Welcome to autumn 2020 Upbeat magazine
We are proud to bring you the second digital Upbeat, filled with exciting content covering an unconventional but highly creative autumn term. We continue to discover new ways of teaching, learning and connecting. This issue celebrates our community of students, staff and alumni and the many examples of extraordinary creativity and togetherness demonstrated across the last few months.
Since our last issue, students have returned to a Royal College of Music for teaching and performance, with Covid-19 safety measures firmly in place. A unique events season has seen filming all over the Blomfield Building plus socially distanced performances and a highly original staging of opera scenes. Creative projects have been flourishing: within this online issue you will find stories to inspire and encourage, and to remind us all of the power of music.
The creativity of our community is front and centre of this issue of Upbeat.
- Creative ingenuity and the new landscape of performance – hear the stories of alumni who have launched innovative musical projects in a bid to surmount current barriers to performance.
- Lights, Camera, Action!: Behind the scenes of the In Focus films – we hear from those who were part of the RCM’s In Focus film series: five immersive films of chamber music and commentary, designed to be watched online. Plus, photography from production.
- Photographing the world online: The Royal College of Music x Magnum Photos – take a look at photos shot as part of an exciting collaboration between renowned photo agency Magnum and the RCM. Plus, we interview the photographer about his lockdown project.
Taking care of ourselves and each other
As this turbulent year draws to a close, we hope all our readers are able to look after themselves and their communities. In this issue we delve into what this means in practice:
- In Being a healthy musician, Dr George Waddell from the Centre for Performance Science offers practical tips to students and performers for maintaining mental and physical health. He also presents the first films of an exciting new series from the Healthy Conservatoires project.
- Andrew Chen, the RCM Students’ Union International Officer, writes in On kindness and compassion about the strength, support and community spirit he has witnessed among students during recent months.
All our news
- In our Updates pages, read all about the latest goings on among our students, staff and alumni, and take a look at our pick of their best social media posts.
- In Memory celebrates the lives of members of the RCM community.
- Among our news items we toast to a successful Virtual Gala, congratulate RCM nominees at The Ivors Composer Awards 2020 and celebrate standout lead performances from RCM students and alumni in Theater an der Wien's production of Porgy and Bess.
- In the photo above I am speaking at our Royal College of Music Class of 2020 virtual event in September, held to congratulate the graduates in this extraodinary year. We are proud to welcome them as alumni.
The Big Give
This year we are once again proud to have been selected for the annual The Big Give Christmas Challenge, raising money in aid of the RCM Scholarships Fund. This is a matched funding opportunity: all donations received via the Christmas Challenge Campaign are in with a chance to be doubled to benefit the RCM’s most deserving young musicians. The challenge runs from 12pm on Tuesday 1 December (#GivingTuesday) to 12pm on 8 December.
As ever, we would like to hear about your recent news and projects via firstname.lastname@example.org – please send your updates in by Friday 29 January. You can also get in touch with your news and stories by tagging the Royal College of Music on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Professor Colin Lawson CBE FRCM, Director