From Porchlight’s Community Fundraising Officer, Kate Lumley.
Thank you so much to Dan Harding, Ian Swatman, the University Big Band and the Music Department for supporting Porchlight with the first concert of Summer Music Week and wishing us a Happy Birthday! The charity’s 40th Anniversary has certainly got off to a great start and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support we’ve received so far. It really is fantastic when local groups and businesses decide to fundraise for the charity (especially when that’s combined with brilliant music-making at the seaside!) because their efforts really help change people’s lives in their community and across Kent and Croydon.
Last year, Porchlight managed to help over 4,000 homeless and vulnerable people turn their lives around, and this would not have been possible without the generosity of the general public, local businesses and groups like the UKC Big Band. However, the charity is still in need of your help! More people are needing our help while funds are being cut and this is having a direct impact on our services and in turn, how many people we can reach out to. This is best illustrated through the situation with our Rough Sleeper team, who go out and find rough sleepers early in the morning or in the evening to offer them help, which has been reduced from over twenty workers to just six over the space of two years. This means that more people will be facing the dangers of rough sleeping for longer before we can find and help them. The money raised by the UKC Big Band concert could pay for two Rough Sleeper team workers for a day plus two welcome packs for someone moving into one of our supported accommodation projects with nothing of their own.
If you’d like to support the charity and help our services to continue, please check out our website and read about the many ways you can get involved
Congratulations to the dynamic duo of Ian Swatman and the University Big Band, who launched this year’s Summer Music Week in tremendous style yesterday afternoon.
Glorious sunshine, open skies and sizzling temperatures were all matched by some searingly hot music from the band, together with singers Ruby Mutlow and Steph Richardson, on the Memorial Bandstand at Deal. With the gig due to start at 2.30pm, the band arrived for a soundcheck at 1pm and by 1.15pm a sizeable crowd had already developed; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a soundcheck so well attended…!
Under Ian’s vigorous direction, the band delivered an afternoon of tremendously vibrant music, much appreciated by the large crowd taking in the sun and the songs. The event not only launched this year’s week-long celebration of music to mark the end of the academic year, but was also a part of the yearl-long party for Porchlight, the Kent-based charity that supports homeless and at-risk people across the county; we’re delighted to have taken part.
The week continues today with Scenes from Mozart on the foyer-stage at 5pm, and the Big Band will return this Wednesday for its final musical ‘huzzah!’ in the Colyer-Fergusson Hall at 7.30pm.
As part of next month’s Summer Music Week extravaganza, we are especially delighted to be supporting Porchlight, the local charity providing help for homeless people across Kent. The curtain-raiser to Summer Music Week will see the University Big Band, under the baton of the ever-youthful Ian Swatman, playing on the Bandstand at Deal on Sunday 8 June at 2.30pm in support of the charity, which this year is celebrating its fortieth birthday.
Your loyal correspondent writes more about the event over on the Porchlight website here.
And with the sound of heralding in the distance, the clarion-call of trumpets and a celestial choir, we are delighted to announce that the full line-up of events for Summer Music Week has now been published online.
The annual music celebration of the end of the University year starts with the University Big Band beside the seaside, performing at Deal Bandstand in support of Porchlight on Sunday 8 June at 2.30pm. Events then continue throughout the week – choral music, jazz, Big Band Gala, Music Scholars‘ recital, period-costume with the Dance Orchestra, foyer-stage gigs and more – culminating eventually in Music for a Summer’s Day on Sunday 15 June at 3pm, in which the combined forces of the University Chorus, Orchestra, Concert Band and Chamber Choir bid a rousing farewell to the end of another musical year.
Venues this year range from the seaside at Deal to the historic venues of St Thomas’ Hospital and the ancient St Peter’s Anglican Church in Canterbury, as well as the lively foyer-stage and the Colyer-Fergusson concert-hall.