Double celebration: album launch concert reunites alumni from the department’s klezmer ensemble

The postponed launch concert party for not one but now two new albums featuring original compositions by Dr Richard Fay – Helix and Hamosity – took place on 18 September 2021 at the newly renovated Stretford Public Hall.

The event doubled up as a long-awaited reunion for current and former students from the Music Department who have taken the klezmer ensemble performance module, co-taught by Richard.

For the past decade, each new incarnation of the ensemble – appearing as the Michael Kahan Kapelye – has thrilled audiences at Manchester’s Jewish Museum and other venues in and around the city, with current ensemble members often being joined by members of the Kapelye’s past line-ups. Seeing so many of the players perform together again, alongside other friends and associates, after such a long hiatus made for a truly joyous occasion.

Richard (by day, Senior Lecturer in Education here at the University of Manchester) is also a graduate of our Master's programme in Ethnomusicology, and Martin Pleass, his co-student at that time, joined the ensemble playing his distinctive harp guitar.

The concert was preceded by the screening of a set of music videos created by former Music student Sam Gee, one of which also featured animations by recent graduate Claire Loveday.

The pieces included in Richard’s albums, interwoven with influences and inspirations from the Balkans, Ireland and Wales, as well as the world of klezmer, have been taking shape over the past thirty years. Their performance by such a talented company of musicians was a fitting celebration of his musical journey to date.

Further information about Richard’s musical projects.

Further information about the Michael Kahan Kapely.

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