Tag Archives: Swingalong

Final week of seasonal music-making

It’s been a busy week here in the Music department, with the final musical events bringing the term to a rousing seasonal finale.

On Tuesday, the Chamber Choir, conducted by Your Loyal Correspondent,  performed as part of the University Carol Service in Canterbury Cathedral – always a magical occasion, which starts with the entire Cathedral being plunged into darkness, and the notes of the choir’s first carol rising to the dark recesses of vaulted roof above a sea of candles. Second-year Doug Haycock made his conducting debut with Tavener’s The Lamb, opening the service in evocative fashion.

img_1138fullsizerenderWednesday afternoon saw General Harding’s Tomfoolery, the vintage dance-band, taking to the foyer-stage in a spirited selection of swing classics, for which they were joined by The Minervettes; trombonist and singer, post-grad Rob Cliff was a smooth host, and both band and singers were in fine form in pieces including American PatrolPuttin’ On The Ritz and Sleigh Ride.

The final event in this term’s musical calendar was yesterday evening’s ebullient Christmas Swingalong with the Big Band, directed by Ian Swatman, which saw first-years Dottie Grenville and Alicia O’Malley making their singing debut with the band. Feisty incarnations of familiar pieces including A Chilli Pepper Christmas, audience carols with the brass ensemble and the traditional, inimitable rendition of Santa, Baby by our very own Sophie Meikle culminated in a sing-along I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, before audience and performers alike spilled out into the foyer for mulled wine and mince pies.

img_1145 img_1149It’s been a terrific term, full of music-making; thanks to both everyone who has performed throughout the term, as well as to those who have been amongst the audiences. We’ll be back in the New Year with full details of our spring / summer season; from all the Music team here, we wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas!

Christmas Swingalong brings the term to a festive conclusion

Colyer-Fergusson Hall was packed to the rafters yesterday evening, for the now traditional Christmas Swingalong featuring the University Big Band. Led by a charismatic Ian Swatman, the band launched into a festive programme of popular favourites, including a sassy rendition of Santa Baby from our very own Music Administrator, Sophie Meikle, who sashayed from the percussion section forwards to deliver a teasing performance. Elsewhere, first-year Doug Haycock crooned his way through Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song, and saxophonist Peter Cook joined Sophie later on to sing Baby, It’s Cold Outside, in which both singers were clearly having far too much fun.

WP_20151216_011Interspersed with the Big Band’s light-footed jazz were communal carols from the Brass Group, standing arrayed along the front row of the choral-risers and themselves joining in the spirit of the gig with Christmas jumpers. Honestly, you’ve never seen such a vast collection of seasonal knitwear outside M&S…

Swingin’ Sophie…!

A clearly delighted audience wouldn’t let the band depart without an encore, to which the group responded with a deft version of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,’ before audience and performers decamped to the foyer for post-gig mulled wine and mince pies. There was even some suitably seasonal headgear being sported by some of the audience too…

Phoebe’s hat-trick…

The Big Band’s Christmas gig is always a favourite amongst audience and players alike, with a vibrant and celebratory atmosphere drawing the department’s term of music-making to a close. It’s been a terrific term; on behalf of the team here, huge thanks to all the students, staff, alumni and external members for your commitment and participation over the course of the autumn – we couldn’t do it without you. And as the sound of the Big Band recedes into the distance, it simply remains for me to say, as the band themselves did last night; have yourselves a merry little Christmas!WP_20151216_008