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Hull Music students showcase talents in China

“I’ve been given so many great opportunities – and I’ve only been here since September!

20th June 2017

Music students from the University of Hull are being given the chance to showcase their talents on an international stage this summer, performing at a series of concerts in China.

The China trip in July follows opportunities to perform live on national radio and in the stunning Ferens art gallery in Hull.

Students, staff and alumni are at the heart of the University’s contribution to Hull UK City of Culture 2017, and Hull students are being given amazing opportunities to enrich their studies and provide invaluable experience.

First-year Music student Anna Kent, 18, from Lincolnshire, is among those seizing the chance to shine.

Viola-player Anna said: “There have been so many highlights so far since I started at the University. I have already been given too many great opportunities to mention, and I’ve only been here since September!

“So far, my top moments would have to be performing on BBC Radio 3 twice, being part of BBC Introducing when the show visited the uni, opening the Beverley Early Music Festival, and playing at the amazing acoustic venue that is the Ferens. Now I can’t wait to take that show to China – it’s all so exciting!”

Music students are offered opportunities to hone their talent with the chance to perform with partners such as Opera North, the Berkeley Ensemble and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as student- and staff-led ensembles. There’s also masterclasses from visiting musicians, and staff have cultivated opportunities with organisations like the BBC to offer the chance for students’ music to reach an even wider audience.

And with the recent £9.5m redevelopment of Middleton Hall, students have the chance to study, record and perform in top class music facilities. The Hall is the home of the University’s classical music programme and is an arts hub for the wider region.

The chance to perform in China is part of the University of Hull Confucius Institute’s Chinese Whispers project, which was recently recognised with a Higher Education Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence, following its prize-winning success in the Chinese Song Competition UK 2016.

The show at the Ferens art gallery premiered ‘Sea Change’, composed by Music lecturer Dr Mark Slater in response to Spencer Tunick’s major exhibition, ‘Sea of Hull’. It was performed by students including Anna, and staff such as Director of Performance at the University, Dr Simon Desbruslais as part of his ongoing commitment to commissioning new music, which also recently included ‘Voyage’, a major solo work for trumpet and poetry premiered by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir’s statue near The Deep in Hull.

Dr Desbruslais said: “During Hull 2017 students have been offered a rich and diverse range of musical opportunities, helping them to develop their technique, build stage confidence and engage with new audiences. It’s also incredible for their CV!

“We look forward to building on all of the relationships we have formed during this time, to plan for further exciting musical projects in the years to come.”

To find out more about Music at Hull, visit the University website.

A full list of events being held on campus as part of Hull 2017 can be seen here on Culturenet