Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music has announced plans to transform its former Studio Theatre into a state-of-the-art rehearsal and recording area by fitting the world’s largest BOXY modular studio system.
The Studio was previously used for small-scale productions and concerts but work will now commenced to refurbish the studio and install a 12m x 11m x 4m BOXY pod as part of an £850,000 overhaul. The work will be carried out by Amadeus Acoustic Solutions and is set to be completed by September 2016. The refurbishment will then enable RNCM musicians to comfortably create and capture amplified and electronic music. The studio will become a designated student area with a particular focus on popular music.
The works will further boost the Royal Northern College of Music’s new four-year BMus Degree in Popular Music. The course, launched in September 2015, one of only three four-year popular music degrees in the world (alongside Amsterdam Conservatorium and Berklee College of Music), provides intensive training for instrumentalists and singers with a high level of performing ability who intend to work as freelance musicians, bands and artists in the popular music industry, or as a preparation for postgraduate study.
The improvements follow the RNCM’s recent £7.1 million redevelopment which was the building’s 40-year-old Concert Hall and backstage areas completely renovated with the addition of new air-conditioning and heating system, new flooring and seating, advanced technical facilities and lighting, and a new balcony and raised floor area to considerably increase capacity.
Professor Linda Merrick, RNCM Principal, said: ‘The RNCM has an ongoing commitment to enhance the experience of its students, enabling them to work flexibly within and across different musical genres and to create and capture innovative new work that can drive the art form forward. We already pride ourselves on offering exceptional performance opportunities to everyone who studies here, and transforming our former Studio Theatre into a high specification performance and recording space is another step to ensure the College remains at the forefront of music education nationally and internationally.’
Described by Amadeus Acoustic Solutions’ Managing Director Anne Holliday as a ‘champagne moment’, the BOXY pod set to be installed this summer is the largest the company has provided globally, and once fitted will create a ‘live room’ suitable for teaching, ensemble work and student rehearsals. Anne added: ‘The news was welcomed with great delight by all the team at Amadeus and BOXY, as we are creating something very special for this project; in fact unique!’
RNCM BOXY Pod images – credit Amadeus Acoustic Solutions and BOXY