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10/01/2008

Flutist Jill O'Neill, Students Plan Halloween-themed Arts Ball

Quick Facts

 Students from all departments in the College of Visual and Performing Arts are involved in the Oct. 31 Arts Ball.
 This year's show will replace O'Neill's flute concert.

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ROCK HILL, S.C. - A costume contest, an hour-long concert, a masquerade ball, a dance performance set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” – this year’s Halloween-themed Arts Ball will offer a little something for everyone.

The student-planned event begins Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. in McBryde Hall and takes the place of flute instructor Jill O’Neill’s highly anticipated annual flute concert. The musical performance will be held in a haunted mansion, with a curtain separating the mansion from the ballroom and dance floor.

Twelve students are planning this year’s Arts Ball for O’Neill’s class “Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Arts Production and Performance.” O’Neill said the class teaches students from all areas of the College of Visual and Performing Arts how to work together to perform in and produce special events like the Arts Ball.

“The aim of the class is to have a multidisciplinary thought process, to create a sense of ‘this is what I bring to the table; this is what I can do.’ It brings together performers from all the departments since we don’t have the luxury to be in the same building,” O’Neill explained.

Students in the class have been planning the Arts Ball since the semester began in August, O’Neill added, and they’ve “done everything from brainstorming ideas to planning logistics to buying decorations.”

Being involved in all parts of the planning process, O’Neill said, will help students learn to work in a variety of disciplines.

“These days you can’t get a job in the arts if you can only do one thing,” O’Neill said. “In planning the Arts Ball, I hope students across the disciplines will start to gel and get more and more interested in trying new things.”

Though the Arts Ball is an annual event, this is the first time students have had such a major role in planning the event, according to graduate assistant Jesse Revenig, who’s pursuing a master’s degree in flute performance. He said planning the Arts Ball will give students the opportunity to pool their unique talents.

“Everyone has their expertise, everyone wants to do their thing, but we’re learning how to work with other people,” Revenig said. “We can see that we’re all artists in completely different ways.”

Admission to the Oct. 31 Arts Ball is free.

For more information, contact O’Neill at 803/323-3797.

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