SPS Celebrates Musical Success Of Two Physics Students

Music is instrumental in providing further opportunities for students, and here at the School of Physical Sciences, two of our students have had their achievements and excellence in the field recognised.

Music plays a key role in our culture and unites students, staff and the wider community together. It can also provide a creative outlet for many students and a break from their studies.

In this blog post, two of our students – physics PhD student Leon Schoonderwoerd, and physics undergraduate David Curtiss – tell us more about their experience of combining music and Physics at Kent, and the success they have enjoyed.

Leon Schoonderwoerd Awarded University of Kent Music Performance Award

Leon shares his personal thoughts on why combining a love of both physics and music at Kent, complement each other for him.

“I have been playing clarinet since age 7 and drums since age 12, playing in various bands and orchestras in the Netherlands. Here at the University of Kent, I am involved with a myriad of musical activities, including playing clarinets in the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band and Pops orchestra, as well as an array of chamber ensembles and the odd percussion part.

“I feel really lucky to be able to combine my PhD with music; to me, the two are complementary with each one allowing me to take my mind off the other.”

“Last autumn, I was awarded a Music Performance Award, granting me the opportunity to take clarinet lessons with the incredible Ian Swatman.”

David Curtiss Awarded Music Scholarship

David Curtiss is currently in his foundation year studying Physics at the School of Physical Sciences. David shares his own experiences and why he would encourage other students to be a part of the community at Kent.

Music at University of Kent

“I have been making music from a young age, I started piano lessons at the age of 7 and then picked up the clarinet at the age of 9 then moving onto the saxophone a few years later.

“Over the years, this has given me the opportunity to make music in some of the best venues in the UK such as The Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall. Here at the University of Kent, I am a saxophone scholar and involved in a number of ensembles and choirs including the University Big Band, Concert Band and Cecilian choir. Most recently, I took the opportunity to conduct an incredible performance of Company put on by the amazingly talented people of the Musical Theatre Society.

“I can’t encourage anyone enough to get involved with music. Fantastic performances are put on all the time and the community of people involved really make it a special thing to be a part of.”

“Being a music scholar here has given me the opportunity to develop my playing with lessons from the fantastic Peter Cook, as well as being involved in as many ensembles as possible.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to balance my time between my physics degree and the music department, and look forward to spending more time with both.”

From everyone at the School of Physical Sciences, we would like to extend our congratulations to both Leon and David on their inspiring achievements.

Do you share a passion in music and are a talented instrumentalist or singer and are studying any degree at the University of Kent?

The Music Performance Scholarships are usually worth between £1,000 to £2,000 alongside £500 worth of instrumental/singing tuition with experience teachers.

Find out more about the criteria and how you can apply by visiting the Music Performance Scholarship at Kent page.

Want to get involved with Music at Kent? Visit their joining page and sign up!