Spotlight on: Helen McVey – Interim Director of Drama, Dance, Production and Film and Director of Business Development

Where are you?

In my music room at home. It’s actually my husband’s man-cave but quite fancy”¦

Current work wear of choice?

Eek. Erm. Leggings, hoodie and slippers. Not my usual attire”¦

How are you connecting with students?

Teams loving it.

What’s on your reading list?

At the moment, too many emails!

What are you watching/listening to online?

Peppa Pig on a loop for my three year old. Netflix in the evening. Admiring the explosion of original content online. Worrying about IP rights issues!

How long have you been at RCS?

Former student: 1997-2001. Former Head of BMus: 2012-2017. Current post of Director of Business Development since 2018 and Interim Director of Drama, Dance, Production and Film since June.

What drew you here?

Attended Juniors but family circumstances kept me in Scotland. So glad this is still my home.

What do you love most about your role?

The variety, the people, the ability to influence at a strategic level”¦

What drives and inspires you?

My beautiful children, the next generation and nature.

Describe a typical day?

Get to work early, enjoy a coffee with colleagues and then work hard and fast until it’s time to return to the family. Every day is different but filled with exciting ideas and possibilities.

What sparked your love of the arts?

Dancing! I was a competitive ballroom and Latin American dancer (long before Strictly existed).

What do you recall about your own training?

I didn’t practice when I was young it was too annoying to bring my cello home. But all of a sudden, aged 14, I had my Grade 8 with distinction without trying and it became obvious that this was something I should take more seriously.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Let go of the things you can’t control and focus on those that you can”¦

Who influenced you?

Early teachers, peers, my dad”¦

Career highlights?

I can state the obvious highlights like the BBC Proms, touring China, chamber music performances in Havana, keynote speeches in Toronto but if I am really honest, my career highlights are rooted in supporting others working with vulnerable children or offering pastoral support/advice for students in need.

Your most memorable RCS moment?

As a student, the day I made my teacher cry in performance class (in a good way) you know who you are! As a staff member, there are too many! I love my job, the students and the staff. It is an honour to work here.

Your advice for students during this time?

Hunker down. Take heed of all advice. Stay safe and be strong. Constraints are the making of creativity.

Describe RCS in three words?

Honest. Humble. Home.


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