Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music has received £1.05 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Catalyst Fund to establish a significant digital project linking the College with university music departments and professional partners across England.  The grant goes a significant way towards meeting the total cost of £2million.

The project, RNCM Ensemble+, will see the Manchester conservatoire connect to music departments at the Universities of Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and York.  They departments will share teaching, research, student and professional artistic products, performance and composition via a number of digital initiatives.  RNCM Ensemble+ is supported by the BBC and the School of Sound Recording.  The project will enable partners to benefit from initiatives such as streamed classes and workshops with visiting tutors, collaborative seminars, ‘distance’ music making and professional recording sessions.

Academic Lead for RNCM Ensemble+, Dr Larry Goves, commented, “This is an exciting project for the College and we are extremely grateful to HEFCE for supporting it via this significant grant.  Over the next 12 months we’ll be transforming a traditional teaching space into a high spec studio that will offer fantastic opportunities for live interaction between staff and students at the RNCM and our partners institutions.  The possibilities for RNCM Ensemble+, once fully established, are endless. Offering shared access to classes, performance, research and networks via state-of-the-art digital technology is a significant step forward for the RNCM and ensures that we remain at the forefront of music education in the UK.”