We’re Back! – October Blog

Digital Ambassador Piá Bromby chronicles life as an RNCM student in a series of monthly blog posts.

Like any other month at the RNCM, October 2020 has been super busy (despite Covid-19 trying to dampen our spirits). The academic year started in late September and has been full of online classes, lessons and even some in-person playing (yes you heard me correctly!) which has been amazing. As a second year (violinist), it’s been so nice to see friends again as we were all separated so suddenly back in March. Who’d have thought, nearly 7 months later, that this would be the first time we’d see each other again… some of us honestly thought we’d be back at college in April!

So, October. As I mentioned, many classes have begun again and the RNCM is beginning to see life again, which is great! However, a highlight for me has to be seeing and playing with my quartet. For me, chamber music is such a huge reason as to why I love music and therefore not having that opportunity to play with anybody during lockdown was REALLY hard. This was made even harder by the fact that our quartet are so close, not just as colleagues, but as good friends. Luckily since returning to Manchester, the RNCM building has been made SO SAFE and as a result, my quartet have been able to rehearse and play together again! We’ve had three coaching sessions already which have been super inspiring and we’ve been able to rehearse safely within the building in the ‘safe spaces’ set out for chamber ensembles. It’s been such a joy and we’re having the best time being back together.

Likewise, string orchestra has been so much fun! As full orchestra is currently out of the question, the School of Strings decided to split us up into year groups and then in half to create string orchestras. We’ve been rehearsing together since the first day of term and we even got to record a performance of Berkeley’s String Serenade together. Although not being able to sit with a ‘desky’ has been a bit strange, playing together as a group of individuals definitely outweighs the weird situation that we’re all in. String orchestra has been the perfect step back into performing, as coming back to performing after such a long time without it has been difficult and nerve-wracking for many of us, myself included.

Thinking about it, October has been crazy as it’s been the first relatively ‘normal’ month that many of us would have had in a long time. Also, the fact that first years have had to start their RNCM experience in these strange times and second year and above students have had orchestral auditions and SURVIVED despite the circumstances, is pretty good going! October has been a massive learning curve already, but at least we’re all in this together and more importantly, back together online or in the building.

Thanks for reading and see you soon! Piá :)

10 November 2020