I developed a thriving Harp Department at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester for nearly 30 years, directed the Young Harps Project and the RNCM Harp Ensemble. There were many highlights, including Concerts, Collaborations, Final Recitals, Graphic Scores, Class Counselling, Jing Time, Chicken Sandwiches and Pizza Express Nights.
A true ELJ student will understand the importance of all of these!
There were tears too. A dear former student, Helen MacLeod, sadly died in a car accident in 2018. She had returned to us as a Guest Tutor and was an inspiration. Her memory lives on in the Harp Room with a collage of photos.
In 2021 I decided to step away from the RNCM, to develop my own performance and teaching projects.
I want to thank all my students at the RNCM: both juniors and seniors. Many won competitions and awards; but for me that was never the main goal. My wish was to guide a student to be the best they could be; to steer them towards their own path and to encourage them to lead musical lives with joy, confidence and integrity.
It was an honour to be part of their harp journey, and my biggest achievement is that I now have them as dear friends and trusted colleagues.
Here are my favourite RNCM memories.
How it all started ....
My First Harp Event
The First RNCM Harp Ensemble ...
In Formal Dress
RNCM Harp Ensemble 10 years later ...
I took my students
to the USA ...
... and to the
Isle of Wight
We performed on
... and in
... and had
I taught many students ...
RNCM graduate, guest tutor and treasured friend
Beginner lessons, JRNCM, Joint Course and first Harpist to win the Gold Medal!
Proud to have guided her all the way.
from student to
Thank you for writing
in memory of
You are a true Jing!
I first taught her at Chetham's, and then she studied with me for 6 years at College.
So proud that she has been
appointed Harp Tutor at Chets, following in my footsteps
From private lessons through
Chetham's and RNCM, it's been a joy to be part of her success
I organised projects ...
20 Harps - John Cage Concert
Baltic Gallery, Gateshead
Paul Patterson Birthday Celebration Concert
RNCM Harpists perform at the
2017 World Harp Congress
There were many events
for young harpists
Masterclass: Katerina Kitsou
RNCM International Tutor
Under 'Dippy' the Dinosaur Natural History Museum, London
My Anniversary Concert
Mary Ann Kennedy
one of my first RNCM students
Harps Guitars Double Bass
We made The Guardian!
A concert for
We wore her favourite colour.
Friendships were made ...
Helen Davies Mikkelborg
always a listening ear at the end of an RNCM day!
Aaron Ma and Shimeng Sun
from China with love
Georgia Xagara and Eleni Tsaousaki
who gave me so much!
Amy Liptrott and
RNCM Young Harps
Salvi Showcase Concert
"I could feel the friendship and love among them and you,
and that makes an amazing
ready to cheer Final Recitals
... and then they came to my
We survived a pandemic ...
with Zoom classes
... Angharad self isolating in the family caravan
... and I sent
Seeds of Hope
to help them through
We always said our farewells in style
with food, wine, cards and gifts
And Steve always there to support
Many hours teaching in this room,
but it was time to say my goodbye
Feedback like this made it all worthwhile
These special words mean so much!
My Final Class
A Memory Book of Photos
with contributions from students
past and present
It's all been an incredible journey