Resonate: March 2023

Welcome to your March 2023 edition of Resonate!

It’s an exciting month throughout the RNCM community with a wide variety of projects involving our students, staff and alumni across Manchester and beyond.Our 50th anniversary celebrations are in full swing with lots of exciting performances taking place throughout this academic year. We’d love for you to join us and help celebrate this special landmark – check out our What’s On section below for upcoming highlights from our performance programme.

Read on for details of our spring opera, special events celebrating Indian song, International Women’s Day and Original Voices, exciting film and television projects, record deals and much more!

Simon Keenlyside & Malcolm Martineau
Mon 6 Mar
// 7.30pm
Book now

Renowned baritone and alumnus Sir Simon Keenlyside CBE returns this Spring alongside pianist Malcolm Martineau for an intimate recital with music from German romantic greats alongside the best of French impressionists.

A rare opportunity to hear Simon in Manchester, join us for this special evening of art song favourites.

Leonard Bernstein’s Mass at the Bridgewater Hall
Sun 12 Mar
// 4pm
Book now

Join us at The Bridgewater Hall this month as RNCM musicians and singers from Chetham’s School of Music present the Manchester premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s monumental Mass.

Famous for fusing genres and blurring the lines between classical and popular music, this incredible display of music, theatrics, and drama was commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy to inaugurate the John F Kennedy Centre in 1971 and we cannot wait to bring it to Manchester audiences for the first time!

Original Voices Festival
Thu 23 – Fri 24 Mar
// various times
Find out more

Our Original Voices festival celebrates new perspectives on music by reimagining how we perform and present works from the past. From staging, to presentation, and new arrangements, we’re exploring what live performance means in the 21st century, and we’d love for you to experience the future of music with us.

Thu 23 Mar
11am // Bach’s Coffee Cantata
6pm // Kantos Chamber Choir
7pm // Ariadne – A Modern Woman
8pm // RNCM ArkEnsemble

Fri 24 Mar
7pm // Soundseeing
8pm // Goldberg Variations with Henning Kraggerud (violin)

RNCM Opera: Mansfield Park
Sun 26 Mar & Sat 1 Apr
// 3pm / Tue 28 & Thu 30 Mar // 7.30pm
Book now

Join us as students from across the RNCM join forces to present Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park. Featuring an eclectic mix of styles from classical pastiche to Philip Glass by way of the soaringly romantic, as well as hints of Benjamin Britten and even Stephen Sondheim, this is a love story at heart, as Fanny Price and the residents of Mansfield Park overcome hurdles to find true love and happiness.

There is plenty more on at the RNCM this month, including Ensembles from the European Chamber Music Academy (15 Mar), the RNCM Chopin Prize (16 Mar) and the RNCM MIUAWGA Ensemble with Shirley Smart & Alice Zawadzki (31 Mar). There is also our ever popular Monday Lunchtimes and Thursday Lunchtimes, as well as our student-led Spotlight series.

For full details of what’s on, visit our website.

Graham McCusker
Thrilling Film & TV Projects for RNCM Alumnus

We’re excited that alumnus Graham McCusker has worked on the soundtrack for Netflix’s new psychological thriller The Strays. Graham worked on set rehearsing the actors and singers as the Choir Director, as well as composing music for the film. The track Jesu Maria, composed and produced by Graham features on the soundtrack. Check out the trailer for the film below, which features the track.

Graham also worked on another recent release, The Essex Serpent on Apple TV, as a Composer/Arranger and Music Director, working alongside actors Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes.

Solem Quartet
RNCM Alumni Sign Record Deal
Find out more

We are delighted that the Solem Quartet, former RNCM Junior Fellows in Chamber Music (2015-17), have recently signed a three-album deal with Delphian Records, beginning with their forthcoming disc Painted Light.

Also just announced is the string quartet’s residency at Norfolk & Norwich Festival this year, which involves two major premieres (Edmund Finnis and Bushra El-Turk), and collaborations with alumna Alice Zawadski and kamancheh player Faraz Eshghi. Find out more here.

Other engagements during the Spring season include Kettle’s Yard, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Leeds International Concert Series.

A Celebration of Women in Music & the Arts
Find out more

RNCM Student’s Union President Sinead Walsh and student Hannah Seymour have organised Empower, an evening of events celebrating International Women’s Day at Manchester’s International Anthony Burgess Foundation.

This free, informal, drop in event will feature a series of short musical performances from string quintet to jazz ensemble to voice with electronics, showcasing some of the finest music written by female composers, alongside premieres of new works by students from the Royal Northern College of Music.

The evening will also feature a panel discussion including percussionist and alumna Delia Stevens, and RNCM staff Dr Laura Bowler (Tutor in Composition) and Dr Jennie Henley (Head of Programmes) as they share their musical journeys, opinions, and personal experiences of finding their way as a woman in the arts.

Anusha Bobby and Kanchana Jaishankar
RNCM Students Perform at Manchester Museum
Find out more

RNCM students Anusha Bobby (soprano) and Kanchana Jaishankar (mezzo-soprano) will perform Songs of India as part of the youth-led RhythmXchange Festival at the newly reopened Manchester Museum on Sat 18 Mar at 1pm.

RhythmXchange is a year-long collaborative project conceived by Manchester Museum and Indian Music Experience, Bangalore, supported by the British Council. The project explores rhythm as a shared language between East and West. As a culmination of the project, Manchester Museum is proud to host the two-day long RhythmXchange Festival, celebrating youth voices and emerging and renown artists based in the North.

RNCM Young Artists sitting at a table at the Youth Buzz Awards

RNCM Young Artists
Project Wins Manchester City Council Award

We’re proud that the RNCM’s ground-breaking Young Artists programme won the Youth Project of the Year Award at last night’s Manchester City Council Youth Buzz Awards!

RNCM Young Artists provides musicians aged under 18 with life-changing opportunities to explore their talent and achieve their potential. With full access to our fully equipped, state-of-the-art recording and producing studios, and weekly sessions focused on composition, production, and performance, RNCM Young Artists works in bands to create, perform, record, and distribute original music.

The RNCM is determined to reach and support young people from all backgrounds and works with partners in local communities to grow a diverse and creative community of musicians, with financial support in place where needed. All places are subsidised, with 84% fully funded through a partnership with Sony’s Social Justice Fund.

Our congratulations also to Fehintola Charis Obisesan, one of the young musicians participating in the project, who was shortlisted for the ‘Young Mentor Award’ for her active participation and support for other young people within the programme.

Find out more about RNCM Young artists on our website.

Graham Mackenzie
New Album from RNCM Alumnus
Find out more

Fiddler, composer and alumnus Graham Mackenzie recently released his second studio album, The Dawning, which received it’s live launch at this year’s Celtic Connections festival. Inspired by the beauty of the Scottish landscape, the album showcases influences from Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton styles of fiddle playing, combining self-penned tunes based on the music Graham has played throughout his career.

As well as Graham on fiddle, a host of musical talent features on the record, including pianist and alumnus Jim Molyneux.

Read more over on Graham’s website, or stream now on Spotify.

RNCM 50Faces
Celebrating Our Community
Find out more

The RNCM is a special place, and our community makes us who we are. We’re more than just learners, teachers, collaborators, listeners and creators; our journey has united us and together we’ll define its future.

Our RNCM50 Faces gallery offers a snapshot some of the amazing people who have shaped our story to date; whether they were instrumental in the formation of the College five decades ago, have supported our students unconditionally through the years, or have paved the way for the next generation to do what they love.

We Need Your Help

We want RNCM50 Faces to represent our whole community and we’re calling on you to help us and let us know who you think we should include. Our final 10 faces will be chosen by a panel of RNCM50 faces and will be revealed as part of our anniversary celebrations this summer.

Take a look through our RNCM50 Faces gallery, submit your nominees for our final 10 faces, and tell us how the RNCM has played a part in their story (and yours), so that we can celebrate them in ours.

We can’t wait to hear your stories…

7 March 2023