A Bonanza of Photographs and Some Text Too.

Another week over and a wee bit closer to the holidays, where has the year gone?  We shouldn’t complain though as this time of year in the college we have our annual highlight – the Graduation Ceremony.  So let’s get started with this week’s updates.

For a more personal recount of the event of the week, Ron Dillin has shared his experience of the Graduation Ceremony with us.  The night began when The Piping Hot Dhollies piped in the Academic Procession and then Tom Watson of ICT played incredible guitar with his mate Tam (Swing guitars). The choir from the Academy of Music and Sound were spine-tinglingly good, Janine Louise Millward, Social Care lecturer, sang beautifully (‘Defying Gravity’ from the musical ‘Wicked’ and the Sarah Brightman song ‘Time to say goodbye’) and Belle & Sebastian received an Honorary Fellowship of Stow College.

The whoops, cheers and punching the air during the actual graduation were really funny. The heads of Faculty did very well to cope with some of the more difficult names and a number of last minute appearances by students.  Kirk Rasmsay, Chair of the Board of Management, and guest speaker Sandra White MSP both mentioned that without the opportunity to go to college they would never have risen to the positions they now have – as Mark Batho, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, was in the audience, this was a great message to put out.

There were a couple of big surprises at the end! Unfortunately, I didn’t see or hear the Musical Theatre students at the start, but I know they are always first rate.  Frances McGibbney was very emotional as she accepted the SQA prize for student of the year it was really nice that’s she listed the lecturers and Hub staff who had supported her throughout her time at Stow.  It is really moving to see students you have taught (or helped in some other way) have their hard work and achievement recognised.

Altogether a brilliant evening – the highlight of the Stow College calendar.  If you are on the staff at Stow and you weren’t there, you missed a wonderful evening.  Well done to the marketing team and all the Stowvies who helped out!  Thanks to Ron for that, now for a few photos of the event.  These are just a few examples of the hundreds of pictures taken during the Graduation, if you can’t see yourself ………… sorry, but we will have you immortalised on film (well digital) somewhere!!!

Now for a few pieces of news on events organised by the Pathways students.  Damien Cohen has given us an update on the group of students – Stephen Redpath, Alexander Kelly, Michael Mandidzora, Stacey McGahan and Mwanza Kamola that were involved in organising a charity event to raise funds for the Yorkhill Charity Foundation. They first of all went to the hospital to obtain information and possible ideas. They then organised the event itself which was held on Friday 4th November.  There was a stall selling miscellaneous stock from the Yorkhill shop, a stall with competitions and also a stall with home baking. The day itself raised £640.79 for Yorkhill hospital which far exceeded the target of £500 which the students had set for themselves.   Pictures of this event are in the above gallery.

The Blood Awareness campaign, which was held on Tuesday 8th November involved Anthony McLaren, Charmaine McGhee, Amy Swan, Rachel Sutcliffe. Michelle McKenzie and Sharon Nasuna.  This group initially visited the Blood transfusion office in Nelson Mandela Place in Glasgow and learned that a Blood bus was due to visit the college at some time in November. They arranged the date of their campaign to coincide with the bus being at the college.  They were involved in preparing posters to advertise the event, and on the day itself they had handouts which provided information about the benefits involved in donating blood. They were also able to answer questions which were asked of them. The net result is that there was more than double the amount of blood which was given at the College than the previous year.  Again, pictures are shown above in the gallery.

Last but not least on the Pathways front. There is another group of students comprised of Farhad Akbari, Irfan Din, Steven Graham, Fadi Ibrahim, Sajad Karimi, Colin McKay, Fiori Mezgebo and Khadum Riaz. This group is involved in the preparation of a magazine, this is an ongoing project and we will give you more information on this at a later date.

A little bit of music news now.  Ken McCluskey has let us know that Electric honey band French Wives have been asked to showcase for Island Records next Thursday (the 1st of December) at the Gibson.  There were 8 acts chosen nationally from 8 different colleges. The standard I’m told was exceptionally high and Island went through some 200 entries to get their top 8.  Other acts selected were: Aerials Up – University Of West Scotland, Steph Fraser – Leeds College Of Music, La Petite Mort – York Access To Music, The Cadbury Sisters – BIMM Bristol, Adele Hunkins-Beckford – South Birmingham College, Kamilla Lovett – Norwich Access To Music and Tiny Dragons – BIMM Brighton.  Congratulations to everyone involved.

Also on the music front, Mark Baillie has let us know that students across the Creative Industries Faculty had the pleasure recently of a visit by music industry veteran, and Chief Executive of the Music Managers Forum, Jon Webster. Jon’s formidable CV includes spending 17 years at Virgin during the label’s heyday,  working with the likes of Genesis, Peter Gabriel, UB40 and Erasure, founding the prestigious Mercury Music Prize in 1992, and directorship of the BPI, the UK record label trade organisation. Jon was accompanied by Sybil Bell of the Featured Artists Coalition, who discussed the rationale behind the organisation, and the main issues affecting artists in today’s ever-changing music industry.  The visit was part of a UK-wide ‘Rolling Roadshow’ (with similar events in Newcastle, Liverpool, Cardiff and Exeter) with Stow being the only Scottish date. The event was a great success with students being commended for their engagement with the industry’s hot topics, and plans for follow-up events are being discussed.  Picture above.

As well as that chart-topping Columbia records band The Ting Tings will be visiting the college on Tuesday 29 November at 2.30 pm to engage students in an exciting new collaborative project called ‘Showusyours’ http://showusyours.thetingtings.com/  Creative Industries students across a variety of disciplines will be asked to contribute ideas ranging from remixes of tracks to T-shirt designs to photography, all based around the February release of the band’s sophomore album, Sounds from Nowheresville, recorded in Berlin. There will be a Q and A with the band, who will discuss various aspects of their career as well as the rationale behind the project. There will also be 15 pairs of tickets up for grabs, for the band’s show in the Arches on Tuesday night.

Finally for this week just a couple of quick reminders of things where we would like some student participation.  Firstly the Photography Competition, yes we have mentioned it a few times, but this is a fantastic opportunity to show your talents and also have the chance of winning a meal from one of the sponsors; Bar Budda, 13th Note and Lansdowne Bar and Kitchen.  You still have a fortnight to get your entry in (closes on the 9th of December), so take a chance and submit a picture.  The other reminder is because we need your input for Staff Interviews that we will include in the Blog.  What would you like us to ask them?  Send us your questions.  So if you have a photograph entry or a question you want to ask or if you have an event you have organised and want it mentioned in the Blog or you’ve had a fundraiser and want to tell us about it ……….. email them to Tracey Borland, remember to include your name and the course you are on.

That’s us now, so enjoy your week, remember the college is closed to students on Wednesday 30th November due to industrial action, and we’ll see you back here next Friday.

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