Aline Kellenberger has recently joined the School of Cultures and Languages for her year abroad. A Study Abroad student from University of Bern in Switzerland, Aline has received support from the Barry Wright Legacy fund, which was set up to support extra-curricular music activities at the University. In this blog post, Aline reflects on the impact this support had and her experience at Kent.
“One year ago I started to plan my Study Abroad at the University of Kent. As I was looking into the different societies the University offered, I saw the Kent Music Society with their orchestra and concert band. I decided not to join as it would be complicated to bring my oboe with me, both in luggage space and out of fear of something happening to my instrument.
‘I arrived in England for the autumn term, where I joined different societies, met new people and overall enjoyed my time abroad. But two weeks into the term I already missed playing music. So I decided to get in contact with the the University’s music administrator, Sophie Meikle, and asked if I could rent an oboe for myself. She immediately answered to tell me that the University would like to rent it for me. A few weeks later they also offered to rent the cor anglais!
‘One of the greatest things here at Kent has definitely been being able to practise together with so many people. Due to Covid, all group rehearsals and concerts over the last years were cancelled, so it felt really great to play with other people again. Especially being able to perform the Christmas Concert at the end of last year’s term together with the choir in front of an audience! I have now started my second term here at Kent and have another three months to look forward to playing with the orchestra as well as the concert band. If somebody had told me one year ago that I would get to play in Canterbury Cathedral, I would have not believed them.
‘I am extremely grateful for the warm welcome I got from everyone in the Kent Music Society and especially for this opportunity. The University of Kent gives me the chance to not only study abroad and improve my English, but also allows me to continue my hobby of 17 years. Playing with the orchestra as well as the Big Band gives me new experiences, helps me keep up with practice and helps me improve my English. It is also a very good opportunity to improve my own skills by playing with so many different people.
‘I decided to come to the University of Kent specifically for its language expertise; I am so happy that I also got the opportunity to join in with the musical activities!”
Music at Kent offers a vibrant programme of extra-curricular music making, Music Performance Scholarships and concerts at the University of Kent, in the award-winning Colyer-Fergusson Building. Open to all students of all programmes.