Music to UEA’s ears
Despite the challenges lockdown has bought to performances and live music, the UEA Music Centre and UEA Music Society have just released their annual reports for 2019/20 and there are plenty of successes to celebrate.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak began, UEA’s Music Centre were continuing to hold a mixture of free and paid performances for students, staff and the local community. Between them, the Music Centre and Music Society ensemble gave a total of 48 performances before cancellations, including informal lunchtime concerts on campus to UEA Chamber Choir concerts at Christmas.
The success of these paid performances have also fed into UEA being named top in the country for chargeable events amongst higher education institutes in the UK in the Higher Education Business Community Interaction (HEB-CI) survey earlier this year.
Despite the challenges faced during lockdown, the Music Centre has been busy providing music to the local community, albeit virtually. For example, to help keep care home residents connected to the outside world, the team created a playlist of virtual performances from previous concerts from UEA Choir to one-off performances by some of UEA’s gifted musicians and scholars.
As some schoolchildren begin to return to the classroom, the last few months have seen home schooling become the ‘new normal’ for many parents. To help local families and teachers bring music lessons to life, the Music Centre worked with UEA’s Outreach team to produce a video for Key Stage 2 children, using a performance of Vltava by Smetana from November 2019 at St Andrew’s Hall.
For UEA’s Music Society, it’s been a busy couple of months too. They’ve ended the year with over 250 members, breaking current membership records and collectively their musical efforts have raised over £500 for charities including the Big C, Legs4Africa and Stonewall. Although the society was unable to celebrate these successes with a normal Spring Ball, members took to Zoom for a replacement Virtual Ball to acknowledge the hard work of members and the committee.