Bryan Fox describes the attitude and atmosphere of the Royal Northern College of Music's first year.
Bryan: Just because you happened to have an office job, didn’t mean to say that you didn’t turn your hand to something else as well. So that when the doors opened in ’73, John’s view of the college was that it should be a training ground for professional musicians but that it should also make a contribution to the cultural life of the community. So with his contacts with British Council and other arts organisations, he was in contact with people like London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Northern Ballet Theatre, Ballet Rambert, obviously all the BBC ensembles, orchestras. And so in the first year we had a pretty full programme but no staff. So… we were invited… it was explained to us that we needed to make sure that these were properly staffed and so we need a front-of-house manager and volunteer ushers and that’s what happened. We’d arrive for the office job at 8 o’clock, half-past 8 in the morning… he’d already a couple of hours work by then. And you get the day job done, have a bite to eat, don the penguin suit and do the show in the evening.
Heather: That sounds like a full day!
B: It was a very full day but I mean there was an atmosphere about the place, just incredibly positive, energised, ‘can-do’ and it was incredibly exciting.
Part of the #NSM2020 project "A 20/20 Legacy: the centenary of the Northern School of Music" supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.