Christ Church Commemoration Ball 2017

Saturday 17th June saw hundreds of current students, alumni and staff, along with their guests, attend this year’s Commemoration Ball at college. The white tie ball is held every three years, and this year had the theme of ‘The Four Seasons’, with different spaces around college themed around each season. We were particularly lucky to be holding the ball on the warmest evening of the year so far, with temperatures staying high enough for the celebrations to be enjoyed from dusk through til dawn.

Tom Quad was a Spring festival, where the Gala Reception was held at the start of the ball, including a waltz around the quad, flowering trellises, and a firework display. Following this, guests continued into the Pocock Garden, Master’s Garden, and the Broad Walk in Christ Church Meadow. There was a festival-inspired Summer playground, a more Autumnal area where guests were able to find food, drink and entertainment, and a Winter wonderland relaxation area.

After either arriving through Peckwater Quad or by punt down the River Cherwell, guests were able to enjoy all of the varied entertainment on offer. The food and drink all reflected the season of the area in which they could be found, such as elderflower cocktails and cordials for Spring, and beers and ciders for Autumn. There was a wide variety of food available, as well as a four course meal in the Hall for those with dining tickets. We were also very fortunate to have headliners Scouting for Girls and ABBA Revival performing on the Main Stage on the Broad Walk, along with a Dance Stage in the Master’s Garden featuring performances from Arlissa and Redlight, and a quieter stage in the Pocock Garden, where there was music from members of Christ Church as well as acoustic sets. Other entertainment included carnival rides on the Broad Walk, including a Ferris Wheel, and balloon rides for a stunning glimpse of Oxford’s dreaming spires by night or at daybreak.

This year some proceeds from ticket sales were donated to two educational charities with links to Christ Church: IntoUniversity and Ovalhouse. IntoUniversity provides local learning centres for young people in some of the most deprived areas of Britain, offering academic support and mentoring in 22 centres in seven cities - they have been highly successful in boosting university acceptances for their students. The Oxford IntoUniversity centre was opened in partnership with Christ Church in 2014. Ovalhouse Theatre in South London was founded by Christ Church graduates in the 1930s. It provides a performance space for artists who may be experimental, radical, or overlooked, and pursues an agenda of positive artistic, political and social change through work with children and young people.

Thanks must go to the Ball Committee who worked incredibly hard to create the amazing experience enjoyed by all of the guests at the ball on Saturday, and everyone else who contributed towards the successful running of the ball.

For more information, please see the Christ Church Commemoration Ball 2017 website.