We are proud to be hosting a number of events during the conference to celebrate Manchester's vibrant and diverse musical culture.

We are proud to be hosting a number of events during the conference to celebrate Manchester's vibrant and diverse musical culture.

Wellbeing event: Feel-good singing

Date: Wednesday 11 September
Time: 19:30-20:30
Venue: John Thaw Studio Theatre, Martin Harris Centre

'If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing', says the ubiquitous African proverb. All over the world, singing serves as an ideal tool for bringing people together in celebration or solidarity. Here in the UK, workplace choirs have become increasingly popular as a way of providing opportunities for relaxation and building community.

In this session, we will create our own pop-up choir. There is no need to have a 'good' voice or even think you can sing: just be prepared to open your mouth and tune in!

The event will be led by Caroline Bithell, Professor of Ethnomusicology and Head of Music at The University of Manchester.

Her book A Different Voice, A Different Song: Reclaiming Community through the Natural Voice and World Song (Oxford, 2014) focuses on the natural voice and community choir movement and the central part played in this alternative choral scene of songs from the oral traditions of many different parts of the world. 

Lunchtime concert 

Date: Thursday 12 September
Time: 13:30-14:30
Venue: Carole Nash Recital Room

This concert will be given by internationally renowned pianist Roy Howat, with an emphasis on the French repertory in which he specialises as both a performer and scholar. No advanced tickets are required to be reserved for this event.

RNCM International Artist Diploma Concert

Date: Thursday 12 September
Time: 19:00-20:00
Venue: RNCM Concert Hall

This concert will be given by the Jordanian-Palestinian pianist Iyad Sughayer, a participant on the RNCM's prestigious International Artist Diploma Programme. Iyad has performed numerous recitals and concertos across the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East.

The recital will include music by Aram Khachaturian, whose complete piano works are being recorded by Iyad for the Swedish label BIS.

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra rehearsal and tour of MediaCity studios

Date: Friday 13 September
Time: 11:30–13:00
Venue: BBC Philharmonic Studio, MediaCity, Salford

The BBC's new centre at MediaCity, Salford Quays is one of its most ambitious projects. As well as being home to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, it now hosts a wide range of BBC channels and programmes, including BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 5 Live, CBBC, BBC Sport, Match of the Day, A Question of Sport, Mastermind and Blue Peter.

Delegates will take a one-hour tour of the complex, which will take them around the BBC's working studios and buildings, giving them a fascinating insight into how TV and radio work. They will then have the opportunity to attend a rehearsal of the BBC Phil at the studios.

Please note that this event is now fully booked so no further bookings can be accepted. Note also that delegates need to make their own way to MediaCity for this event: see the Travel pages of the programme handbook for further details and recommended routes.

Manchester Sonic Walk

During their time in Manchester delegates can undertake at their leisure a free Sonic-Walk experience guiding you around the environs of the conference in the city of Manchester, courtesy of The University of Manchester's Locativeaudio project, based at the NOVARS research centre.

Using a smartphone and headphones, you will take a sonic tour of the city, immersed in sounds that reconstruct its history and architecture, and transform its noisy streets into beautiful soundscapes.

Training events for PhD students

Two workshops for PhD students and early career scholars will be held during the conference.

T1: How to do Academia

Núria Bonet, the RMA's Research Skills Officer, leads a 90-minute session designed as an introduction to the PhD process, giving research students and other delegates a chance to ask all those questions no one has answered before.

Delegates are invited to send questions or suggestions in advance by email to Núria Bonet at

T2: Academic Resilience

The potential impact of academic working conditions on staff and postgraduate students is receiving increasing attention in both mainstream media and academic publications.

This workshop looks at strategies to develop and strengthen individuals' resilience within high-stress environments, and offers the chance to reflect on our collective potential to create change and resilience in Music departments.

It will be led by Kathryn Williams (University of Huddersfield), a flautist who has experienced and overcome significant obstacles in her professional musical career, and Núria Bonet (Royal Musical Association Research Skills Officer; University of Plymouth), who has led various workshops on topics around music, wellbeing and mental health, as well as mental health for LGBT academics.