Tobias-Murray, USC Associate Programming, reflects on the collaborative efforts for Purple Frost

Skai Bekeris, USC News | Posted: January 29, 2020 at 12:00pm

The University Students’ Council is proud to present Purple Frost 2020 featuring the Arkells on January 29th from 8 PM to 11 PM in the Mustang Lounge. 

The event is hosted in partnership with the Faculties of Arts and Humanities Students’ Council, Music Students’ Council, Information and Media Studies Student Council, Health Sciences Students’ Council, Social Science Students’ Council, Science Students’ Council, as well as Huron University College Students’ Council and Brescia University College Students’ Council. 

Similar to Purple Fest, Purple Frost 2020 aims to engage students from a wide variety of campus groups to celebrate their “purple pride” and an evening of great music.

Hannah Tobias-Murray, Associate, Programming for the USC, has worked tirelessly alongside Cecilia Liu, USC Student Programs Officer, and executives from the partner faculties and affiliates over the past few months to bring this event to life.

Though Purple Frost has been presented over the past few years, this year it was re-envisioned by Western’s faculty and affiliate student councils. Tobias-Murray highlighted the involvement of all stakeholders throughout the planning process, who came together as student leaders to collaborate with the USC for an event for their peers. 

Regarding the planning process, Tobias-Murray outlined the series of events leading up to the upcoming show. 

“Essentially, where we start, is a combination of student feedback and faculty brainstorming. We tasked each group with going back to their student bodies and executive teams to come up with a list of artists they would be interested in, as well as establishing how much money they’re able to spend. Then, the USC Concerts and Events crew — who are super mind-blowing — they take that information and start to tell us what options are within our price range and what could be feasible based on student feedback and ideas,” she explained.  

The genre was narrowed to R&B and indie after considering which artists would be most popular among students and diversify the energy of the Purple Fest acts presented in September. Tobias-Murray mentioned the continuous thought and effort to provide programming for a wide audience of students.

The planning team was ecstatic to officially secure the Arkells in November. “They were the perfect fit for our campus. The right genre and the right kind of energy we were looking for.”

Related story: Max Kerman, Arkells lead singer, on USC’s Purple Frost in the Mustang Lounge

“From there, we looked at figuring out our launch. We always want it to be good for the artist, but also good for all of the faculties and the partners on board. So, trying to make sure everyone is on the same page for our vision is important. We really work with USC Promotions and each faculty’s Communications portfolio,” Tobias-Murray explained. 

Though Tobias-Murray is sure the actual event will be the best part of all of her efforts, she reflects on the success of the launch, remarking on how exciting the big day was.

“We got so much good feedback from students who were so pumped and excited to see programming that is diverse from what the USC has offered in the past.”

While Purple Frost provides an exciting evening of great music for students and their friends, there’s a bigger goal behind the months of planning and efforts to provide a range of programming across campus events. 

For Tobias-Murray, her hope is two-fold: “Firstly, our programming is about garnering support from as many students as possible, especially those who don’t traditionally engage with the USC. I hope that this concert will introduce them to everything that the USC offers, including diverse programming for students and their interests. The second part involves collaboration – I think this event really showcases the relationship that we have built with different faculties and affiliated colleges. My hope for the future is for that to continue and for there to be more opportunities for the USC to collaborate on different programming,” she expressed.

Tobias-Murray reflects on role at USC

In her role as Associate, Programming, Tobias-Murray has had an invaluable opportunity to gain experience in event planning, specifically for USC Concerts. Her responsibilities also include supporting USC Charity, Theater Western, EnviroWestern, Public Arts, and Early Outreach, though her role will be splitting into two separate positions next year. 

As Associate, Programming, she emphasizes the learning opportunities she has gained while working under Liu, specifically gaining project management skills. 

“Managing a big project with a bunch of different people with different ideas and talents has been a really positive experience, and I’d like to continue to pursue opportunities like that. I am definitely more fascinated with the music industry after this experience. I’m a political science student, so this has been totally different than what I’m used to,” said Tobias-Murray.

Tobias-Murray encourages any students interested in the entertainment industry or events and programming in general to think about applying for opportunities in the USC’s Student Programs portfolio. The organization’s annual job fair runs next month and hires hundreds of paid part-time students.

“To anyone interested in music and entertainment,  this is a really great opportunity to gain exposure and build relationships within the industry. It’s a really cool opportunity, and I think one that you might not typically expect from the USC,” the student leader voiced.

Student leader opportunities are posted regularly on the USC’s website.

Purple Frost 2020 featuring the Arkells takes place on January 29th, 2020 at 8 PM-11 PM in the Mustang Lounge. Tickets are still available for purchase through Eventbrite. For more information, be sure to check out the event page on Facebook.

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