Program: Just Add a Live Swing Band -
Sean Cook, Administrative Coordinator
Penn State U.
We did a Holiday Swing Dance last December and collaborated with Food Services to have it
in one of our a La Carte Dining Halls, during evening snack bar hours. That particular
snack bar has a small stage, and is very "retro" in style, so it was very
North Halls, my area, has a lot of musical students, since we are in close proximity to
Penn State's Music Building. We were lucky enough to have a member of the area resident
government volunteer to have his ensemble, one of the University's student Jazz Groups,
come play a live set of Swing Music. Before the band played, I DJ'ed, playing some CDs of
my own on a sound system I borrowed from another residence hall area.
We had about 85 to 90 people come, which is great for our area, which is the smallest (900
residents) on campus. This turnout was especially good because it was the last week of
classes before exams.
Oh, yeah, the snack bar stayed open, and dining services donated free
soda, and a chip and dip bar. They also had a $1.99 gourmet burger, the Blue Moon Burger,
which debuted that night.
*Talk to the Dining Hall staff about using their facility or locate another viable
location which can have a large dance floor area.
*Seek out local talent--talk to residents who are involved in music ensembles, or call the
music department on your campus, if you have one.
*See if food services will donate food or, if an a la carte or snack bar type operation,
see if they will have a special "thematic" menu item.
*Get a sound system and play recorded music if necessary for a while, to get the crowd
revv'ed up a bit.
*Make sure the stage is set up right near the dance floor, to get that "big
*Advertise well in advance. Food Services did table tents for us.
I might advertise with a "teaser" by having some people dress up and come swing
dance in the dining halls at lunch and dinner.
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