After a much-condensed version of our annual musical farewell to the academic year last summer, we’re delighted to present this year’s festival, back in full spate and bringing back all our – and your – favourite events as Summer Music Week returns to the concert-hall – and beyond…
The festival this year runs from Sunday 5 to Saturday 11 June, launching with the Big Band taking some sea air at Deal Memorial Bandstand for a festive Sunday of sunshine and swing, and continues with a Lunchtime Recital by some of this year’s Music Scholars, the usual roof-raising Concert and Big Band Gala, a lunchtime concert of music for string orchestra, an evocative performance by our upper-voices chamber choir in the Cathedral Crypt, all culminating in Music for a Summer’s Day and a fond farewell to this year’s music-making.
Take a look at the line-up of events online here, a mixture of free and ticketed events, and join us as we say a festive musical adieu to the academic year.
We[re delighted to present the film of Sure on this Shining Night, a recital given back in June in the Quire of Canterbury Cathedral by some of last year’s Music Performance Scholars during Summer Music Week.
Given under COVID-compliant restrictions to a small audience as part of a much-condensed series of events marking the end of the musical year at the University, the recital is now available to view online; ranging from Scottish bagpipe music to works by Samuel Barber, Fauré, Mendelssohn and finishing with two contemplative pieces for piano quintet by Olafur Arnalds, the performance was a testament to the commitment of the musical community at Kent last year to continue rehearsing and performing where possible during such challenging times.
The Music department is grateful to Chris Wenham for creating the film, and to all the performers who took part.
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.
The first two events in this year’s Summer Music Week have got the series off to a flying start; at the weekend, the Sunday Swing with the University Big Band, conducted by Ian Swatman, and vocalist third-year Elle Soo, went down a storm!
The event was also the inaugural livestream direct from Colyer-Fergusson and had a lively online audience watching at the time – since then, it has gone on to garner (at the time of writing) well over 800 views – if you missed it, you can see it below or watch it here:
Yesterday saw the first of two Scholars’ Recitals (the second takes place on Friday in Canterbury Cathedral); a selection of this year’s Music Performance Scholars presented a programme including a classic number made famous by Etta James, some sparkling French flute repertoire, and closed with a vivacious duet for two violas by Telemann.
Many thanks to all the performers involved in both events; it’s great to be back making live music in Colyer-Fergusson once more and welcome audiences through the doors; and it’s not over yet…
The Big Band was rehearsing on Sunday ahead of its event on Sunday 6th June, Sunday Swing, which will launch this year’s Summer Music Week.
Willing victims as always, the players, conductor Ian Swatman, together with third-year Social Anthropology student and singer, Elle Soo, gamely agreed to allow us to use the opportunity to test the livestreaming facility, in order to share the concert online (a limited audience capacity means we aren’t able to accommodate the usual Full House that greets the Big Band events).
Whilst the ensemble was working, the technical crew was working tirelessly behind the scenes to set up and test the cameras, microphones, lighting and streaming platform around the musicians; and I’m pleased to say that it worked. There were some spine-tingling moments as live music lifted into the concert-hall once more after so many months without it, and it was lovely to see the audience-seating back out in the hall, something we’ve not seen since March 2020!
Thanks to Thomas, George and Joe, we’re delighted to say that, for those who can’t join us in person at 2.30pm this Sunday, we will be able to share the event live online. Watch the event live on YouTube here (see also below) – thanks to Ian and the players for heroically acting as our digital guinea-pigs as we usher in the new Digital Age in Colyer-Fergusson Hall…
Rehearsals for Summer Music Week were especially welcome this week, as the ensembles returned to the concert-hall for the first time since last November.
All week, the hall has been reinvigorated with the sound of Concert Band, Big Band, Chamber Choir, String Sinfonia and Orchestra rehearsing for the series of events in a few weeks’ time; and several of the Music Scholars have been working on chamber music as well.
It’s a welcome return to live music-making, hearing the building resound to ensemble music once more.