Tag Archives: Summer Music Week

Summer Music Week: Days Six and Seven

Summer Music Week came to a flourishing finale on Saturday, as the last two days of our week-long end-of-year celebration seemed to go in a flash.

Friday afternoon saw the Music Theatre Society previewing their ‘Send in the Showtunes’ showcase on the foyer-stage at lunchtime, with some characterful renditions of parts of Little Shop of Horrors and Cabaret. The evening concert featured the Chamber and Cecilian Choirs in choral music from the Renaissance to the present-day – another opportunity to feature the new departmental harpsichord, in Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir – including the premiere of Ringing Changes by composer Matthew King, blending choral music with electronics.

The foyer and concert-hall were in their decorative best on Saturday for Music for a Summer’s Day, the traditional finale featuring the Chorus, Orchestra and Chamber Choir bidding a final farewell to the musical year. There were tears, too, as final-year sopranos Kathryn Cox and Rowena Murrell stepped out from the Chorus’s bustling West Side Story medley to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone, and also as all those performing with the department for the final time stood for their applause. The Chamber Choir moved from the atmospheric landscape of Chydenius’ Autumn under final-year Emma Murton to lively pop and close-harmony jazz; Michael Sosinski handled his cork-popping solo in the Champagne Polka with regal dignity; and the concluding chorus of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ was conducted with great aplomb by Pro Vice-Chancellor, Keith Mander, a terrific champion of music at the University, for whom this was the last concert.

The sunshine was also on hand as performers, parents and guests mingled on the Registry lawn for post-performance cream teas, and the opportunity to say goodbye.

You can see photos from throughout the week over on our Pinterest board. Formal photographs from the week will be appearing shortly; stay tuned…

Summer Music Week: days Three and Four

The music continues unabated this week as Summer Music Week rings around the building; days Three and Four saw a lunchtime recital by some of the University Music Scholars, followed by the annual awarding of the Music Prizes; performers Jonathan Butten, Anne Engels, Rianna Carr and John Gabriel together with guest Benedict Preece performed two movements from Ravel’s magical Mother Goose Suite; Emily Farrell demonstrated the euphonium’s light-footed side in an arrangements of Mozart’s Rondo alla turca; cellist Faith Chan and mezzo-soprano Charley Tench performed Purcell’s Dido’s Lament; and harpist Emma Murton gave a dazzling rendition of Debussy’s first Arabesque and Salzedo’s shimmering Chanson dans la nuit. The concert was also the first formal outing for the department’s newly-commissioned harpsichord, a stunning instrument built by Andrew Wooderson, and a generous donation by Dr James and Jenny Bird, for which we are immeasurably grateful.

Day Four featured the Sax Ensemble on the foyer-stage at lunchtime, with Hannah Wiffen, Felicity Langford and Patrick Eves joined by Chris Murrell on drums, led by Peter Cook. In the afternoon, the hall rang to the sound of the Concert Band and Big Band in rehearsal under the baton of conductor Ian Swatman, and the evening saw the bands, together with vocalist and alumna Steph Richardson, bring their musical year to a rousing conclusion.

Thanks to Phoebe Hopwood for this splendid panoramic shot of the Big Band preparing to play in the evening!

Click to view

Events continue until Saturday; find out more here.

Summer Music Week: the first two days

Like a phoenix from the flames, Summer Music Week burst into life anew on Sunday; conductor Ian Swatman led the charge as the Big Band took to the Memorial Bandstand at Deal for a day filled with sunshine and swing, for which the band welcomed back vocalist and alumna, Steph Richardson.

Yesterday, Day Two, saw the inaugural use of the department’s commissioned harpsichord in a feast of arias from several of the singing Scholars in Operatic Heroines in Love; from Mozart to Gluck, Saint-Saens, and Dvorak, a delighted audience was led on an exploration of love, lust and desire by Charley Tench, Charlotte Webb, Rowena Murrell, Ruth Webster, Kathi Kirschbaum, Livy Potter and Kathryn Cox, which included Purcell’s Dido’s Lament with Faith Chan on cello and the Chamber Choir performing the dolorous ‘With drooping wings’ chorus which follows the aria.

Summer Music continues all this week; details online here.

Singing the Ringing Changes: new commission celebrates Summer Music Week

With Summer Music Week set to begin this Sunday, we’ve a week-long series of musical events celebrating the end of the musical year here at Kent; one of the highlights will be a performance on Friday 12 June of Ringing Changes, a Music department commission written especially for the University’s fiftieth-anniversary celebrations this year.

Part of the celebrations focus on the creativity of members of the University community, and Ringing Changes is a genre-busting, multi-media experience written for the University Chamber and Cecilian Choirs, piano, harp and electronics by composer Matthew King, to words by Patricia Debney from the School of Creative Writing, inspired by landscape photography by Deputy Director of Research Services, Phil Ward. The piece combines live performers with a shimmering electronic tapestry that will pick up and re-imagine live sounds captured during the performance, creating a sonic stained-glass window that responds to and refracts the music as the piece unfolds; during each electronic interlude. each photograph that has inspired a response from both poet and composer will be projected above the heads of the performers

Image: Phil Ward

The first half of the concert includes choral music by Tallis, Lassus, Schütz and Monteverdi’s joyous Beatus Vir, and it’s very exciting to be combining great figures of the choral tradition with a piece that brings that same tradition right up to date. It’s what universities are about – exploring new territory, creative collaboration, new directions; the piece promises to be a landmark addition to the University’s fiftieth-year celebrations and to Summer Music Week itself.

From image to poem: Patricia Debney's working process
From image to poem: Patricia Debney’s working process

Read more about the Ringing Changes project on the blog here; details and tickets for the concert on Friday 12 June here.

Summer Music Week is nearly here

In a completely spontaneous, unpremeditated and not-at-all contrived moment earlier, lots of students were found to have completely independently flocked to the Summer Music Week banner in order to share their excitement at all the events, which kick off next weekend. Fancy that…


You too can share in their excitement; see all that’s coming up between Sunday 7 – Saturday 13 June online here. Who knows, next time we might find YOU spontaneously mobbing the banner…(tweet @UKCSummerMusic if you do…).

Bring me sunshine: Summer Music Week

Our annual Summer Music Week festival to celebrate the end of another musical year at the University is now published online, with all the details of what’s coming up.

Deal_BandstandRunning from Sunday 7 to Saturday 13 June, the week kicks off with a seaside visit to the Deal Bandstand with the Big Band; some of the singing Music Scholars will present a programme of Operatic Heroines in Love on Monday 8; the Lunchtime Concert on Tuesday 9 from some of this year’s Music Scholars, followed by the Music Awards ceremony; Wednesday sees the Concert and Big Bands coming together in the evening; Thursday features an informal lunchtime performance from the String Sinfonia; on Friday the Music Theatre Society performs on the foyer-stage at lunchtime, whilst in the evening we present our choral commission from composer Matthew King, poet Patricia Debney with projected photos by Phil Ward, performed by the Chamber and Cecilian Choirs; and the week comes to a festive conclusion with the Chorus, Orchestra and Chamber Choir on the Saturday afternoon, followed by cream teas on the lawn and many fond farewells.

summer_music_flowerRelive the memories of last year’s festival on our Pinterest board here: full details of all the events are published online here, or you can collect a brochure for the week’s events from Colyer-Fergusson soon.

Don’t forget to follow @UKCSummerMusic on Twitter in the build-up to and throughout the festival. Bring me sunshine…