Caroline Bordignon, MMus Composition

How are your studies going?

I’ve had a great experience in the College so far. I really feel as a composer it’s just a wonderful place to be. I’ve just really enjoyed the openness between different schools of study and being able to build relationships with other composers and musicians. The College really encourages each student to develop their own creativity and there are lots of opportunities for you to hold your own concert or record whatever it is that you’re doing. So yeah, I think it’s just been a really fantastic atmosphere to just develop my own creativity.

Do you have a favourite thing about the RNCM?

I think the RNCM provides a really good environment to be able to build a career as a professional composer … The best thing is being able to work with musicians and build a portfolio of work that I’ll be able to use for professional applications. I love that I get to pursue my interests to the fullest extent and have the freedom of writing what I really want to write.

What are some highlights from your time studying here?

Last year I participated in the BBC singers workshops, so we got to go down to London and our choral pieces were workshopped by the singers, led by Judith Weir. I’m currently writing a 20-minute chamber piece for the RNCM French Connections festival and that’s for silent film. There have been lots more opportunities; the course is very open and you also take the initiative to organise things outside of the College. Say, for example, you wanted to write for contemporary dance you would have the freedom to contact a dance school somewhere and then put that project in your portfolio and it can be a part of your degree.

Are you involved in any extra-curricular groups?

I’m a part of the Christian union and the photography society. In the photography society we get a list of all the events going on around college and then we just sign up to whatever we can to take photos. What’s happened to me is that other students have seen the work that I’ve done and asked me to do photography for them. I’ve made a little bit of money from that.

You are Canadian. How was your experience applying to the RNCM as an international student?

I think I was slightly lucky because Canada is part of the Commonwealth, so it makes it slightly easier in terms of visas. The College was helpful in providing information about the application process and later awarded me a bursary to help with fees, which was a major help. Applying for the bursary was quite clear, I just needed to write a letter and demonstrate I had real need of the money. I also get some funding from the Canadian government.

How do you like Manchester?

I like the city, I think it’s a great place to be if you’re a student. It’s also quite a hotspot for music and arts activity in general. You could probably fill any day of the week with concerts and there are lots of art galleries and arts events that you can attend. So, you can never really get bored. There’s a definitely lot to do and see as a student outside of College.