Our 3rd year BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Technology students have had a very busy week supporting six events in and around Derby.

The run started on Friday, 1 December, with a trip up to the Devonshire Dome on our Buxton campus. A team of four students, led by Ryan Finlayson, put together the sound, lights and rigging for the Buxton end of term student Christmas party. The dome is an extremely difficult venue acoustically, due to the untreated metal ceiling…

Setup for Friday’s student Christmas party

Entertainment at the party included a solo acoustic act and a DJ. Our team put together a great looking and sounding event and the Buxton students had a blast.

Student PM, Ryan Finlayson, with his crew as lecturer, Ian McKenzie, looks on from the supervision sofa

The crew from Friday’s event stayed on in Buxton on Saturday for the Pride of Buxton Awards 2017. This was an event where members of the community were honored for their contributions throughout the year. This included individuals as well as businesses. The event was sponsored in part by the University and was attended by the Mayor of Buxton as well as other local dignitaries.

Our students re-designed the lighting rig and added projection to the system for Saturday’s event (the sound system stayed the same). Entertainment was by a local band, who played a variety of pop and rock tunes.

View from FOH for the Pride of Buxton Awards 2017

Once again, the event went off without a hitch (aside from a very quick soundcheck due to a late-arriving band!). After the event the students had everything packed down and in the trucks by 2am, with all the gear returned to Derby by 3:30am.

The following Monday saw a very quick turnaround of the equipment to prep and set up for the University’s annual carol service in the atrium of our Kedleston Road site in Derby. The event is probably one of the most overblown carol services in the country (largely our fault for encouraging the organizers over the past 15 years or so), including performances by choirs, bands, cheerleaders and modern dance troupes. Our student crew, led by Harry Blackmore, had everything all set up by about 12:30am.

Load in for the carol service on the Monday evening
(the USL motor hang was fixed just after this photo was taken!)

Tuesday began with another one of Derby’s annual traditions: the Derbot Challenge. 3rd year students taking the Embedded Systems module form teams to design, build and code robots which compete in an obstacle course which changes every year. The team whose Derbot finishes fastest with the least number of penalty points wins.

Head of Electronics and Mathematics, Tim Wilmshurst, leading the Derbot Challenge on Tuesday morning

Our students (who weren’t taking part in the competition) provided the sound, lights and video for the event, which took place in our auditorium at Derby’s Markeaton Street campus and were led by student PM, Vytautas¬†Bingelis. The event went off without a hitch and all Derbots performed very well.

A Derbot in action on Tuesday morning

Following the Derbot Challenge, the University’s carol service took place on Tuesday night. Our students were busy during the day with final preparations, including sound checking the choir and the band, as well as running dress rehearsals for the cheerleaders and contemporary dancers.

At the same time, the students were preparing the live stream of the event on Facebook and YouTube, under the guidance of lecturer, Ben Sams.

The event was attended by the Mayor of Derby and Derby’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kathryn Mitchell, as well as other members of the community and the university. Our students did a great job and the carol service was one of the best we’ve had in recent years (the sound was particularly good this time around, thanks to the hard work by our student, Osama Elayan).

After a few day’s break, we were back on the road up to the Devonshire Dome in Buxton to provide sound, lights, video and rigging for a Cancer Research UK fundraiser, led by student PM, Levi Brown. The black tie event was to be attended by roughly 500 people and included a formal dinner, raffle and live music.

Final touches being made to the set up for the Cancer Research UK event

Despite the snowy conditions, we made it up to Buxton and got things up and running by mid-afternoon. The event went as planned and the clients were extremely happy with the results. After the event ended at 1am, we packed everything down and were unloaded in Derby by around 5am.

Cancer Research UK event up and running on Saturday evening

At the same time as the event in Buxton was underway, a team of students led by PM Michaella Saineti put on the final University of Derby Open Day of 2017 for our Entertainment Engineering group. They transformed our auditorium to showcase what we do with sound, light and other live event technology. This was particularly challenging as a good amount of our equipment was in Buxton!

The open day team did a great job showcasing our courses and made it clear to the potential students and their parents why Derby is the place to be!

Lecturer Ben Sams demonstrating why you should come to Derby

It was an exhausting week, but our students did a great job pulling off six very different and challenging events. Looking forward to the Spring semester!

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