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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor violin concerto score

Precious manuscripts conserved through RCM Restore a Score Appeal

Wednesday 1 July 2020

A total of 27 precious manuscripts and music books in the RCM Library, including scores by RCM composers Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Elizabeth Maconchy, have been restored through the RCM’s Restore a Score Appeal 2020.

After attracting support from 27 generous donors, this year’s appeal has raised a total of £11,685 in support of the RCM Library and its world-renowned collection.

Launched in 2004, the RCM’s Restore a Score Fund gives supporters the opportunity to help preserve significant works from the RCM’s collection for generations to come. The RCM Library is used daily by students and researchers from the College and beyond and as a result of age, handling and general use, many of its rare and valuable items are in need of vital conservation. Volumes in need are drawn from all areas of the collection and, since 2004, more than £140,000 has been raised to enable the conservation of over 400 items.

This year, the Appeal focused on two broad areas of the RCM Library collections: items from the founding collections, especially the Concerts of Antient Music and the Sacred Harmonic Society libraries, as well as manuscripts by RCM composers. From the founding collections, the appeal has facilitated the conservation of copyist scores and early editions by Bononcini, Chopin, Purcell and Scarlatti. Works by RCM composers restored and bound this year include Sir Hubert Parry’s Garland of Songs op 21, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s 'Beat, beat drums', Rutland Boughton’s Oboe Quartet and Elizabeth Maconchy’s Prelude, Interlude and Fugue for two violins. Four works by Herbert Howells will also be bound, including his Magdalen College Service and his setting of ‘The Lord Shall Be My Help'.

Thanks to the generosity of supporters, the initial target for 2020 Restore a Score Appeal has now been exceeded and the RCM Library is able to extend its restoration targets and conserve items beyond those initially identified. Donations of all sizes are gratefully received and gifts big or small can make a difference, giving musicians the chance to discover internationally significant manuscripts and scores for years to come.

To find out more about the Restore a Score Fund and how to donate, visit www.rcm.ac.uk/library/support.