The 'unprecedented' year 😉
It was a year like no other but we gave it 110% anyway!
The year in a nutshell..
Bubbles, social distancing and getting 'pinged' - this year was a strange one! Take a scroll through to see all the amazing things we did in spite of our challenges - this was the year for creative thinking and re-writing the rules, and boy did we do just that!
We re-ran our fantastic Look Out For Your Mate campaign for the whole of November.
is the number of handwritten letters we sent to each student, coupled with our LOFYM stickers and a schedule of the welfare events that were coming up over the month.
We ran 4 Monday Morning Mindfulness sessions with Claire Morris at the end of second term. The sessions were organised to link up with recital preparation and a busy assessment period and they were designed specifically with musicians in mind!
We re-ran our Zero campaign for the third year in a row. Rosie created an origami stand for everyone to add to:
2021 also brought the creation of our RNCM Feminist Society, chaired by Paula Bowes.
After Lavender's BLM Panels in 2020, we met with Richard in Programming and created the Underrepresented Society. It had 2 main aims: To diversify our programmed performances and widen education on underrepresented music and experiences. It's the first RNCM society to be made up equally of staff and students, and we all work together to make progress as a group of like-minded individuals.
We saw our work making an impact during Re-unite, where Adam Swayne arranged Julius Eastman's Gay Guerilla for 6 pianos and we saw more programmed music by Female composers.
Micah wanted to improve on our inclusivity and understanding of each other, so he created a diversity calendar at the start of the year to make sure we knew when all religious celebrations and awareness days were. There's still a way to go to improve our knowledge and understanding but we wanted every student to know that the RNCM is a safe space for them.
Beth did a cracking job as our first ever Community & Environment officer! She helped us create recyclable welcome boxes, did a vegan cook-along and most importantly, worked closely with Climate Action and Dom Wood in Operations. We're buzzing about the RNCM receiving the £3.4m decarbonisation grant, and during Beth's year too!
with students scattered all over the world due to travel restrictions, we had to get creative with our Freshers' Week planning. Hosting a variety of events over Zoom and live-stream was the only way to go, and we were pretty chuffed with how it played out! From Murder Mysteries to 50/50, cook alongs to cock alongs, everyone got stuck in and our week long task-master stole the show.
The longest-awaited 2 weeks of the entire academic year! We worked together with P&P, Operations, Catering, O&E and Eldad (the ASIMUT Hero from this year) to create a 2 week long festival where everyone could re-unite in the RNCM with food, drinks and live music.
We also had our first every Sports Day (when we say Day, we mean it! We were still aching a week later). Congratulations to SS for winning the Sports day and SVSO for winning the Football tournament, it's time for everyone else to get training in advance of 2022 😉
With Term 1 ending differently to anything we'd ever experienced before, we wanted to find a way to bring everyone together, even if it was virtually! We set out with a goal to include every single area of college to create that amazing RNCM spirit.
Since no live performances could happen to an external audience, we knew how much everyone's families and friends were missing out on our concerts. We managed to stream our concert on
the RNCM social media and had over 4400 views!
Special thanks to Tom Godard for helping us figure out the whole Copyright thing...
We finally sorted out permanent Merchandise! Thanks to Micah and his creative project, we now have our very own Sweatshirts, brollies, journals and so much more.
The Merch was launched as a fundraiser for Lifeshare and we raised a whopping £330!
Check out the Merch section on this website to see how you can get your hands on some.
This year more than ever, we knew that careers support needed to be improved. Before the academic year started we hosted a new series called 'Let's Talk About...', which was a collection of panels with RNCM Alumni. (recordings available on request!)
This inspired our RNCM/SU collaborative project 'Connecting the Dots' which involved working with the AMAZING Susan Eldridge and holding even more panels, this time with different departments within the RNCM.
Our Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees committees and Student Experience Forum were super important this year. We had lots of feedback to gather for changes and our student reps killed it.
We sat on exam contingency boards, helped re-approve the no-detriment policy and were in constant communication about any covid related changes.
The RNCM consulted us on every exam and recital related change (yay!) and we worked on getting college-wide communications sent through us first. Things can still improve but we made progress!
We represented you locally, nationally and internationally as part of 4 groups:
GMSA (Greater Manchester student Assembly) was re-established, joining together all SU's in Greater Manchester to tackle shared student issues.
SSG (Student Safety Group) made up of GMPolice and the G Universities, focussing on student safety - this is where Stuart Sephton got our personal attack alarms from!
CUKSN (Conservatoires UK Student Network) is a group of Student representatives/ Presidents from all CUK institutions. We wrote a letter to the Government to fight for extra funding for activities and learning experiences missed due to the pandemic.
IBGSN (International Benchmarking Group Student Network) was created in 2021. we joined up with our 8 International Partner institutions to start building student-led connections. Exchange trip anyone? Look out for more on this group in 21/22.
Charlotte completely overhauled the Student Rep System to come into action in 21/22. We trial-ran a new application process this year to make sure we we're allocating the right people fairly, and it was a huge success!
Going forwards, there will now be reps for every course (programme reps) and every instrument (school-based reps). Each rep will report straight through the SU so we know how all students are feeling. Efficient communication is key!
We didn't get the year of parties that we're used to, but we used this opportunity to keep on developing what the SU stands for. Things are looking up and we're sure that everyone will make up for lost time in 21/22! It was a pleasure being your SU this year.
Cara, Rosie, Ellie, Micah, Charlotte and Beth x
THE MONEY STUFF
Without an in-person Freshers' Week (our usual BIG spend), we managed to build on our savings for next year! 2 years of students have missed out on their leaver's balls and we wanted to make sure they weren't left behind, which is why some of our savings have gone into a specific graduation pot. See you there!