Royal College of Music, Manchester
I write this as someone who
researched, from here in the US, an organization that was based at the Royal
College of Music in Bridge Street, Deansgate in Manchester from around 1850
until 1862.. This school was headed by Dr. Mark and was organized to accept
boys from the age of 5 who were either musical talented children of poor
parents or orphans of professional musicians.
The boys were given both a
general and a musical education and provided with clothing, food and lodging.
They were formed into an orchestra /choir and toured the country giving
concerts where the proceeds were used to support the school. My grandfather
was one of the "Little Men" but the circumstances of why and how remains a
The Royal College of Music,
Manchester, is not to be confused with a Royal school/college formed much
later in Manchester that continues today as the Northern College of Music.
Dr. Mark began his activities
in Manchester around 1850 until his death in 1862 at which point the school
seems to have become pianissimo and faded away. He was a musical educator with
ambition to use his talents to teach music to a greater audience than at his
Manchester School in accordance with his unique theories. He used his little
men to demonstrate what was possible. Suzuki, long before Suzuki.
The school received Royal
patronage and on February 10, 1858 performed in front of Queen Victoria and
Price Albert and the Royal family in Buckingham Palace to celebrate their
majesty's 18th wedding anniversary.
I have no idea if this school
comes under the scope of this Rossbret site but with the material collected
about Dr. Mark and his Little Men by me from several sources to include
an incomplete list, no doubt, of pupils and staff from around the 1859 to 1861
period it might be categorized under special schools.
Submitted by John Favill, Wisconsin, USA With
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