Meet the Team Behind RNCM StudentFest

Join us this July for the first ever student-run festival of the RNCM. See their individual passions come to light in their unique and innovative projects.

RNCM StudentFest features a huge variety of events, from a Jazz Big Band to an audio-visual presentation with a string quartet – come along and enjoy your favourite genres, while exploring new ones…

See more details here 

Today, we’re introducing some members of the team to get to know the faces behind the names. We’ll also be chatting about the thoughts going through their heads in the run up to StudentFest.

Introducing… Josh

Tell us more about yourself, how and why are you involved in this festival?

I’m a second year postgraduate oboist at RNCM from Basingstoke. This year I have been acting as Artistic Director of the RNCM StudentFest17. I have always enjoyed organising & planning events and the thought of a student led festival at the RNCM was a thoroughly exciting proposition that I couldn’t resist being involved in.

What are you loving about planning StudentFest so far?

It’s been great to work and collaborate with so many students from all over the RNCM. It’s easy to become rather tribal in your own department or year great but I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to work with so many talented people. The experience gained from the existing members of staff has been incredible and their support has been invaluable over the last six months.

What have been the challenges for you in planning this festival?

There have been many and I suppose that the biggest one has been managing studies, my role as Artistic Director of the Lasham Music Festival in Hampshire, and having a busy life outside of college. Trying to launch any festival has it’s challenges and we’ve been working hard to try and bring something different to the vibrant Manchester scene. There have been many sleepless nights and I’m looking forward to a holiday after the final concert.

What’s one thing you’d say to someone thinking of coming?

Challenge yourself. There is something for everyone over the three days and with so many different acts running almost simultaneously, jump out of your comfort zone and experience something new. If you’re a lover of classical music, why not go and listen to our Gospel Act at the Opera Theatre, and if you’re a fan off all things pop and can drag yourself into the RNCM at 11.30 on Saturday morning, sit down and enjoy a personal favourite, Mozart’s ‘Gran Partita’!

Introducing…. Lucy

Tell us more about yourself, how and why are you involved in this festival?

Hello, I’m Lucy and I am very excited to be the festival Coordinator for the inaugural Studentfest17! I am a first year postgraduate Singer from Australia, and wanted to be involved in the festival as I think it’s a wonderful way for us to gain experience in an exciting offshoot to a music career.

Festival coordination is something that appeals to me as it allows us to create performance opportunities for our peers, work creatively in a team and develop curation skills, all things that I hope to be doing after I graduate. As festival coordinator I am overseeing the events of the week and making sure the schedule of rehearsals, set up and events all run smoothly. I am also curating some art exhibitions for the festival, in collaboration with students from the Manchester School of Art; we will be installing art throughout the building to add further interest to our festival week.

What are you loving about planning StudentFest so far?

So far I have really enjoyed working in the team, and seeing how open and eager everyone is to produce I high quality festival. I have to say that the staff at RNCM have been really supportive of all our requests and very happy to help us reach our vision for the festival which has been a real aid to the team.

What have been the challenges for you in planning this festival?

One of the challenges is working in a team where everyone has slightly hectic schedules as it is. Sometimes it is hard to coordinate my information gathering as different teams are working to different deadlines depending on how busy their own performance schedules are. However this is a natural hurdle when working with a team of busy students and really hasn’t caused too much of a problem as our lines of communication are open, making the job much easier.

Whats one thing youd say to someone thinking of coming?

With this being our first festival, our program is very varied, meaning that there really is something for everyone to enjoy. We are aiming to create a really vibrant festival vibe within the building, with the art installations and free concourse concerts running throughout the day. I think attending the festival will be a fun, interactive and exciting experience.

Introducing… Kathy

Tell us more about yourself, how and why are you involved in this festival?

Hello! I’m Kathy. I’m a second year undergraduate here at the RNCM and one of the three Programming Managers for this year’s StudentFest. One of my favourite things about studying here is the crazy range of talent and musical interest, from authentic Renaissance performance to insane jazz collaborations to ambitious contemporary compositions featuring quotes from Shrek – and beyond.

There are so many fantastic ensembles and ideas here, and the reason I applied for the role of Programming Manager is because I was desperate to get some of these on a stage to showcase to the general public – which is exactly what we’ve done!

What are you loving about planning StudentFest so far?

Reading through all the applications for the first time was such a treat – every single proposal was so well-thought out and original that it was hard to believe they all came from students! I’ve loved chatting to people about their upcoming performances and seeing their eyes light up as they talk about something they’re truly passionate about. I also get to refer to myself as ‘Programming and Education Manager’, which makes me feel way more important than I actually am.

What have been the challenges for you in planning this festival?

It’s definitely been a struggle to balance my degree, actually sleeping for more than five hours a night and planning a whole festival. Shoutouts unquestionably go to the fantastic team that makes up the RNCM Programming Department for being general legends and offering advice/tea/biscuits whenever we need it as well as the rest of the StudentFest team and the RNCM in general for being super supportive.

What’s one thing you’d say to someone thinking of coming?

DO IT. I can personally vouch for how good every single event in this festival is. More importantly, not only will you have an amazing time, you’ll also be supporting some of the brightest young talent on the music scene right now. Come along so that when these guys are playing the O2 in a few years time, you can smugly point at the TV and say, ‘I saw them before they were famous’.

Find out more about StudentFest and see the line-up here