Every year, St. Mary’s Arts Society run an Arts Week. This week aims to get students involved in art events over the week and try something new. This year, the events included a life drawing class, a live lounge, dance session and a movie screening. The week culminated in the spectacular Arts Society Masquerade Ball.
For the first day of Arts Week 2018 we organised a life drawing session. We booked out a room in Mary’s that’s further out from college for the model’s privacy and got in contact with a student life model to book for the night, then once everything was sorted out we posted a sign-up link on the freshers group. On the night we set up the room and got started with a range of poses of different lengths of time and everyone produced some really great drawings!
On the Tuesday of Arts Week, St Mary’s Arts Committee ran a live lounge. Live lounges are student-led performances, varying in location and size, that are run around 2 or 3 times a term. Live lounges are a chance for students to showcase their musical talents to the rest of the student community and are very diverse: from violin solos to Basement Jazz.
To organise a live lounge, our Music Rep, Juliane, contacts the senior members in college to find a suitable location and date to hold the event. For Arts Week, we chose to use the bar for a more intimate live lounge, as we had a big event, the Masquerade Ball, at the end of the week. Once the location and date is arranged, Juliane will contact student performers and encourage them to exhibit their talents, whether it be just one song, or a collection; we are open to anything anyone wants to perform. Our Music Rep needs to also get in contact with St Mary’s JCR senior tech officer, Jack, who will arrange for someone, in this case, himself, to help set up and run the technical aspects of the live lounge.
On the day, the arts committee and tech officer set up the equipment needed such as speakers, keyboards, microphones, guitar plug ins etc. in preparation for the event. Once the audience has settled with drinks in their hand, Juliane welcomes them and introduces each act. On Tuesday, we had three performances: Max from Trevs who sang and played the guitar to Mardy Bum by the Arctic Monkeys; Mary’s Mixed Voices (MMV) who sang The Longest Time by Billy Joel, a cappella style; and Ellie and Katie who performed a duet with Ellie singing and Katie on the piano playing All I want by Kodaline.
Live lounge events are enjoyed by the entire college, and allow students who are musically talented an opportunity to perform what they have been working on over the term. Our next live lounge will take place on the last day of term, Friday 16th March, after St. Mary’s College’s Friends and Family formal, in which members of the college invite friends and family to join them for a formal to get a taste of life at St. Mary’s. A live lounge is suited to this event as it shows students from other colleges how talented Mary’s students are.
Mary’s Masquerade Ball
Every year, the final and biggest event of Mary’s Art Week is the annual Masquerade Ball. Each year a committee of students work tirelessly on theme ideas, decorations and publicity during the second term.
This year, our theme was ‘Tim Burton’s Masquerade Ball’, coordinated by our Ball Chair, Camille Levron and the Mary’s Arts President, Katie Booth. The idea was to have the lighter, more colourful side of Tim Burton’s films upstairs – a room with a chocolate fountain for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, full of entertainment and casino tables decorated to suit Edward Scissorhands, and the dining room decked out to be transformed into the Mad Hatter’s Dinner Party, courtesy of Alice in Wonderland, with carefully selected food by our Co-Heads of Food and Drink, Sophie Easton and Riyana Dyson. Downstairs, in the basement and bar area, the plan was to have the spookier side of Tim Burton, with decorations to fit Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Mary’s runs a ball each term – the Winter Ball, the Masquerade Ball and the Midsummer Ball.
What makes Mary’s balls particularly special is that due to our beautiful buildings and grounds, our balls are always on site and Mary’s students organise each part of it, creating themed decorations to put up around college. For the last five weeks, our Head of Decs Charlotte Delaforce, has led a dedicated committee of Mary’s students in all forms painting, drawing and craft for our Masquerade Ball 2018. A team headed by Sophia Coveney took charge of publicity surrounding the event. This included a promotional video inspired by the Tim Burton films, ticket design and a Facebook raffle that gave students the chance to win prices put forward by businesses around Durham.
After the Ball meal, various musicians and a DJ led the entertainment for the evening, selected by our Co-Heads of Ents Shannon Dexter and Charly Robson. With performances on the main stage from Mary’s Dance, the legendary Mary’s band Basement Jazz and more acts from the Durham student body. Even more entertainment, such as casino tables, indoor croquet, and a photo-booth were be on offer. Lots of work has gone into the ball from a fantastic committee, promising it to be a night to be remembered.