Natasha Franks interviews Fernando Maluf, convenor of this year’s Opening Ball, which will be held on Saturday 3 October. 

T: Lower College Lawn is a versatile venue, being host to everything from festivals to fashion shows. How does the club plan on transforming it for the ball?

FM: I think Lower College Lawn is the perfect place to host Opening Ball. Where better to welcome new students than the historic venue beside St Salvator’s Quad? There will be Highland Pipers greeting the guests upon their arrival, followed by a champagne reception, and 6 different acts throughout the night. A well structured outside and inside marquee will allow guests to enjoy themselves wherever they are, whether they like to dance in a more crowded area outside, or if they enjoy the bands playing inside the marquee.

T: What can the guests look forward to? Any exciting acts?

FM: Opening Ball will be filled with musical talents and entertainment. To open the ball, we have hired a soul / hip hop group based in Brighton and fronted by Ned, Nicholson & Phoebe called Normanton Street. Their sound is lyrically focused with three distinct vocals, jazz influenced guitars, warm bass grooves, tight rhythmic drums and memorable saxophone melodies. Additionally, there will also be popular St Andrews DJs [Asquire, DJ FLO, and Joe Jones] playing in both the inside and outside marquee.

T: How can we expect this year’s Opening Ball to differ from previous years’?

FM: This year’s Opening Ball will be a new experience, all while maintaining its traditional glamour. There will be two ambiences: the traditional main stage and an outdoor area. At the traditional main stage, there will be jazz bands, house music and rock.  In the outdoor area, which opens later that night, popular student DJs from within the St Andrean community will be playing sets. 

T: Tell us about the charities the club is working this year. How do you choose which ones to support?

FM: The supported charities for the year are chosen at the start of the academic year. Before the previous semester finishes, one of the Club members is elected Charities convenor during our AGM. He or she then has to research various charities which identify with the Club and St  Andrews. These are then proposed in a presentation to the rest of the Club, followed by a vote on which charities we will give support to throughout the year. Around 10-15 charities are proposed for us to select with 4-5 charities ultimately supported.

T: Any thoughts on the public’s perception of the Kate Kennedy Club?

FM: When arriving in St. Andrews I had mixed thoughts about The Kate Kennedy Club. I used to hear comments from people who liked us and people who hated us. I went to the first drinks with no certainty it was a Club I wanted to be a member of; however, throughout the semester I got to know Club members with whom I identified. They were welcoming and nothing like what I had heard from those who dislike the Club. I think there are many rumours about the Kate Kennedy Club around this town; there are those who don’t know us and believe those rumours, and those who do know us. Those people know all the work we put into promoting our main aims and that we are just like any other ordinary student in St Andrews.

Tickets for Opening Ball may be purchased online.

Photo courtesy of Opening Ball’s Facebook page.