Resonate: July 2022

RESONATE: Stories, news and events from the RNCM community

Welcome to your July edition of Resonate!

As our Summer term draws to a close, we’re looking back on another eventful year in which we finally started to return to normality after the unique challenges of the pandemic.

Following the long disruption to in-person teaching and performance over the last two years, we’ve been delighted to fully welcome our students and audiences back into the building and hear the buzz of music filling the College again.

As ever, our students and alumni are busy performing at festivals this Summer, with recent graduates Porij making their début at Glastonbury last weekend and undergraduate singer-songwriter Bonnie Kemplay supporting Adele’s sold-out concerts at Hyde Park this weekend. We look forward to seeing what exciting things our students and alumni get up to this summer.

We’ll be taking a break from publishing Resonate in August, but we look forward to sharing even more news and stories when we return in September, as we kick off the RNCM’s 50th anniversary year!

We wish all our RNCM community a restful and enjoyable summer.

July at the RNCM

Thu 5 Jul / Manchester Camerata with RNCM Students
Robin Wallington, our Mills Williams Junior Fellow in Conducting, conducts members of Manchester Camerata side by side with students from the RNCM, with alumnus and concerto finalist Jack Bailey performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto.

Fri 8 Jul / The 21c Global Orchestra

Young musicians from leading music conservatoires across Australia, Austria, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, The Netherlands and the USA join students from the RNCM to explore the potential of what an orchestra can be in the 2020s.

News and Stories heading

Soraya Mafi
RNCM Alumna Makes Glyndebourne’s Début

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Soprano, alumna and RNCM Associate member Soraya Mafi makes her festival and role début as Morgana in Glyndebourne’s first ever staging of Handel’s exuberant magical fantasy Alcina this summer.

Since graduating in 2010, Soroya has won the Susan Chilcott Award, been a Harewood Artist at English National Opera, and performed in operas across the UK and internationally. Other highlights this season include engagements with Seattle Opera, English National Opera and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

For more on the production of Alcina, visit the Glyndebourne website.

RNCM Young Artists
Support from Sony Music’s UK Social Justice Fund
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We’re thrilled to share that RNCM Young Artists will be funded by Sony Music’s UK Social Justice Fund. Launching this September, the initiative will train and support pop musicians aged 11-18 from across the North West.

Led by staff and students from our Popular Music Department, RNCM Young Artists will have access to our fully equipped, state-of-the-art recording studios, and work in bands to create, record and distributing original music.

Professor Linda Merrick, Principal said: ‘I am looking forward to seeing this initiative develop and to welcoming lots of young people to the RNCM as they take the next steps on their musical journey. We know that there is incredible talent right on our doorstep, and RNCM Young Artists will provide the very best training, mentorship, and music-making opportunities to help them achieve their dreams.’

Read more on our website.

Winners Announced
RNCM Creative Innovator Awards Final 2022
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The RNCM Creative Innovator Awards, generously supported by Yamaha, recognises students who excel in creative ambition and entrepreneurship.

Group shot with students and panel members of the Creative Innovators Award

Last week, finalists pitched their business ideas and artistic ventures to a panel of industry experts (Sacha Lord, founder of ParkLife, Charlotte Edgeworth from Sony, James Sargeant from Yamaha, and Leslie Kwan from Monarch Network) who were impressed by the diversity of projects presented, and the the initiative and creativity of our students.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

Edane Ng (for Healing our Child Within): RNCM Creative Innovator Award £2000
Ammal Bhatia (for Carne Ensemble): Yamaha Entrepreneurship Award  £1000
Julia Sandros-Alper, Nadia Eskandari, Lucy McLuckie and Georgina MacDonell Finlayson (for Vulva Voce): RNCM Creative Innovator Award £750
Chris Hardy (for Woodwind Workshop): RNCM Creative Innovator Award £750
Pablo Sonnaillon (for The Dryad): RNCM Creative Innovator Award £500

For more on this year’s awards, visit our website.

Shruthi Rajasekar and David Onac
ABRSM Commissions for RNCM Alumni
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We’re delighted to see composers Shruthi Rajasekar and David Onac, both RNCM alumni, featured on ABRSM’s recently announced 2023 & 24 Piano syllabus, which aims to provide candidates with a greater choice of music than ever before.

Following her participation on ABRSM’s inaugural Composer Mentoring scheme, Shruthi’s new commission Virginia Hall features on the Grade 1 syllabus.

Alongside several arrangements at various grades, David’s new commission A Distant Star in the Stillness features on the Grade 5 syllabus and has been described as a ‘standout piece of the new syllabus’.

Read more over on the ABRSM website.

RNCM Ukrainian Musicians Fund
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Kharkiv Music Boarding School.In response to the invasion of Ukraine, the RNCM is working to support musicians displaced from their training, opening our doors to talented Ukrainian musicians to enable them to continue their dreams of studying music, here with us in Manchester.

We have established the RNCM Ukrainian Musicians Fund to support at least seven Ukrainian students joining us in September through full fee bursaries, contributions to living costs, as well as wrap-around support including counselling and wellbeing care. We want to ensure that that these young and talented musicians, who have had to leave everything behind, don’t have to leave music behind too.

All contributions will reassure these gifted young people that the RNCM is ready to welcome them into our community to safeguard and continue their future in music.

You can find more information about the fund and details on how to donate on our website, here.

‘We want to do everything we can to ensure that these young musicians who have been displaced from their training have every opportunity to flourish. As part of the international community of musicians, it is our aim to give these talented young musicians a sense of hope.’ Manus Carey, Deputy Principal

Photo: Kharkiv Music Boarding School. Image courtesy of Ivan Hovorun.

RNCM Connect

If you’re an RNCM alumni, student or staff member and not already signed up to our exclusive platform RNCM Connect, make sure you sign up to see our upcoming May digest plus gain exclusive members access to:

  • Re-connect – find former students, and stay in touch
  • Expand your professional networks – make introductions and connections with a range of industry professionals
  • Give back – through mentoring and volunteering opportunities
  • Access the Jobs Board and career development resources

To sign up, go to and create your profile.

1 July 2022