As a student of the Music Department at the University of Chichester, part of our course is to host and attend concerts that take place at The Chapel of Ascension at the university’s Bishop Otter campus. Often these can be classical concerts, but with a growing jazz department the occasional folk concert and dedicated rock and pop students there is a lot on offer. These concerts are an opportunity for the students to show what they have been working on, for lecturers to present their more creative accomplishments and a chance to see external acts that you may not ordinarily have gone to see.
Last semester had the pleasure of hosting a rather unusual concert starring ‘The London Klezmer Quartet’. If you’ve never heard of Klezmer music then go and look this group up, it’s definitely worth a listen. In short it is a folk music originating from the Jewish background. I purchased some of their music at the concert and have not regretted it.
This semester’s hosting was also a joy to be a part of as I was given the student jazz band ‘We Are Us’ with a selection of their original material. They are an instrumental group that feed off of each other’s creativity and improvisation. Their tracks often evolve with each playing which makes this band a very engaging band to see.
One recent concert that I was very glad to have attended was ‘An Evening of Cello and Piano’ starring the music teaching lecturer Dr. Laura Ritchie on Cello. It was a fantastic night with beautiful emotive playing that left me wanting more. The programme included pieces from Bach to Schubert: a wonderful array of cello music from across the art music timeline.
I have also had my chance to perform in one of the concerts this semester ‘An Evening of Jazz and Folk’. I was part of the folk element of the evening and played my Irish Bodhran and sung alongside my colleagues. I particularly enjoyed the audience participation that we achieve on ‘What Do We Do With A Drunken Sailor’ and ‘The Pogues – Sally Maclannane’. I was a great evening and probably my favourite folk night that I have been a part of.
For the more rock and pop taste there was a concert this week by a rock band that have been working very hard for the last three years and have been writing and recording music for their EP. Luna Blue have stepped up the ante this semester as their concert this week was also accompanied by a 30-piece orchestra and the Azure Trio on backing vocals, all arranged for orchestra by the band themselves. This concert was a spectacle to behold, complete with smoke machines and live streamed to the internet. Luna Blue certainly know how to put on a show.
If your interest has been piqued by the concerts on offer at the university then I implore you to head down the Music department and ask at the desk for a Showcase magazine, this has all the listings of the concerts available, what they are about and when they are on. They are free for staff and students and really worth going to. Next week, we have the New Music Chi concert presenting the University’s Sinfonietta performing Saint-Saens ‘Carnival of the Animals’ and more conducted by the Departments very own Dr. Adam Swayne, that’s Friday 17th March, go check it out.