickets and details online here.

Tidings of Comfort and Joy:Chorus and Orchestra back for the first time since December 2019

Congratulations to the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, together again for the first time in two years on Saturday for a sparklingly seasonal concert.

Photo: Charlotte Allioux

A sold-out house and an enthusiastic audience greeted the combined musical forces, embracing students, staff, alumni, and members of the local community in a programme including Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols with baritone Simon Thorpe, and Tchaikovsky’s glittering Nutcracker Suite.

Members of the Symphony Orchestra backstage before the performance

Thank you to everyone involved; a delight to be back making music together! We’re back next term with Haydn and Mendelssohn in Canterbury Cathedral…

The Symphony Orchestra rehearsing before the concert, conducted by Dan Harding. Photo: Jeni Martin

In pictures: Summer Music Week 2021

It was marvellous to get back to music-making at the end of term, to bring musicians and audiences together for the annual musical farewell to the University’s academic year. Many thanks to the University photographer, Matt Wilson, for capturing the events throughout the course of the week.

Big Band: Sunday Swing

 

Music Scholars’ Lunchtime Recital
(read the programme here)

 

Music Scholars’ Evening Recital: Canterbury Cathedral

(read the programme here)

Closing concert: Music for a Summer’s Day

(read the programme here)

With thanks to all the performers, audiences, staff and technicians who made this all possible. An especial farewell and thanks to all those who were performing for the final time.

Images: © Matt Wilson / University of Kent

Summer Music Week 2021: rehearsals are underway

For the first time since December, we’re able to resume in-person rehearsals once more, as we come together in preparation for this year’s somewhat smaller (but no less welcome!) Summer Music Week.

It’s the first week of term, and at first the Chamber Choir and String Sinfonia have begun rehearsals, as well as some of this year’s Music Scholars in preparation for various recitals.

Photo: Flo Peycelon

Wednesday night saw Concert Band and Big Band back in action:

Photo; Jonathan Stott

And Thursday saw the Symphony Orchestra coming together tutti for the first time since March 2020:

Photo: Ian Swatman

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It’s a very welcome return to music-making! Follow the pictorial story through the term over on our Pinterest board here; Summer Music Week is on its way…