Category Archives: Alumni

Music alumna supports Gabrielle and Will Young at Rochester Castle Concert

ray estaire
Ray Estaire, 2016.


On Thursday 14 July, jazz artist singer Ray Estaire, who graduated from the School of Music and Fine Art B Mus (Hons) Popular Music with a first class degree in 2015, warmed up the crowds with a 25 minute solo performance before Gabrielle and Will Young at the popular Rochester Castle Concerts.

For more details see:

School of Music and Fine Art students visit Tennessee as part of the Delta Project

SMFA students visit Tennessee as part of the Delta Project, 2016.


As part of a transatlantic music project, University of Kent students spent a week in the American state of Tennessee, exploring the musical history of Memphis and Nashville, as part of the Delta Project –  one of many initiatives in the School of Music and Fine Art (SMFA) which recognises the University of Kent’s commitment to internationalisation and wider participation, leading to greater opportunities in collaborative research.

The trip, from 5 – 13 June, was organised and led by University of Kent lecturer Alan Mash, with participating students from a range of degrees including business, journalism, music, creative events and social science.

Noel Chambers, 2nd year BMus (Hons) Popular Music commented, “It was great to experience Memphis culture – we travelled a lot and saw lots of different sites like the civil rights museum, the blues museum and Sun Studios. It was really inspirational to see the studios where Elvis Presley recorded.”

Sophie Cawsey, another SMFA student, who graduated this year with a BA (Hons) Event and Experience Design, agreed, “It was a really good trip. We crammed everything in and learnt a lot about the history of the place. From an events perspective, it was really interesting to see how the different places create different experiences for their visitors.”

The School of Music and Fine Art and The Delta project have signed agreements with Wisconsin University, Indiana University (Jacobs School of Music), University of Tennessee Knoxville and Memphis University, with 3 others in Nashville and Memphis awaiting finalisation.

From September, two students will also be studying at Memphis University for a year, which will provide them with the opportunity to explore new cultures whilst enhancing their own curriculum vitae.

Wonderland success for Event & Experience Design student

Wonderland, 2016


For her Independent Realised Project, School of Music and Fine Art 3rd year BA (Hons) Event & Experience Design student Virginia Brennan devised and delivered an innovative and ambitious promotional event called Wonderland for the May release of the film Alice Through the Looking Glass at Costa at the Odeon Chatham Maritime, Leviathan Way.

Virginia’s event included activities for young people and families, face painting and crafts.  She also had a new range of drinks designed for the event and the Costa staff dressed up in costumes. The event brought together the two businesses – Costa and the Odeon –  and it was so successful, the cinema’s General Manager, Natalie Fisher, asked her to repeat the event over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Says Virginia, “We had to adapt to the high volume of cinema attendees – Bank Holiday Monday saw over 1,200 guests walk through the doors! The winners of the drawing competition at the original event collected their prizes of free cinema tickets and goodies and the fundraising activities for MIND continued throughout the week.”

The final independent 3rd year projects celebrate student work which creatively explores a broad range of formats and subjects, questioning what constitutes an event, and is an annual showcase.

School of Music and Fine Art graduates selected for Platform Graduate Award 2016

The School of Music and Fine Art is delighted to announce that Sariya Suwannakarn and Daniel Owusu, two of our BA (Hons) Fine Art graduating students have been selected to have their work shown at the Turner Contemporary, Margate on Thursday 4th August as part of the Platform Graduate Award project.

These prestigious awards showcase the talent of emerging artists from Kent, aiming to support graduate professional development and nurture new talent.


Related posts on 2015 Awards:

Join the School of Music and Fine Art choir and orchestra for a Christmas Concert in The Royal Dockyard Church


On Wednesday 14 December, 2016 at 7.30pm the University of Kent Choir and Orchestra (Medway) will be performing Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols as part of the School of Music and Fine Art Christmas Concert in the beautiful Royal Dockyard Church.

We are inviting the local community to join the choir or orchestra and take part in this festive event.  Rehearsals take place on Wednesdays 5pm – 7.30pm at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, with the first rehearsal on Wednesday 28 September. (Note: Orchestral players should be Grade 6 standard or higher).

To find out more contact Dr Ben Curry:

Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Culture goes to MA Fine Art student


School of Music & Fine Art student, Nadia Perrotta (MA Fine Art), has been awarded the University of Kent prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Culture Award, which recognises a student’s contribution in the area of fine art or music, photography or writing, drama, dance or design. The student is expected to develop their own cultural learning and that of the student population or members of the local community.

Nadia’s innovative award winning Wetlands project uses art to encourage interaction between Kent’s students and the Medway community; the project has previously received a grant of £5,000 from the University of Kent Student Projects Grant Scheme for the Wetlands Hub, to build an archive of documentation and film works about the local maritime history and the wetland landscape, to include film screenings, art workshop and installations inspired and shaped by the Medway expanse.

Says Nadia:

“Wetlands is an art project initiated in 2015 inspired by the powerful metaphor of a possible memory retained and preserved by the waters. The aim of the project is for University of Kent students and alumni  to involve and interact with local communities living in proximity of waters, recreating a dialogue between them, their maritime history and the wetland landscape.

Wetlands has been a real journey for me. I started with the hope to be able to create a link between the local community and the students of SMFA, to build an understanding of the environment outside the “bubble” of the university and for the public to get to know the potential of our school and the talents of the students of SMFA. I acknowledge that this was an ambitious aim. However, I was able to create a sustainable network of contacts with local authorities and art organisations who opened their doors to collaborations with SMFA students. I am proud this pioneering project has been inspirational for the art practice of most of the students involved – and a demonstration of how much it is possible to achieve when students are entrusted with freedom of expression outside the assessed studio work and supported by the University. I am very happy to be able to leave a legacy with Wetlands Hub, offering students and alumni a platform for free expression and at the same time celebrating their talents with the creation of the new Wetlands video hub archive.”


Related stories:

Orchestral commission for MA music student Amy Morgan

Amy Morgan, 2016.


School of Music and Fine Art MA music student Amy Morgan will hear her new work, commissioned by the City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra, performed  in a concert on Saturday 28th May 2016 at The Central Theatre, Chatham at 7.30pm.  Her piece for the orchestra, called Stranger Things Have Happened shares a programme with works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky.

Says Amy: “The commission was facilitated by Duncan MacLeod, who is my Specialist Project supervisor. After getting the idea down on paper, or computer – and sometimes they are sung – I then put them onto music software programme Sibelius. The last stage takes the longest as I tweak the ideas to fit the mood of the composition. In Stranger Things Have Happened, I purposely make some parts dissonant and try to make use of a wide range of extended techniques. This is something new for me, as I normally stick within the boundaries of the instruments. The inspiration for this piece comes from retro game music (such as Super Mario), film music (particularly composer John Williams) and rock music.  The orchestra is really friendly and helpful, and it is even more exciting when I hear the orchestra playing the piece in rehearsals.  After my Masters, I hope to continue composing for a wide range of instruments.”

For tickets, go to:

Artist John Russell visits The School of Music & Fine Art

john Russell
Untitled (Abstraction of Labour Time/ External Recurrence/Monad), 2010. John Russell


On Tuesday 23rd February at 6.15pm in the stunning setting of the recently refurbished Royal Dockyard Church in the atmospheric Historic Dockyard Chatham, acclaimed artist John Russell will give a free talk about his work.

Formerly a member (and founder) of the subversive London art collective BANK (whose antics included faxing galleries “corrected” versions of their own press releases back to them), artist Russell has continued to make art on his own which likewise casts a gimlet eye on the doings of the art world and culture at large. The centrepiece of his recent NY exhibition consists of a video made up of animated gif files that tell the story of a near future, where humans have learned to extend life by downloading consciousness into the brains of small animals. A tale of technological transformation, SQRRL is also a chilling allegory for our own time.

Recent solo shows include “SQRRL” Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York, 2016,  Jexus, MOTINTERNATIONAL Brussels 2012; Angel of History: I can see for miles, Focal Point Gallery Southend 2011; and Ocean Pose, Matts Gallery London.

Editor of Frozen Tears, Russell is Professor in Fine Art at the University of Reading and is Director of Research for Art.  His research interests are: “Affect. Affirmation. Figurality. Event. Art/politics. Art/philosophy. Art/language. Class. Performativity. Fiction/fictioning. Visualisation. Digital media. Philosophy. Bad philosophy. Printed matter. Staging”


Although the talk is free and everyone is welcome, please book via:

Links for more info:

University of Kent Students perform Beatles’ Abbey Road as a concert work

‘High Lows’ Photo by Stacey Cooper


Students studying in the University of Kent’s School of Music and Fine Art will give a concert that explores some of the most prominent works of the twentieth century, all of which might be taken to straddle a pop/classic divide. The first half of the concert will feature two very different minimalist works: Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint for guitar ensemble and Gavin Bryars’ ‘Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet’ for mixed ensemble and tape. The concert will close with the Beatles’ extraordinary B-Side of the album Abbey Road, a remarkable series of songs that develop, build and interrelate in a manner that appears symphonic in scope and intent.

To purchase tickets please use the links below:

The Royal Dockyard Church, Chatham on Wednesday 9th March at 7.30pm

Colyer-Fergusson Concert Hall, Canterbury on Friday 11th March at 7.30pm

Liquidity Symposium: Life flows, money flows and artists capture the axiomatics that bind these flows.

‘Transcalar EU Lovesongs’ by Hilary Koob Sassen


Wednesday 9th December, 11.15am – 6pm
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

Sponsored by the University of Kent and organised by Dr Andrew Conio, Programmes Director, Fine Art and Event and Experience Design, School of Music and Fine Art, this cross-disciplinary forum creates a provocative encounter between philosophy, geography, psychoanalysis, high finance, film, economics, art and activism.  With papers from Professor Philip Goodchild, Professor John Russell, Oliver Ressler, Angus Cameron, Anastasios Gaitanidis, James Buckley, Georgious Papadopoulos and films from Ami Clarke and Hillary Koob-Sassen, the symposium at the Institute of Contemporary Art on 9th December investigates the flows of life, money and art and the axiomatics that bind them together.

Every society in history has created economic, social and political systems to channel flows into things, functional processes and systems.  This symposium asks; to what extent do the Quadrillions of dollars channeled through markets every day determine the ontological horizons and conditions of possibility of life.  How are the flows of money and life’s imminent flows consiliant or forced into disjunctive relation, how does the artist capture these flows?

The School of Music and Fine Art is proud to be working with the Institute of Contemporary Art, London’s foremost multi-disciplinary arts centre. Founded in 1947 by a group of artists, poets and radicals, the ICA is an essential meeting place for anyone interested in contemporary culture. Designed as a playground for ideas, the ICA has worked with a litany of inspired artists and writers, including T.S. Eliot, Cartier-Bresson, Francis Bacon, Jacques Derrida, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons, Yoko Ono and Slavoj Žižek.


For more on the symposium go to: