Almost there…

After all the hard work, the annual Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert is nearly upon us.

Photo: Robert Berry

There have been a deluge of rehearsals since the Sunday workshop last week, with the final one tonight before the combined forces of the Chorus and Symphony Orchestra take up their positions in the Cathedral Nave at 11 am tomorrow morning.

The hard work starts even earlier than that, though: a loyal band of students, together with the Deputy Director of Music and the Music Assistant, will be heroically up at the crack of dawn to meet at Eliot College at an eye-watering 9am, to load up the vans with all the equipment to take down the hill to the Cathedral. And the same die-hard band will be returning the equipment to Eliot after the performance; it’s going to be a long day…

Stand by, all: if you hear the sound of Wagner, Stravinsky and Mozart from 7.30pm tomorrow evening, it’s us…

Posted in Playing up | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sunday: a day of rest ? No way!

The University Orchestra and Chorus are in the final stretch of preparations for next week’s mighty Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert, and this Sunday come together for the first time as they rehearse Mozart’s Requiem.

With final rehearsals looming throughout next week as well as on the day of the concert, it’s going to be a busy musical week.

The Cathedral Concert is always a splendid occasion in the University’s cultural calendar, as a large swathe of the university and local community join forces to perform in the magnificence of Canterbury Cathedral.

This year’s programme comprises Wagner’s overture to Die Meistersingers, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite from 1910, and the Mozart Requiem.

Catch it all if you can: tickets and further details available here!

Posted in Playing up | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Bohemian Rhapsody! The December concert

Congratulation to both the University Orchestra and the Chorus, for their terrific concert on Saturday.

Orchestra in rehearsal

In rehearsal: the University Orchestra

From the lively Slavonic Dance by Dvorak which opened the concert, the Orchestra showed themselves to be in fine form. There was some real power-house brass-playing in the Sacred Pieces by Verdi to accompany the Chorus; great ensemble, spot-on intonation and tremendous excitement.

The strength in the strings was evident right from the opening of Dvorak’s Symphony no.8, with the cello section’s lyrical opening; the orchestra fairly skipped through the minuet-and-trio Allegretto grazioso third movement, before the heraldic trumpet fanfare declared the final movement was underway, delivered with greart verve. Some eloquent playing in the woodwind section demonstrated what a fine crop of players the Orchestra has this year.

Well done to everyone who participated – and to those who helped both with setting up the Hall and striking it afterwards. A fine evening, greatly appreciated by an enthusiastic audience.

Bring on the might of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and the majesty of Mozart Requiem in the magnificent surroundings of Canterbury Cathedral next term!

Posted in In Concert | Tagged | Leave a comment

Three days to go!

Last week’s rehearsal was cancelled owing to snow: seasonally appropriate, perhaps, and jolly pretty to look at, but no good for travelling in! Roads around the University campus were closed, buses were not operating, and so the rehearsal had to be called off.

The orchestra, however, are sounding in fine form ahead of Saturday’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ concert of Dvorak and Verdi, and fingers crossed that neither tomorrow night’s final rehearsal, nor Saturday’s concert, are affected by the weather.

There’s still time to get tickets: further details on the web: catch them if you can!

Posted in Playing up | Leave a comment

Workshop ahoy

This Sunday is no day of rest for the members of the University Orchestra. With preparations in full spate for the December concert, the orchestra meet this Sunday for a day of extensive rehearsals on the concert repertoire.

Dvorak’s Symphony no.8 will come in for some close scrutiny, as will the Slavonic Dances; sectional rehearsals give the players a chance to get to grips with music as independent sections before combining to put all their work together as a entire ensemble.

It’s going to be a fascinating day: we’ll keep you posted as to how they got on next week.

Posted in Playing up | Tagged | Leave a comment

Playing Up! Life with the University Orchestra

It’s a busy year for the University Orchestra, as they prepare for the first of their annual concerts in December. With a terrific array of talented student and staff players, this year’s orchestra boasts twenty-two violins and eight cellos amongst its string section, cracking woodwind and a robust brass section.

Recently, four members of the Orchestra appeared in the Canterbury Festival Scholars’ Lunchtime Concert: Alice Godwin (flute), Sarah Davies and Kate Lumley (clarinets) and Chris Gray (tuba). You can read a review of the concert here.

The Orchestra’s December programme includes Dvorak and Verdi, and the Orchestra will be performingwith the Chorus in two of Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces. Further details about the concert on the Concert Diary on-line here.

The Colyer-Fergusson Cathedral Concert in March is looking to be very exciting, with a programme that includes Stravinsky’s shimmering Firebird Suite.

Keep up with the life of the Orchestra here: and if you are a current or former player, send us your views: we’ll be featuring them in a column here.

Playing Up! Life with the University of Kent Orchestra.

Posted in Playing up | Tagged , , | Leave a comment