RNCM receives National Lottery Heritage Funding

We’re thrilled to announce that the RNCM has been awarded over £206,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a new archive project, Throwing Open the Concert Doors.

Throwing Open the Concert Doors will conserve and digitise thousands of RNCM recordings, making them publicly available online and via a new interactive heritage booth installed at the College. It means that as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, recordings of performances throughout our vibrant history will be preserved; from student recitals to full scale opera productions.  The project is being made possible thanks to money raised from National Lottery players and will be delivered in partnership with Manchester Digital Music Archive and Manchester Central Library’s Unlocking Our Sound Heritage initiative.

Digital archives showing lots of cassettes and reels on shelves

Heather Roberts, RNCM Archivist, says: ‘We have thousands of magnetic reel and tape recordings within our archive of all performances dating back to 1973. Due to the ravages of time, these are steadily and irreversibly degrading and, without conservation and digitations, will soon be lost forever.

“Our archive is part of Manchester’s cultural heritage narrative, expanding the city’s musical significance and contribution beyond indie and Madchester to classical, jazz, brass, wind and pop. The RNCM has nurtured and launched the careers of countless instrumentalists, singers and composers, and unlocking this heritage will inspire a new generation of music lovers.’

Our anniversary year provides the perfect opportunity to learn more about our role at the forefront of Manchester music-making since the early 70s.  The support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund will enable us to use our cultural and musical history in the city to inspire communities.  As part of the approach a community engagement team will present workshops, tours, tutorials and hack days to local groups, feeding into a community celebration on 2 July 2023 as part of the RNCM Big Weekender festival.

Heather added: ‘The RNCM’s story is of great significance to Manchester’s cultural heritage, but it is ultimately a ‘hidden gem’ in terms of public awareness. We want to use the College’s 50th birthday as a platform to share our history with the people and communities who live and work around our building.’

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. Previous RNCM projects funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund include Revealing and Reinterpreting ‘Making Music in Manchester during WW1’ which formed part of a collaborative project between the College and Paris Conservatoire.

31 January 2023