The Last in our Series for Research at Work, Erica Buurman, one of our Senior Lecturers Talks about her work.
Following on, here is some of the work by one of our Senior Lecturers Maria Varvarigou.
So last week we heard from Dr Vanessa Hawes about her work, this week we have Dr Robert Rawson, Reader in Musicology and Performance.
Let me start by saying that i am not a christmas person. The christmas jumper my mum bought me has Darth Vader and the word Humbug across it, and my favourite christmas film is Die Hard.
I have just come back from seeing The Sparkle Thief by Cut Feather and i have to say, i am feeling very christmas-y indeed. The story follows two intrepid Elves who are trying to regain the Sparkle ( the physical embodiment of Christmas Spirit) after it is stolen by one of their own. Along their way they meet a myriad of good and bad characters ( including two of the Original reindeer Dasher and Dancer, Good King Wenceslas and the evil Ice Queen)
The songs are well written and catchy ( I have had the opening number stuck in my head since 2pm yesterday) and sung beautifully by the cast. The scenes have a great pace and show the versatility of the actors well. Also i must add that the scenery, effects and lighting work so well together, it truly makes it more magical.
I do not wish to spoil the story for anyone who will go to see the show (because you should), so i will simply say that this wonderful show is brilliant for all ages and show not be missed.
We finished the term this year with our spectacular Christmas Concert, performed by some of the university choirs and ensembles. Our room in Augustine Hall had been festively lit, courtesy of the Brilliant tech department, and the stage was set for the performers. I should apologise now. I had fully intended to take pictures to share here of all the performers, but near to the end of the first act i realised i had been so enraptured by the vocalists and the ensembles that i had forgotten to lift my phone to take any pictures. ( again, the Tech Team came to my rescue having taken some footage themselves, which will be added to our social media.)
We started with the University Chorus, an ensemble open to anyone and directed by our Director of Music, David Allinson. They sang with great enthusiasm and we were all particularly amused by the split choir, with one half on either side of the room singing in perfect time. Following this was the University Symphonic Orchestra and the University String Orchestra, both conducted by Martin Outram. The pieces were wonderful, Particularly the Haydn Piece Symphony No.103. Utilising the best players, the piece was well rounded and lovely to hear.
After the interval we have the Brilliant Top Voices, a 13 piece strong Female vocal group lead by Chris Price. They performed 6 short pieces all detailing different aspects of the Christmas story. The pieces were beautifully sung, My personal favourite being Maria Matrem Virginem by Michael McGlynn which was hauntingly lovely. Following them were the University Wind Ensemble, conducted by John Harle and Alan Rooke. These performed brought the pieces to life with their brilliant and sharp performances, Especially Gustav Holst’s Suite in F Major. Here I must commend the Flautist Lizzie White, who not only played the Flute brilliantly, but also the Piccolo, switching deftly between the two.
Finally we were treated to Pieces from the Chamber Choir, a trio of beautiful Choral numbers, before rounding off with a festive number; Have yourself a Merry little Christmas. Under the direction of David Allison, these well arranged pieces became a fitting end to a lovely evening.
From what i heard from the audience as they left, this performance was a resounding success, made only better by a few small Hero moments i would like to share.
The first is to the brilliant violin pair whose battle against the Air-conditioner meant that their music fell from their stands several times. However, they played on as well as any professional i have seen, particularly when one of them held the page with her bow so that the other could play.
And to the soloists of the evening, Ellie German, Emily Prest and Robin Davis, as well as all those in the Music Ensembles. Your voices were lovely and incredibly clear and we commend you for you wonderful performances.
Our Lectures are always working to further the research in their field. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing with you just some of the work that they do. This week is Dr Vanessa Hawes, our Senior Lecturer in Music.
Today we were treated to a performance by the Dance and Dance education students of dances performed in the english courts as early as the 1500’s. Directed by Nicola Gaines, we saw dances going through the Tudor to the Stuart period, with variations of music and style.
School of Music and Performing Arts:
Overview of QR-funded projects 2014-15:
The latest issue of Contemporary Music Review includes contributions by some of our very own Music and Performing Arts staff.