RCM Director Professor Colin Lawson in his home office

Editorial Summer 2020

Introducing the summer 2020 online Upbeat

Share #UpbeatOnline

Life at the RCM has been transformed since the last issue of Upbeat. Across the College we have all been innovative in finding ways to keep learning, making music and staying connected. Upbeat is the place to showcase all that activity, and we are bringing this issue to you in its own dedicated online space.


The RCM Community takes centre stage for this summer edition of Upbeat.

Highlights include:

Digital natives

In this digital issue we’ve introduced new features that reflect the ways technology has allowed us to work, relax and share experiences during these past months:

  • In Top five, Artistic Director Stephen Johns introduces his five favourite videos of archive performances, which were streamed in June as part of the online concert series on our YouTube channel.
  • In our Updates sections, we have included posts from the #RCMCommunity campaign alongside notices from our students, staff and alumni, illustrating all the ways we have been sharing our time and creativity during the months of lockdown.
  • In View from a room, six people from the College community have contributed photos of where they've been spending their days and shared some thoughts on our new common experience – working at home.

Elsewhere, among our news items we remember another successful President’s Visit in March and celebrate the RCM being named top performing arts institution in the UK for the fifth consecutive year in the QS University Rankings, and the Creative Careers Centre’s 20th anniversary.

We’re also celebrating the success of a meeting with the Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan. On 2 July the Minister was taken on a virtual tour of our new More Music spaces, and she heard from students and staff about how we’ve made distanced learning work for the RCM. The Minister shared her admiration via Twitter later that day:

Anti-racism and the RCM

I would like to take this opportunity to share a message with you all about anti-racism and inclusivity. The RCM will not tolerate racism and we are committed to achieving equality and respect for all our members. We must, however, recognise the fact that the members of our community who are from a Black or minority ethnic background make up a very small percentage. There is reckoning to be done around this, and we want to enact meaningful reform. We are listening to our community and working hard to understand these issues and make positive change for the future.

I hope summer 2020 Upbeat highlights what we’ve all experienced many times during these past months: the moments of connection that remind us of the strength of the RCM community, and the dedication that will sustain us as we move forward.

As ever, we would like to hear about your recent news and projects via news@rcm.ac.uk – please send your updates in by Friday 18 September. You can also get involved by sharing content using the #RCMCommunity hashtag on social media.

Professor Colin Lawson CBE FRCM, Director

Colin Lawson

Professor Colin Lawson is the Director of the Royal College of Music.


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