Keep Music Playing 27: Student life, news & music

Starting a new academic year during a pandemic is not on anyone’s list of things they want to do.

Walking through the doors of the RNCM for the first time this term was both hugely exciting and nerve wracking, none of us knew quite what to expect.

However, although our venues are sadly closed to the public, we’ve still been able to play.  Additional Chamber Music opportunities have been created for us, to accommodate our working bubbles, each offering a chance to perform in the concert hall and represent our individual schools. The Monday and Thursday live streamed concerts have been particularly valued, giving our families, friends and RNCM audience members the opportunity to see us in action.

It’s also been a joy to still be able to perform in our annual Christmas opera, despite sadly, being unable to invite audiences to come and watch. Forty-four students still had this vital professional development experience and jumped at the chance to be a part of such an exciting project. Click here to check out some of the production photos.

To be able to play and listen to live music again has been transformative. Months in lockdown, unable to perform with others or in front of an audience, without a doubt, affects a musician’s confidence and coming back to be with fellow musicians to support each other and feel part of the RNCM community has been wonderful.

That community spirit means everything to us, particularly at this time of year. Christmas is, of course, a challenging time for many people. The RNCM Students’ Union and key College staff will be reaching out to students who may need extra support during the holidays. We’ll be there with advice, emergency support and festive food packages.

Much of this is only possible thanks to the generous donors who have kindly supported our Keep Music Playing campaign, providing vital funds for the College during this critical time. We know we can’t see you in person right now, but knowing you’re there for us makes all the difference. Thank you, to you all.

Cara Houghton

RNCM Students’ Union President


The RNCM’s Very Special Christmas Concert

Christmas is usually one of the busiest times in a musician’s calendar, full of festive concerts and events. Although this won’t be the case this year, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be sharing a very special online Christmas Concert with you later this month, featuring a one-time only orchestra of staff and students. It will be available to view on the RNCM Students’ Union web pages here, from 7:45 pm on Christmas Eve, right through the holidays. We hope you can join us for some joyous musical cheer!

Trio Fibonacci

Alumni Julie-Anne Derome and Gabriel Prynn graduated in 1995 and went on to form Trio Fibonacci, a piano trio based in Montreal.

You can join them tomorrow night, Saturday 12 December for a journey in the footsteps of the great Russian masters; Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Schnittke. Click here for a performance teaser and booking details.

Big Society

Rock band Big Society, featuring three recent alumni, have been enjoying Radio 1 airplay with the latest single from their début EP Where to start. Here is the band in action, performing My Love live at Hope Mill Studios in Manchester.

My Love – Live at Hope Mill Studios

As heard on BBC Radio 1 with Huw Stephens…No. 5! The fifth and final track from our debut EP 'Where to Start'.This was the last take on a really long day. You're looking at four jaded young men on the ragged edge of… rock?Stream, save and buy – and recorded by Steve Poppleton

Posted by Big Society on Friday, 27 November 2020

The Art of Music

In addition to the many generous donations we’ve received for our Keep Music Playing appeal, we’ve also been hugely touched by the offers of support we’ve received from our RNCM community. Artist Janina Cebertowicz kindly auctioned woodcut prints featuring the College’s past production of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene and generously donated the proceeds to the RNCM to Keep Music Playing.

‘I have met many wonderful people at the RNCM over 30 years, some of whom have become friends and have supported me in my work. I want to give something back.’ Janina Cebertowicz

Click here to find out more about Janina’s work.

Allo Sound Opera Gala

We’re delighted to share the first online ALLO Sound Opera Gala, featuring School of Vocal Studies and Opera singers Olivia Rose Tringham, Liam Karai, Michelle Law and Ross Cumming, who is generously supported by the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, accompanied by the Sir John Fisher Foundation Junior Fellow repetiteur, Christopher Pulleyn.

The concert features glorious performances of classic repertoire from Bizet, Mozart, Verdi, Strauss, Mendelssohn and Bernstein.

Campaign Update and Thank You

Since launching our Keep Music Playing campaign, support from our wonderful community of music lovers has enabled us to reach our initial target of £50,000. With each of these donations generously matched by our friends at the Oglesby Charitable Trust, every single gift has made a huge impact, providing vital support for the College.

However, due to the current ongoing restrictions, we are still unable to reopen our doors to the public and so our financial losses will sadly continue to increase. We have been buoyed by the kindness and generosity of all of our supporters. This has given us the confidence that our community is behind us and knowing this we will carry on fundraising to offset these continuing losses. We are now stretching our public fundraising target to £100,000. Every gift of every size will collectively make a huge difference to secure the future of the RNCM. We can only do this thanks to you. If you are able to help us please click here to find out more about how your gift will make a difference and to donate today. Thank you from all of us at the RNCM.

‘Keep playing. Music fills our souls.’ – RNCM donor

‘Please keep the music alive!’ – RNCM donor

11 December 2020