Christmas is coming…

Over the next few weeks, I will post images with a Christmas or winter theme from the RNCM Archives, to help get us all in the mood for the upcoming festive season.

By now, children have probably written their letters to Father Christmas, asking for whatever has taken their fancy this year.  I wonder, however, how many left Santa to guess what they would like, as in the case of a young Ida Carroll?  I imagine, given that she left it until Christmas Eve to write her letter to him, that he had already established that he would have to use his own powers of deduction to ascertain what the clever 9 year old wanted.

Ida Carroll was the youngest daughter of Walter Carroll, the Royal Manchester College of Music’s first Professor in the Art and Practice of Teaching (although he was probably best known for composing piano music for children, such as Scenes at a Farm).  Ida was born in 1905.  She attended the Matthay School of Music (which later became the Northern School of Music), and subsequently becoming its Secretary.  After the death of the founding Principal in 1956 Ida was appointed Acting Principal, becoming Principal in 1958.  On the opening of the Royal Northern College of Music following the amalgamation of the Northern School with the Royal Manchester College of Music, Ida Carroll became Dean of Management, retiring in 1976.  That same year she was elected president of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (the second woman to hold the post).  She was awarded the OBE in 1964.  In addition to her full-time work Ida Carroll was a freelance double bass player, and a leading figure in a number of organisations including Chetham’s School of Music, European String Teachers Association and the National Youth Orchestra.

I do just wonder what she was given for Christmas in 1914!

Ida Carroll's letter to Father Christmas, 1914

Ida Carroll’s letter to Father Christmas, 1914, aged 9 (ref. from Carroll/WC/3)

5 December 2013