Resonate: December 2021

Welcome to your December edition of Resonate. 

As we head into the festive season, we’ve got some exciting stories about what our students and alumni are up to, upcoming highlights from our events programme, and another treasure from our archives – not to be missed! A huge congratulations to our class of 2020 and 2021 who graduated earlier this week. 

December also represents the heart of this year’s annual appeal. As we head into an uncertain winter, we want to ensure that we can support all our students to flourish during their time with us – no matter what their needs, no matter what their circumstances. 

The past 20 months have been incredibly difficult, but they have demonstrated just how much music means to us all. It is a joy to have our students back together in the building, collaborating with each other and world class musicians, performing to audiences once more and looking towards the future. 

Donations to our Annual Appeal will provide hardship funding for those who need it, bursary support for students from all backgrounds, well-being support for those experiencing physical or mental health issues, and scholarships to attract exciting new talent to Manchester. 

We are delighted that the first £10,000 of donations will be match-funded, thanks to the generosity of our Principal’s Circle. Give now and your donation will be worth double. 

For more information on how you can help support the future of music with a one-off donation or by setting up a regular gift, click here. 

Thank you. 

RNCM Hardship Funding
Jac’s Story

I was extremely grateful to be offered a place to return to the RNCM on the Postgraduate Diploma programme, after the coronavirus pandemic had impacted on my studies for my Master’s degree in 2019/20. However, part-way through my Postgraduate Diploma, I ran into financial difficulty. 

No longer eligible for government funding, I was now unable to earn money as a freelance musician – a source of income I had relied on. Though I moved home to live with my parents to save money, I still had to pay for my flat in Manchester.  

The few casual jobs available had been taken by people with more experience than me and as a student, I was unable to claim Universal Credit. The timing of my situation meant that I missed out on many postgraduate funding opportunities and my application to Help Musicians UK was unfortunately deemed ineligible. 

When I received the amazing news that I could be awarded support from the RNCM Hardship Fund, my life instantly became less stressful. It meant so much to me to witness such generosity, and it enabled to me to focus entirely on my degree and the constant drive to improve as a musician. When I returned to Manchester, I immediately became busy with RNCM recording projects and work experience schemes with Opera North and the Hallé.  

Without the generous support that I received, I would have more than likely not returned to Manchester and instead completed my degree online. As a performer, it is the exposure and experience that comes with live performance that eventually leads to professional opportunities. Thanks to this support, I am fulfilling my dream of becoming a professional orchestral musician, working as a freelancer with the Hallé and the Orchestra of Opera North since graduating. 

Jac Aneurin Thomas 

By donating to our Annual Appeal, you can help support the future of music by providing emergency funding for students facing financial crisis like Jac. Find out how here. 

Congregation of Awards 
Our Students Graduate 

A huge congratulations to our Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 who graduated from the RNCM on 1 and 2 December. 

After the pandemic postponed last year’s Congregation of Awards ceremony, the two-day event provided a great opportunity for recent graduates to reunite and celebrate their success with friends and family. 

It also saw the presentation of Companionship, Fellowships (FRNCM), Honorary Memberships (HonRNCM) and Associate Membership (ARNCM) to several musicians, educators, industry leaders and advocates. 

Robin Wallington
RNCM Mills Williams Junior Fellowship in Conducting 

Robin Wallington has been appointed the RNCM’s Mills Williams Junior Fellow in Conducting for 2021/22. 

This much sought-after Fellowship provides an opportunity for a young conductor about to enter the profession to gain widespread practical experience.  Since 2019, it has been generously supported by the Mills Williams Foundation, in memory of Peter Mills and Rod Williams, who founded a charity from their joint estate to support young musicians at the start of their professional career.  

Manchester born and bred, Robin is a versatile conductor/composer who recently completed his Masters in Conducting at the RNCM. He has a particular interest in British early 20th century music and a passion for baroque music and opera. 

You can find out more about Robin on his website, here. 

SoundUp Arts
Manchester Culture Award Finalists
Find out more 

Established in 2018 by vocal alumna Lucy Temby as part of her Junior Fellowship in Creative Engagement, SoundUp Arts runs choirs, music workshops, long-term arts projects, interactive concerts and singing sessions for people living with dementia. It is also committed to supporting young musicians at the start of their careers. 

Lucy Temby with care home residents at the piano

Now run independently by Lucy and fellow vocal alumna Rachel Spiers, SoundUp Arts has produced almost 9,500 musical and creative engagements in person and online, trained 99 students through Music Made Well, and delivered 350 resource packs to people living with dementia. 

We are extremely proud that SoundUp Art was shortlisted as a finalist in the Promotion of Health and Wellbeing category at the recent Manchester Culture Awards. 

To find out more about SoundUp Arts, click here. 

Ilkley Concert Club
RNCM Students Shine in Afternoon Concert Series
Find out more 

RNCM students gave three wonderful performances recently at the King’s Hall, as part of Ilkley Concert Club’s Afternoon Concerts series. The new series was developed to provide a platform to young musicians on the verge of their professional careers, following the disruption of the pandemic. 

Featuring the RNCM String Quartet Studio residents the Levare String Quartet, pianist Mason Greenwood, the Hillon Piano Trio, Festivo Wind Quintet and the Rumava String Trio, the ‘stunning performances’ have been given a glowing review. Click here to read. 

These students follow in the footsteps of illustrious alumni including the Elias, Heath, Brodsky and Benyounes Quartets, who have all performed in Ilkley. 

Alongside our December evening performances, we’re got two fabulous student-led Spotlight concerts (10 and 17 Dec) as well as out ever popular Lunchtime Concerts. Our full programme is available to view and book online here. 

Sun 5 Dec // 7.30pm
RNCM JMIPC Concerto Final

Three finalists perform concertos with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Joshua Weilerstein.  

Fri 10 Dec // 7.30pm
RNCM Brand New Orchestra

New works by RNCM student composers alongside RNCM alumnus Gavin Higgins’s 2020 BBC Proms commission Rough Voices 

Sun 12 – Thu 16 Dec
RNCM Opera Double Bill 

Students from across the College perform Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos: Prologue and Menotti’s The Medium. 

Fri 17 Dec // 7.30pm
RNCM Big Band

The RNCM Big Band are joined by acclaimed vocalist Liane Carroll and award-wining saxophonist Josephine Davies. 

This Month in… 1974
HRH The Duchess of Kent visits the RNCM 

December 1974 saw the RNCM present Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida, with one very special guest in attendance, RNCM President Emeritus HRH The Duchess of Kent. 

You can take a look at the beautiful gold programme that accompanied the performances in our archives here. You can learn more about our archives here. 

Don’t forget, you can still pick up tickets for this year’s RNCM Opera Double-Bill of Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos: Prologue and Menotti’s The Medium on our website, here. 

And finally….

Naming a seat makes the perfect Christmas gift for the music lover in your life.

Celebrate someone special, commemorate a significant moment and be part of the fabric of the RNCM. 

Naming a seat is the perfect way to leave a lasting mark on the RNCM. Your donation will not only allow you to leave something special at the college, but it will also play a vital role in supporting our students. Once installed, plaques will remain for the lifetime of the seat. 

For further details, click here, or contact [email protected]. 

3 December 2021