Jessica Beck

The Musical Women of South Place

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In this new series of blogs, PhD student Jessica Beck sheds some light on the musical past of Conway Hall.

Jessica is a 27 year-old PhD student currently undertaking an AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral award at the Royal Northern College of Music, supervised by Professor Barbara Kelly and Professor David Amigoni. Her research is based on the archives held at Conway Hall that relate to its own history, and her thesis currently has a working title of The Role of Women Musicians at South Place Ethical Society, 1887 – 1927. Jessica studied for her BA in Music and MRes in Musicology at Keele University (2009–13) and is now in the third year of her PhD. More updates are available on Twitter from @_JessicaClaire_



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Vegetarians and Ethical Societies

This week I just about ticked off something that has been on my list for a while – I finally visited the Vegetarian Society archive in the hope of finding some connections between the London-based societies and South Place c. 1880 – 1920. Having presumed that the old London journals…

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Ethel Smyth

We are nearly a quarter of the way through 2018, and so far this year has been a great one for celebrating women composers of past and present. The combined momentum from the centenary of the Representation of the People Act and International Women’s Day seems to have inspired a…

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Travelling: Salzburg, Munich, Birmingham & Bangor.

  Summer 2017 has been a whirlwind season; as usual I haven’t spent very long in one place at a time, although I am now in the middle of a whole 10 days in Manchester! A definite highlight was my trip to Salzburg to take part in Roche Continents 2017, an…

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Jessica goes to Germany

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to spend over a week in Germany, including 6 days in Hannover. The city is a wonderful mix of old and new, my favourite example of this being the beautiful Aegidienkirche, now a war memorial after being destroyed during WWII, which you can find…

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The trials and tribulations of public speaking (with a little bit of history for fun).

Over the past year I’ve had the opportunity to present at a number of conferences, but at the end of February I added to my ‘firsts of 2017’ list by giving a pre-concert talk at Conway Hall. Preparing for the talk was slightly more tricky than usual, as I am…

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My first exhibition

This week I got to do something that I have been looking forward to for a while – I put up an exhibition! The lovely librarians at Conway Hall asked if I would like to fill the exhibition cases in the library for this term, so if you are able…

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Mind Map

The nagging ordeal of the literature review

Admittedly, it has been a while since my last post, but I have a fairly legitimate excuse. Since my return from Poland, I have been in a small bubble of conference organisation and literature review writing. Consequently, whenever I attempted to write a blog post, my mind was screaming ‘LITERATURE…

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Young Musicology Today

Instead of having a little moan about conference organisation (see my last blog), this time I only have good things to say about the opportunities I’ve had to attend and present at conferences during my PhD. On 5 November, I headed to Poland a couple of days in advance of the…

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Josephine Troup and the South Place Ethical Society

Since my last post, a lot of my energy has been directed towards this potential career path – probably more than I would have liked to be honest. This is not my first experience of being part of an organising team for an academic conference (and it won’t be the…

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Jessica Beck

What do you do with a PhD in Music?

Anyone who has seen the musical Avenue Q may recognise the title of my blog from the first line of the opening song, ‘What do you do with a BA in English?’. While this may have been sung with a slightly ironic tone, the question about my PhD was one…

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