Manchester college explores how ‘turbulence and trauma’ affect music through World War One centenary memorial

The Royal Northern College of Music have announced a new series of musical performances and exhibitions to commemorate the centenary of World War I.

Making Music in Manchester during World War I will be a 10 month research and performance project, with organisers hoping the project will bring the music of the city and its regions to life through interactive performances, workshops, exhibitions, and online resources.

Professor Barbara Kelly, RNCM Director of research, said she is delighted an under-researched period of musical history is about to be unearthed.

“There are fascinating under-explored collections which include everything from concert programmes and private letters, to official records and newspaper cuttings,” she said.

“Over the course of 10 months we will look at the music performed in the city and region at this time, making comparisons with musical life in London and Paris.

“Together, we will cast light on the students who remained at the Royal Manchester College of Music, and professionals and amateurs who performed throughout the Manchester area to see how the turbulence and trauma of war affected lives and music making.”

The RNCM has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council Engagement Centre: Everyday Lives in War, First World War to pursue the project.

Starting this month, Making Music in Manchester during WW1 will include performances by current RNCM students who will recreate selected wartime concerts that took place at the college and throughout Manchester.

The RNCM will also work with regional bands to explore the fascinating story of WWI bandsmen who, on their return from service, received scholarships to study at the college after the war.

Drawing on the archives of the RNCM Henry Watson Music Library and Hallé Concert Society, there will also be exhibitions of selected materials from the combined collections, which will be on show at the RNCM, Central Library and online.

The general public are invited to contribute their own personal items to the exhibitions relating to regional music in wartime, and they will have the opportunity to participate in a project blog.

For information on ways you can get involved email call 0161 907 5211 or email [email protected]

Image courtesy of Rept0n1x, via Flickr, with thanks

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