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Durham University

St Aidan's College

Arts & Music

We aim to allow talent to flourish in the arts at Aidan's, giving everyone the opportunity to get involved, regardless of previous experience or ability. This is clear to see in our termly Jazz, Rock and Cocktails evenings, the Christmas Pantomime, regular Salsa Classes, and creative writing classes. It can also be as simple as listening; sitting in the JCR and relaxing as someone plays the piano in the evening; or picking up a paintbrush to help one of the Committees as they prepare decorations for the next college event.


At Aidan's your musical talents will not go to waste! We have lots of different music societies so whatever you taste in music, and whatever your skill level, there is something to suit you if you want to join in.

The elected Arts Chair on the JCR Executive helps facilitate musical activity and events within the College throughout the year. These include a "find-a-band-mate night" in the Christmas term to bring together like-minded performers (and potential performers); and support for the student-run College choral group, Aidan's Voices. At Aidan's we have a wide range of classical, jazz, rock and other ensembles which change as students join and leave the College.

In addition, during the Epiphany Term there is a whole week of events celebrating the Arts, which usually features (amongst many other offerings) a recital evening of Classical music and poetry. And of course new suggestions from enthusiastic singers or instrumentalists are always welcome.


We have a thriving Drama Society in our College. Our Theatre Company produces a student written pantomime every December which is always incredibly well received and stars over 40 people. There is also a main production in the spring. Past productions have varied from Grease and Blithe Spirit to Much Ado About Nothing.

Creative Writing

Inkapturing course is an introduction to creative writing taught by Durham-based author Fadia Faqir. It explores techniques for sparking the imagination and tapping inner creativity as well as developing skills and improving style. 

The fifteen 2-hour weekly workshops, running over two terms, concentrate on fiction, the novel and short story, and are intended for people who have an active interest in contemporary writing and are keen on developing their writing skills. The course focuses on basic narrative techniques: characterisation, structure, story and plot, prose rhythm, consistency, viewpoint, voice, conflict, crisis and resolution, the ability to communicate, the importance of showing vs. telling . . . etc. Each workshop offers a mixture of the theoretical, creative and practical. Throughout the course a variety of texts selected from a wide range of publications are used to illustrate and inspire. 

The course also uses creative field trips to Whitworth Hall, Durham Castle and the BALTIC to ignite the imagination. Quality writing by the students is published in Inkapturing e-magazine, edited by ex-students of the course. Writings sparked off by 'Fiction from Art' workshop are jointly published with the BALTIC.