Performing has been a great passion of mine from an early age. I chose to study Psychology at University, and like you perhaps, I wasn’t sure I would be able to find my creative outlet outside of my busy academic schedule. But I soon found the perfect thing for me at the University of Westminster…Musical Theatre – a genre that beautifully combines singing, dancing and acting.
Seeing some of my favourite musicals come to life on the West End is truly an unforgettable experience. But I have to admit, it can never equate to the joy that overcomes me when I am the one performing; maybe not on the West End stage per se but right here, at the University of Westminster! Let me explain…
The Student Union at Westminster offers a range of sports clubs, societies and extra-curricular activities for students to become more socially involved within the university. I was hoping to sign up to dance or music societies but imagine how thrilled I was to find that the perfect creative outlet, Musical Theatre Society actually existed!
When I say I fell in love with this society, I am not kidding. I even ran for committee this year and got elected as the Treasurer! So I want to use this platform and spread the word about this group of talented, dedicated and passionate individuals.
Here are some exciting performances that we prepare and are annually a part of:
Organised by the UWSU Marrow Society, Marroween is the perfect opportunity for students to get a feel of what it’s like to be performing in front of an audience. All money proceedings from the event go to Anthony Nolan – a charity that helps support the lives of those with blood cancer and blood disorders.
We work really hard to put on a great performance, no matter how small. First, the society committee puts forward several musical numbers as options; the members vote and select the best one. Our musical director then helps us with vocals, while a choreographer (usually a committee member) works on the choreography with everyone. This year, I took the initiative to choreograph the chosen number! It was a lot of fun, especially since we all got to dress up in costumes!
For more details: Visit the Marrow Society Facebook page.
Our annual Winter Musical Extravaganza is a small concert similar to an open mic night. It’s an event showcasing everyone’s talents as they prepare their solos, and team up for duets and mini ensemble numbers. The members get really into it! They plan for choreographies and practice harmonies to perfect their numbers outside of rehearsals.
Meanwhile, the society as a whole works really hard to perfect 4 huge ensemble numbers over the course of 6 weekly rehearsals. There are drinks and baked goods for sale, a raffle for some awesome prizes and most important of all, good music and fun! A wintery showcase filled with a variety of musical performances, from classic stage shows to modern films. Who would want to miss that?
For more details: Visit our Facebook page.
The Big Show
In April of every year, we have our main stage production of a famous West End or Broadway musical. The choice of the musical falls upon the committee. They buy the performance rights, look for a band, hire a musical director, and divide choreographies upon themselves. I had no idea there was so much going on behind the scenes! Once chosen, the director holds auditions to cast the musical and we spend the whole of second semester preparing for the huge performance.
This year, we are so excited to present our end of the year spring musical, In The Heights! Join us for a night full of songs and dances, of laughter and tears, and of family and home. Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (yep, the guy that wrote Hamilton!), it tells the story of a vibrant American-Hispanic community in New York’s Washington Heights.
Where? Portland Hall on the Little Titchfield Street campus.
When? Friday 26th and Saturday 27th April at 7pm
Tickets? £5 for Westminster students and £7 for externals on the SU website.
For more details: Visit our Facebook page.
Final message from Salome
Musical Theatre Society allows a second-year Psychology student like me to have a creative outlet outside my busy university schedule. It’s a positive, friendly environment for self-expression and an opportunity to build confidence. And I’m not the only one who thinks so! Our team consists of students from a range of different courses who all share the love for performing arts and want to pursue it as a hobby. After a long and tiring Thursday, every week, we long for 6pm to arrive so that we can finally let loose in doing what we all love.
What’s your creative outlet?
For this post and other blogs from International Students at Westminster please visit International Student Blogs.