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Sheet music with red jingle bells laid on top

With Christmas just around the corner, we invite you to join in the festivities with our Student Performing Arts.

Our fantastic students have been working hard to bring a range of polished performances to spread the festive cheer for all this year.

Music to the ears

Musical offerings abound, taking full advantage of Durham City’s historic setting to amp up the atmosphere. Traditional, modern, large, intimate, inside, outside – in terms of musical performances we've got you covered.

Be regaled by numerous University music ensembles in a Carol-a-thon as you peruse Durham’s Christmas Festival on Palace Green.

If your feet just can’t keep still and you have no choice but to dance, Jazzy Christmas is for you! Our Jazz Orchestra and Big Band promise an unforgettable night of jiving and toe-tapping in the 11th century Castle Great Hall.

Handel’s Messiah in Durham Town Hall lends a classical music touch with Dunelm Consort and Players’ tackling this baroque masterpiece that has become a staple of choral Christmas. An all-student soloist line-up is expertly led by guest conductor Daniel Cook, Durham Cathedral’s Master of Choristers and organist.

If you prefer something more intimate, our Chamber Choir brings you 6th century O: Advent Antiphons in St Godric’s Church in a smaller setting.

And finally, what could be more festive than a traditional Christmas concert? Our Brass Band and Concert Band join forces in a Christmas extravaganza with all the trimmings. A Candlelight Christmas at Elvet Methodist Church features everything from Rutter’s tranquil Candlelight Carol to Slade’s rousing Merry Christmas Everybody.

A feast for the eyes

If you prefer to indulge in a theatrical performance over the festive period, student-led Tone Deaf Theatre Company will stage Into the Woods from Wednesday 6 – Saturday 9 December at the Sir Thomas Allen Assembly Rooms Theatre. This dark comedy follows characters from fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm as they come to terms with the consequences of receiving their wishes and navigating the aftermath of ‘happily-ever-after’.

Watch the trailer below, or view it here.

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‘The tip of the musical iceberg’

Lewis Wilkinson, Assistant Manager Performing Arts (Student Music) commented: “This year’s festive celebrations really show off the wonderful range of music our students create. There are a huge range of societies, ensembles and groups, and this is just the tip of the musical iceberg at Durham. I am very excited that we’re able to share these high calibre performances with our local community and wider region to inspire and bring joy.”

As well as offering a focal point for our local community, our vibrant music and theatre enrichment activities help to create a thriving environment alongside academic studies. Providing our students with opportunities on the stage or behind-the-scenes enables personal growth, helping them to develop the skills to make positive, purposeful differences. And with over 1,000 student-led societies across the University, there are plenty of outlets to explore to unlock potential and provide the basis for transformative experiences.

In a recent blog on her experience in this year's freshers' play, first year undergraduate Annabel Clancy illustrates this, writing: "Getting involved in Durham Student Theatre has been a brilliant way to start my university experience. Working alongside fellow freshers is truly inspiring – we’re all still growing into university life, yet for a few hours each week we can lay aside the cycle of assignments and lectures as we nurture a common passion.”


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