Creating the RNCM Screen Print

To mark the exciting transformation of the Concert Hall, we have commissioned designer and alumna, Jane Foster, to create an exclusive screen print commemorating the occasion. We sat down with Jane to chat about her time at the RNCM and her inspiration behind the RNCM screen print.

 What are your memories of your time at the RNCM?  

I remember lots of things about being at the RNCM  – firstly, I loved the design of the building and the various concourse levels, roof garden and different colour carpets to represent the different corridors. I have memories of sitting on the floor along the strings corridor always waiting for a practise room! I made some lovely friends at the college, I loved my violin teacher Ben Holland and also Tony the composition teacher. I also remember feeling an inadequate musician most of the time as my peers were more talented than me! I had a good ear (perfect pitch) and was in the top class for aural but when it came to violin playing, the rest of my peers seemed in a different league!

I came into my element when I was asked to be on the Junior Strings Project – it was only in its second year when I was there – the course involved teaching junior school children stringed instruments along with Dalcroze and Kodaly, which I loved. The teachers on this course were amazingly inspiring and definitely influenced the next chapter in my life.

Can you tell us a bit about your career after graduating from the College? 

Yes, I followed my 5 years at the Northern with a one year PGCE teacher training course but, instead of going straight into a class to teach, I took a brave decision to do VSO (Voluntary Services Abroad) for 2 years. I went to Cambodia for just over 2 years to teach the violin at the School of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh.  I also taught music in the International School there which enabled me to use my salary to buy instruments and re-catalogue the library at the School Of Fine Arts (which had had a termite problem and had terribly poor facilities). It was an amazing experience and I left Cambodia thinking I wanted to move to Brighton!

I then spent 5 years teaching the violin with the Brighton and Hove Music Service before returning to whole school classroom music teaching – nursery/reception to A level!

After 14 years of teaching music I was ready for a change – I rediscovered the joy of screen printing at a local printmaking venue in Brighton and became hooked! I started to sell my screen prints in shops and was fortunate to be spotted in an Open House by The Art Group. My screen prints were published as cards and posters in Habitat and I created my own website and blog which I started to sell from. I’ve recently signed a three book deal, am working on two new children’s books and am collaborating with a ceramics company called Make International where they’re producing mugs and glasses with my designs on.

What was the inspiration behind your exclusive design for the RNCM screen print? 

I wanted to show the wonderful design of the Royal Northern – it’s like no other music college and stands proud on the corner of Oxford Road. I wanted to symbolise wonderful music escaping from the walls and roof.

What difference do you think the transformation of the Concert Hall will make to our students’ time studying here? 

It will undoubtedly make them enjoy being in the space more and feel proud to be there. I remember I taught in a brand new secondary school outside Brighton and the newness had a very positive affect on the students and staff.

The A3 signed and numbered RNCM screen print is available exclusively from the College for £25 and was printed with the generous help of Hot Bed Press Studios (www.hotbedpress.org). If you would like to purchase a print, please contact Kate Findlay on 0161 907 5338 or kate.findlay@rncm.ac.uk.

9 July 2014