Resonate: January 2022

A very Happy New Year from the RNCM and a warm welcome to our January 2022 edition of Resonate.

As our students return to Manchester for our Spring term, we’ve got plenty of exciting news for you including our jam-packed performance programme, incredible student stories and a treasure from our archives.

We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the RNCM community who, together with match funding from our Principal’s Circle, have donated an amazing £67,672 our Annual Appeal this year so far!

Our students are the performers, producers, composers and conductors of the future – the musicians you will see performing across the region, UK and internationally. This funding will go directly towards supporting them to thrive during their studies and prepare them to shape the music industry of tomorrow. We must support them to achieve their ambitions, no matter what their needs, no matter what their circumstances.

Could you help us to reach £70,000 in one final push? As we start the new year, a donation will give reassurance to students, whatever 2022 might hold. 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.

Graham Gouldman
Fellowship and Special Q&A with Students

As part of our Congregation of Awards ceremonies in December, we awarded Fellowship of the RNCM to singer, songwriter and producer Graham Gouldman.

Graham Gouldman sitting with guitar

Following the ceremony, Graham headed to Studio 1 for a Q&A with our Popular Music students where he chatted about his career, answered questions on songwriting, and performed acoustic versions of his classic hits No Milk Today, Bus Stop and I’m Not in Love.

Companionship, Fellowships, Honorary Memberships and Associate Membership were also awarded to several musicians, educators, industry leaders and advocates. Click here to find out more.

Molly Barker
Opera North’s Rigoletto
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Molly Barker in rehearsal for Opera North's Rigoletto

Credit: Tom Arber

Our congratulations to mezzo-soprano and RNCM alumna Molly Barker who recently joined the Chorus of Opera North on a permanent contract.

Molly will perform the role of Countess Ceprano in the company’s upcoming production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, which also features RNCM President Emeritus Sir Willard White and conductor and alumnus Garry Walker.

The production begins in Leeds on 22 January and will tour to venues across the North throughout the spring, including performances at The Lowry on 9 and 12 March.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Hipgnosis Songs Fund
RNCM Popular Music Students Receive Support
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Merck MercuriadisWe’re thrilled that RNCM Honorary Professor Merck Mercuriadis has supported four new Pop Scholarships, establishing the Hipgnosis Award at the RNCM.

Merck has managed an incredible list of global artists over the past 30 years, including Elton John, Guns N’ Roses and Beyoncé, and is Founder and CEO of Hipgnosis Songs Management, which houses over 60,000 songs, including Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It), Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) and We Are Family.

On establishing the Hipgnosis Award, Merck said, ‘The great song catalogues of tomorrow will come from the great young songwriters that are developing today. Nile Rodgers and I have experienced first-hand the incredible work being nurtured at the RNCM and we are delighted to be able to help support their efforts.’

This year’s recipients are Riccardo O’Grady (drums), Kaden Thomas (bass guitar), Safi Passman (electric guitar) and Nyah Branch (vocals). All four are incredibly grateful to receive this invaluable support and are looking forward to meeting Merck over the next few months.

Steven Osborne and Alpesh Chauhan
RNCM Alumni Recognised in Queen’s New Year Honours
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Steven Osborne

Credit: Ben Ealovega

Congratulations to RNCM alumni Steven Osborne (pictured) and Alpesh Chauhan who both received OBEs in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Multi-award-winning pianist and RNCM Fellow Steven was awarded the prestigious accolade for services to music while Alpesh, Music Director of the Birmingham Opera Company, Associate Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, was recognised for his service to the arts.

Click here to watch Steven performing an excerpt from Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4 with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall.

International Euphonium Quartet
Special Festive Concert for Maggie’s
Watch here

Last autumn, the International Euphonium Quartet, formed of RNCM students Erica Goh, Daniel Hohm, Louis Leung and Noa Nishizawa, were invited by Maggie’s Manchester to play carols at their Christmas event. Maggie’s is a charity providing free cancer support and information in centres across the UK.

Though the quartet were excited to perform a festive programme live, in light of the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic in December, they wanted to find a safe way to support Maggie’s and their wonderful commitment. They worked hard to produce a special online performance of Christmas carols to share with Maggie’s to spread a little festive cheer.

You can watch the 20-minute programme of carols here.

This month we’ve got a programme of performances from students across the College, alongside our popular series of Monday Lunchtimes, Thursday Lunchtimes and Spotlights concerts. We have a number of measures in place to keep our community safe and you can view our Covid-19 Audience Protocol here.

Sat 15 Jan // 7.30pm The Hallé Featuring RNCM Students
RNCM students perform alongside members of the Hallé, with guests including alumnus and strings tutor Callum Smart, and conducting alumnus Jamie Phillips.

Fri 21 Jan // 7.30pm RNCM Chamber Choir + Edvard Grieg Kor with Roderick Williams
RNCM International Visiting Tutor Roderick Williams returns to the RNCM this January for a concert that concludes a week-long residency for the Edvard Grieg Kor.

Wed 26 & Fri 28 Jan, Wed 2 & Mon 7 Feb // 6pm RNCM Opera Scenes
Vocal and conducting students present some of opera’s greatest moments in this free series of staged scenes. A perfect way to feed your curiosity!

Thu 27 Jan // 6pm A Tribute to Lucy Hale + 7.30pm RNCM Brand New Orchestra
We continue our commemorative celebration of the life and music of the late Lucy Hale, before our Brand New Orchestra share new works by our composition students, plus a performance of Lucy’s Against the Tide, originally written for the ensemble in 2015.

Tickets still available for all performances.

RNCM Brass Band Festival
28 – 30 Jan
// RNCM (various venues)
Find out more 

The RNCM Brass Band Festival is back, after a year off! This unique Festival features six of the UK’s leading brass bands alongside top international soloists and the talents of our own brass students.

The Festival marks the contribution to the brass band medium by some of Britain’s finest 20th Century composers, as we celebrate Sir Malcolm Arnold, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Ray Steadman-Allen, plus a substantial offering of new and recent works from composers including Judith Weir, Peter Graham, Simon Dobson, Liz Lane and Errollyn Wallen.

There is a strong focus on young talent this year with a showcase from local youth brass bands, a presentation from Brass Bands England on their pioneering work with young musicians and performances of new chamber works from emerging young composers.

Coming up…

Our full spring season will be announced soon, but here’s a taster of what’s coming up in February, available to book online now:

Rising star organist Anna Lapwood and conductor Anu Tali join the RNCM Symphony Orchestra for an evening of specially selected symphonic works following our free pre-concert talk on Fri 4 Feb.

Our Day of Percussion is back in the building for 2022 on Sun 6 Feb, and we’re excited to welcome back the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers for our headline evening event.

There’s fun for all the family on Sat 13 Feb as RNCM Young Explorers presents an interactive programme of gaming’s most iconic soundtracks, before the The Manchester Video Game Orchestra return that evening for a video game music extravaganza.

Hallé vs Northern School of Music
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Archive picture of Halle and Northern School of Music football match

On Sat 15 Jan, members of the Hallé will perform side-by-side with RNCM students in our Concert Hall as part of our annual celebration of strings, in what promises to be a very special evening. Find our more here.

Back in the 1970’s however, the Hallé and Northern School of Music (one of the RNCM’s founding institutions) had a rather different kind of encounter – a football match at the former Manchester University sports ground in Wythenshawe!

You can read the newspaper article describing all of the chaos, including a distracting violin snook onto the pitch by a student from Manchester School of Music (our other founding institution) in our archive here.

7 January 2022