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Experience Durham – Bringing Sport, Music, the Arts and Volunteering together  
Experience Durham – Bringing Sport, Music, the Arts and Volunteering together
As students left to head home for Easter, Experience Durham could reflect on some spectacular achievements and events. The Assembly Rooms, home of Durham Student Theatre, were packed for end of term performances including Durham University Light Opera Group’s (DULOG’s) production of hit musical RENT. There was an Oscar Wilde extravaganza, with ACT theatre company in Durham presenting Dorian Gray, while students at Queen’s Campus produced The Importance of being Earnest at the ARC Theatre. Click through from title to read more.

College theatre companies were busy too – Collingwood performed Cabaret!, Van Mildert turned their talents to Guys and Dolls, Hild Bede staged the Little Shop of Horrors, St Chad’s Green Door Theatre company put on Love and Understanding, Castle Theatre Company entertained with Dracula and Durham’s youngest college, Josephine Butler opted for Chatroom, a play that documented the up’s and downs of life online. Alumni and friends are very welcome at any student theatre productions are more information about forthcoming productions can be found on the Durham Student Theatre website and the What’s On guide.

Following the success of the Team Durham Community partnership with Sport in Action Zambia, seven current students involved with Durham Student Theatre are currently in Zambia working with children and young people from disadvantaged communities. Through the medium of drama, the students have developed workshops and activities which they are delivering in local schools and theatre groups. To find out more about their endeavours please visit the Zambia 2012 website.

Our leading orchestras and choirs including Durham University Orchestral Society, Durham University Chamber Choir and Durham University Choral Society all performed in the ever-magnificent surrounds of Durham Cathedral on separate occasions throughout March. We wish Durham University Voices the very best of luck as they perform on Saturday evening at Newcastle City Hall, in the finals of the St Oswald Hospice Choir of the Year 2012 competition.

Durham University Big Band returned to the Great North Big Band Festival with the aim of retaining their title as ‘Best Band’. Competition was stiff, with university big bands attending from as far afield as Warwick and Cardiff, as well as semi-professional bands from around the North East.

Durham University Big Band performed a contrasting programme of different styles which was praised by the adjudicators, as well as being able to show-off a variety of different soloists around the band. Florian Cooper, Musical Director of Durham University Big Band and a current student at Collingwood College said: "Our final piece, ‘Crusin' for  bluesin'’, showcased our saxophone section which led to the adjudicators comments of 'fearless' and 'I simply put my pen down and listened' - our saxes subsequently won the award for best section of the day!"

Durham University Big Band went on to win the festival for the second year running, the only band ever to do so.

It’s not just music and sports awards that have been won over the past month, Student Community Action volunteer Sarah Barker from Van Mildert College was named Intergenerational Volunteer of the Year, at the County Durham Age UK Intergenerational Network Awards. Sarah has given endless hours to support local elderly resident in Durham, leading the Generations Together project which aims to reach-out to elderly residents who need a little more help in their home and provides students with the opportunity to reduce isolation through conversation and she has established regular Tea Dance events for local residents.

Working with the Team Durham Community Outreach team, students from Grey College opened its doors and welcomed in members of the local community as part of their inaugural ‘Grey in the Community Day’.

Over thirty young people, with a variety of different disabilities spent the morning at the recently-opened facilities at Maiden Castle, participating in activities including Zumba, New Age Kurling, Rowing and Circus Skills. Throughout the afternoon Grey College hosted the event, with students leading activities including bead-making, hand-painting and dancing, with music provided by Grey Big Band.

To find out more about Experience Durham activities, please visit their website.  

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