National Centre for Early Music


Contact: Delma Tomlin, Director

The NCEM, an Arts Council NPO client, has close links with several universities – York and Huddersfield, sometimes with Hull and Leeds, and also York St. John and the Royal College of Music.

Being situated close to the University of York, the NCEM often welcomes music students of contemporary of early music to its building. Although no formal relationship exists, many members of NCEM workforce are former York university postgraduates. Those gaining work experience there undertake various tasks during their year there: they work in the office, learn box office, how to manage the bar and act as festival assistants. An undergraduate manages the Young Person’s Group.

NCEM also has a link with the University of Huddersfield: a student works on the Festival and some perform at it. Emerging ensembles often go to Huddersfield University for a period.

Placements at NCEM are self-selecting. Those who are interested apply. But there are also advertisements which state the terms. There is no formal assessment, but the placements can serve as a way of breaking in to the profession.

There used to be more instrumental ensembles. Young musicians used to have more time to develop and more resources available to them. Now, however, the pressures are greater.

For the NCEM, one of the challenges of working with the HE sector is the starting and finishing times of the academic year. Another is the culture of HE, a culture deeply affected by the financial demands on the universities.