Overview

The BMus Woodwind department has an international reputation for developing leading musicians. Our team of dedicated staff includes many of Britain’s finest woodwind players, with world-class reputations as soloists, orchestral, and chamber musicians. The department delivers an intensive and dynamic training programme and provides a supportive and collaborative environment to talented musicians from all over the world. Through our extensive one-to-one specialist care and invaluable performance exposure, the department ensures a challenging and inspiring environment to promote excellence.

Every student receives a 90-minute one-to-one lesson each week on their principal study. Regular tuition is enhanced by visits from distinguished guest artists from across the globe.

As a Woodwind student, you will benefit from a diverse range of performance opportunities. Symphony, chamber and wind orchestra performances, opera productions and wind ensembles are central to your education.

Our prestigious ensemble, Stevenson Winds, affords yet more high profile performance opportunities for you to perform alongside top professional players.

Frequent performance, technique and repertoire classes take place in our professional recital venues providing the ideal environment for your development, and professional accompanists are available to you throughout your studies.

Head of Woodwind, Heather Nicoll DRSAMD MA

Institution Code:

R58

Programme Code:

300F

UK Deadline:

3 October 2022

International Deadline:

1 December 2022

Programme Structure

One to One Tuition: At the heart of the programme our students receive intensive training in a 1-2-1 teaching capacity. All BMus woodwind students receive 90-minute principal study lessons and additional lessons are available on both a related instrument and second study of choice.

1-2-1 teaching is further contextualised through the departmental Supporting Studies programme. Woodwind activities comprise the core 1-2-1 lessons, performance, repertoire and technique classes, reed-making (if relevant), chamber music collaborations, orchestral and operatic productions, ensemble work and masterclasses.

Valuable performance experience is central to our training and students across all years of the programme benefit from the vast performance opportunities from the off. A unique strand in our programme is the huge amount of performance collaborations with professional artists. Students performing alongside their tutors or visiting artists is common place in the Woodwind department.

Technical Examination: Students present a study, scales (with specified discipline requirements) and orchestral excerpts.

Recitals: Students present a programme of varied repertoire (recitals in year 3 & 4 are public).

Frequent rehearsal sessions with our professional accompanist Scott Mitchell are available for Woodwind students, and regular performance classes in our main recital venues provide students with excellent support in preparing their end of year recitals.

The BMus programme promotes RCS students as autonomous and creative learners and there is choice and flexibility built in to its design to allow students to tailor their training to support their personal ambitions.

One to One Tuition: At the heart of the programme our students receive an intensive training in a 1-2-1 teaching capacity. All BMus woodwind students receive 90-minute principal study lessons and additional lessons are available on both a related instrument and second study of choice.

Supporting Studies Programme: Woodwind activities comprise the core 1-2-1 lessons, performance, repertoire and technique classes, reed-making (if relevant), chamber music collaborations, orchestral and operatic productions, ensemble work and masterclasses.

Technical Examination: Students present a study, scales (with specified discipline requirements) and orchestral excerpts.

Recital: Students present a programme of varied repertoire (recitals in year 3 & 4 are public).

Frequent rehearsal sessions with our professional accompanist Scott Mitchell are available for Woodwind students, and regular performance classes in our main recital venues provide students with excellent support in preparing their end of year recitals.

The BMus programme promotes RCS students as autonomous and creative learners and there is choice and flexibility built in to its design to allow students to tailor their training to support their personal ambitions.

One to One Tuition: Intensive training in a 1-2-1 teaching capacity.
All BMus woodwind students receive 90-minute principal study lessons and additional lessons are available on both a related instrument and second study of choice.

Supporting studies programme: Woodwind activities comprise the core 1-2-1 lessons, performance, repertoire and technique classes, reed-making (if relevant), chamber music collaborations, orchestral and operatic productions, ensemble work and masterclasses.

Technical Examination: Students present a study, scales (with specified discipline requirements) and orchestral excerpts.

Public Recitals: Students present a programme of varied repertoire.

Rehearsal sessions with our professional accompanist Scott Mitchell are available for Woodwind students, and regular performance classes in our main recital venues provide students with excellent support in preparing their end of year recitals.

The BMus programme promotes RCS students as autonomous and creative learners and there is choice and flexibility built in to its design to allow students to tailor their training to support their personal ambitions.

One to One Tuition: Intensive training in a 1-2-1 teaching capacity. All BMus woodwind students receive 90-minute principal study lessons and additional lessons are available on both a related instrument and second study of choice.

Supporting studies programme: Woodwind activities comprise the core 1-2-1 lessons, performance, repertoire and technique classes, reed-making (if relevant), chamber music collaborations, orchestral and operatic productions, ensemble work and masterclasses.

Technical Examination: The Year 4 technical examination takes the form of an orchestral audition and students present an unaccompanied recital work, orchestral excerpts and are given sight-reading.

Public Recitals: Students present a programme of varied repertoire.

Rehearsal sessions with our professional accompanist Scott Mitchell are available for Woodwind students, and regular performance classes in our main recital venues provide students with excellent support in preparing their end of year recitals.

The BMus programme promotes RCS students as autonomous and creative learners and there is choice and flexibility built in to its design to allow students to tailor their training to support their personal ambitions.

In addition to the core performance activities and assessments, Woodwind students can choose further assessment routes from a performance folio:

Orchestral/Ensemble Performance: Assessed in a public orchestral /ensemble performance. (Available for Years 1 — 4)

Chamber Performance: Assessed in a public performance. (Available for Years 1 — 4)

Studio Recording: Assessed in a studio CD recording comprising repertoire appropriate to the specialisms of the student. The student is responsible for the packaging of their CD (should include a promotional sleeve & programme notes. (Available for Year 3 and 4)

Lecture Recital: Assessed in a lecture- recital on a relevant specialist subject. (Available for Year 3 and 4)

New Work: Assessed in a performance or studio recording of a new work and viva examination on the collaborative process with the composer. (Available for Year 3 and 4)

Concerto: Assessed in a concerto performance. Enviable concerto opportunities are available with the BBC SSO, RSNO and RCS Symphony Orchestra (selection by audition). (Available for Year 3 and 4)

Students with a passion and aptitude for contemporary performance may wish to work intensively with a student from our composition department to create a new composition for their instrument. Our prestigious contemporary festival ‘PLUG’ offers a public platform to showcase new works.

Woodwind Staff

Flute

Richard Blake – Principal, Orchestra of Scottish Opera

Katherine Bryan – Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Ruth Morley – Red Note Ensemble

Helen Brew – Associate Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Piccolo

Janet Richardson – BA Hons, Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Luke Russell – BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Oboe

Stephen West – ARCM DipPerf RCM

Amy Turner – Principal, Orchestra of Scottish Opera

Stéphane Rancourt – Principal, The Halle Orchestra

Peter Dykes – Associate Principal Oboe, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

John Roberts – Visiting Artist in Orchestral Performance and Principal Oboe, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Cor anglais

Henry Clay — Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Stephen West – ARCM DipPerf RCM, former Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Clarinet

John Cushing – Former Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Yann Ghiro – Principal BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Lawrence Gill – Orchestra of Scottish Opera

Timothy Orpen – Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Nicolas Baldeyrou – Buffet-Crampon Visiting Professor in Clarinet

 

E Flat Clarinet
Josef Pacewicz LRAM, ARAM, Former Associate Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

 

Bass Clarinet
Heather Nicoll DRSAMD MA

Saxophone

Josef Pacewicz LRAM, ARAM

Arno Bornkamp – Visiting Artist in Saxophone www.arnobornkamp.nl/uk/

Bassoon

Janet Bloxwich – Principal, Scottish Opera Orchestra

Alison Green – Sub-principal, Scottish Chamber Orchestra

David Hubbard – Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Graeme Brown – Principal Bassoon No. 2, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Contra Bassoon

Peter Wesley – Principal, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Paolo Dutto – Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Woodwind Lecturer

Jennifer Stephenson

Why Choose Us?

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is in the World Top 10 for performing arts education 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022 (QS World Rankings)

  • Diverse and unique performances within RCS and externally with Scotland’s major orchestras and ensembles. Opportunities include radio broadcasts, orchestral tours, educational projects and collaborative performances.
  • 90-minute one-to-one lessons on your principal study each week.
  • A rich programme of masterclasses, chamber coaching and side-by-side performances offer our students a fantastic collaborative and tailored experience with each guest musician.
  • Performance opportunities alongside professional musicians in our Mondays and Fridays at 1 concert series.
  • A professional accompanist is provided for students throughout their training. Weekly rehearsal sessions with Scott Mitchell are available in preparation for performance classes, competitions and examinations.
  • Work with elite wind ensemble, Stevenson Winds, and receive intensive coaching with its expert players.
  • National and international performing opportunities; students previously toured India with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and annually perform side-by-side with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Winds in a series of live concerts.
  • Facilities include the David Nicholson Room, a dedicated space for flautists to rehearse and practice, and a double reed room, filled with reed-making equipment for this specialist art.
  • 97% of undergraduate respondents from the School of Music are in employment or further study (HESA, 15/16).

RCS Presents: Woodwind

Watch one of the first live concerts performed under Covid restrictions in the RCS Presents series, performed in November 2020.

Learn from the best

Masterclasses and visiting artists

Visiting international artists work regularly with our students.

A rich programme of public masterclasses, chamber coaching, lecture recitals and side-by-side performances and professional recordings offer our students a fantastic collaborative and tailored experience with each guest musician.

Recent Visiting Artists include:

Flute:

  • Ian Clarke – Internationally acclaimed flautist and composer
  • Michael Cox – Principal, BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Lorna McGee – Principal, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
  • Emily Beynon – Principal, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • André Cebrián – Principal, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Fiona Fulton – former flautist with The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Gitte Marcusson – freelance flautist and Musical Director at Vanersborg School of Music (masterclass)
  • Cormac Henry – Principal, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Charlotte Ashton – Principal Flute, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Michel Moragues – Second flute soloist with the Orchestre National de France (masterclass)
  • Elzbieta Wolenska – Distinguished Pedagogue (masterclass)
  • Catherine Gregory – Decoda Ensemble (masterclass)
  • Adam Walker – Principal, London Symphony Orchestra (masterclass)

Piccolo:

  • Ewan Robertson – Orchestra of Scottish Opera (orchestral performance masterclass)
  • Luke Russell – Principal Piccolo, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Jenny Hutchinson – Principal Piccolo, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (masterclass)

Oboe:

  • Diana Doherty – Principal, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
  • Emmanuel Laville – Principal, Swedish Symphony Orchestra
  • Michael Niesemann – Principal – Orchester Revolutionnaire et Romantique
  • John Roberts -Principal, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and RCS Visiting Artist in Orchestral Performance (masterclass)
  • Dudu Carmel – Principal Oboe, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (masterclass) Olivier Stankiewicz – Principal, London Symphony Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Steven Hudson – Section Leader, BBC National Orchestra of Wales (Crowthers Sponsored Artist – performing in our Double-reed concert and leading a masterclass).
  • François Leleux – International Artist (masterclass)
  • Nicholas Daniel – International Artist and Principal, Britten Sinfonia (masterclass)
  • Alison Teale – Co-Principal Oboe, BBC Symphony Orchestra

Oboe & Cor Anglais:

  • Alan Garner – Principal Cor Anglais, The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (masterclass)
  • Alexandre Oguey – Principal Cor Anglais, Sydney Symphony Orchestra (masterclass)

Clarinet:

  • Nicolas Baldeyrou – International Artist and Principal, Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Anthony McGill – Principal, New York Philharmonic Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Timothy Orpen – Principal Clarinet, Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Founding member and Principal Clarinet of the Aurora Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Fraser Langton – Sub-principal, BBC Philharmonic and RCS Graduate
  • Oliver Janes – Principal, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Annelien Van Wauwe – International Artist (masterclass)
  • John Bradbury – Principal, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Maximiliano Martín – Principal, Scottish Chamber Orchestra(masterclass)

Bass Clarinet:

  • Sarah Watts – Contemporary bass clarinet specialist (masterclass)

Bassoon:

  • Ole Kristian Dahl – Principal, Swedish National Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Vahan Khourdoian – Principal, Ulster Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Fraser Gordon – Principal Contra Bassoon, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Julie Price – Principal, BBC Symphony Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Joost Bosdijk, London Symphony Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Amy Harman – Principal, English National Opera and Aurora Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Pascal Gallois – International artist (contemporary masterclass)
  • Graeme Brown – Bassoon Principal No.2, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Crowthers Sponsored Artist – performing in our Double-reed concert and leading a masterclass).

Saxophone:

  • Arno Bornkamp – International renowned solo & chamber performer and RCS Associate Artist (masterclasses/chamber coaching and Director of the Saxophone Department Concert)
  • Kyle Horch – Professor of saxophone, Royal College of Music, London (masterclass)
  • Timothy McAllister – International Artist and Professor of Saxophone at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (masterclass)
Competition and prize winners

The students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Woodwind Department regularly demonstrate their calibre by winning prestigious competitions and awards, both within the conservatoire and on the global stage.

2021/22 

  • Concerto Competition – Matilda Coulton (Flute)
  • Governors Recital Prize for Woodwind – Matilda Coulton (Flute – Winner), Jack Halforty (Saxophone -Highly Commended), Aaron Hartnell-Booth (Saxophone – Commended)
  • Governors Recital Prize for Chamber Music – Dean Garrity, Emilija Auskalnyte, Ivan Varchenko, Jack Halforty (Saxophone Quartet)

2020/21 

  • Classical Concerto Prize – Adam Lee (Clarinet)
  • Concerto Competition – Adam Lee (Clarinet)
  • Governors Recital Prize for Woodwind – Andrew Dardis (Flute – Winner), Emma Simpson (Flute – Highly Commended)
  • RCS Bassoon Prize – Emma Simpson

2019/20 

  • Governors Recital Prize for Woodwind – Adam Lee (Clarinet -Winner), Helen Matthews (Oboe – Highly Commended)
  • Governors Recital Prize for Chamber Music Winners – Katie Kim & Brian King (Flute and Guitar Duo)
  • RCS Bassoon Prize – Gregory Crowley

School of Music Prizes (donor funded prizes awarded at the end of each year)

2021/22

  • Mary D Adams Prizes for Chamber Music – Dean Garrity, Emilija Auskalnyte, Ivan Varchenko, Jack Halforty (Saxophone Quartet)
  • John MacGregor Flute Prize – Matilda Coulton
  • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Performance Prize for Woodwind – Aaron Hartnell Booth (Clarinet)

2020/21

  • Principals Prizes for All Round Excellence (School of Music) – Adam Lee (Clarinet)
  • David Nicholson Flute Award for Travel and Study – Karin Eriksson
  • John MacGregor Flute Prize – Andrew Dardis

2019/20

  • Principals Prize for All Round Excellence – Christopher Michie (Flute)
  • John MacGregor Flute Prize – Katie Kim

Visiting Professor

Nicolas Baldeyrou

In celebration of our close links with Buffet-Crampon, the RCS Woodwind Department was thrilled to announce that Nicolas Baldeyrou would be our first Buffet-Crampon Visiting Professor in Clarinet.

Commencing from October 2019, Nicolas has been visiting the RCS to work with the Woodwind students in a series of masterclasses, side-by-side performances and collaborative events.

Graduate Destinations

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Woodwind alumni occupy positions in numerous prestigious orchestras and ensembles worldwide. 
  • Jo Ashcroft & Victoria Lopez Senior Musician & Woodwind Tutor respectively, Big Noise, Sistema Scotland
  • Graeme Brown BBC Scottish Symphony – Orchestra Principal Bassoon No.2 & RCS Tutor
  • Jay Capperauld Composer & Saxophonist
  • Richard Craig Contemporary Artist & Researcher
  • Peter Dykes Royal Scottish National Orchestra – Associate Principal Oboe & RCS Tutor
  • Lindsey Ellis BBC National Orchestra of Wales – Principal Piccolo
  • Robert Fairley Orchestra of Scottish Ballet – Principal Clarinet
  • Konrad Fiszer Opera Nova w Bydgoszczy – Flute and Piccolo
  • Fraser Gordon Head of Woodwind, Royal Academy of Music
  • Jennifer Hutchinson BBC Philharmonic Orchestra – Principal Piccolo
  • Stewart MacIlwham Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Principal Piccolo
  • Catriona McKinnon Welsh National Opera – Principal Oboe
  • Kate McDermott Orchestra of Scottish Opera – Principal Clarinet
  • John McDougall BBC Concert Orchestra – Principal Bassoon
  • Lorna McGhee Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – Principal Flute & International soloist
  • Chris McShane Orchestra Accademia China – Bassoon
  • Sinziana Mugea National Radio Orchestra of Romania – Sub Principal Oboe and Cor Anglais
  • Heather Nicoll Head of Woodwind, RCS
  • Paul Rissmann Animateur & Composer
  • John Roberts Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Principal Oboe & RCS Visiting Artist
  • Ewan Robertson Covent Garden Opera – Former Piccolo, BBC SSO, Orchestra of Scottish Opera
  • Lorraine Robertson L’ensemble Orchestral du Loir et Cher – Principal Flute
  • Yvonne Robertson Freelancer, RCS Tutor, Woodwind Lecturer (Maternity cover)
  • Matthew Rogers Conductor & Composer
  • Jennifer Stephenson Freelance Musician & Woodwind Lecturer, RCS
  • Kathleen Stevenson BBC Symphony Orchestra – Principal Piccolo
  • Russell Tyler Orquestra do Norte, Portugal – Principal Oboe
  • Thomas Voelcker Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra – Former Principal Piccolo

Chamber Music

Chamber music is embedded in the training of RCS Woodwind students, providing a supportive and creative environment for young groups to hone their skills.

Chamber performance experiences include:

  • Performance opportunities alongside professional musicians in both our Mondays and Fridays at One concert series.
  • Our prestigious ensemble Stevenson Winds affords high profile performance opportunities both within and out with the RCS.
  • The unique opportunity to rehearse and perform side-by-side with  members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Winds.
  • Contemporary ensemble opportunities to perform in  RCS MusicLab and Plug Festival (premiers of works by RCS composition students).
  • Student led ensembles are given specialist professional coaching throughout their studies.

Introducing

Genovia Quartet


Genovia Quartet is an innovative and dynamic bassoon quartet comprising current and recent RCS students – Rhiannon Carmichael, Gillian Horn, Victoria Lopez and Ana Rodriguez Garcia. The ensemble has performed to critical acclaim on the international stage.

“The most essential part of evolving and learning as a chamber group is to have as much platform time as possible, in order to try out ideas and put your hard work into practice. The RCS Woodwind department offers numerous performance opportunities including its Mondays and Fridays at One concert series, as well as links to external engagements (such as the Westbourne Music concert series). We were ‘Highly Commended’ in the RCS Governors’ Recital Prize for Chamber Music and we were honoured to receive the Mary D. Adams Prize for outstanding achievement in chamber music.

“In terms of preparing for performances, we received high quality tuition sessions throughout the year from experts including David Hubbard, RSNO and Alison Green, SCO. We were also able to perform in the weekly performance classes, open days, education workshops, and participated in masterclasses with prominent musicians such as Joost Bosdjik from the London Symphony Orchestra.

“Having access to the top quality recording studios in the RCS was a huge bonus, as we were able to put together a CD for promotional use.

“Performing chamber music is one of the most fun and beneficial learning experiences you can have as a musician. Programming your own concerts, discovering new repertoire, organising your time/members and most importantly being dedicated to your ensemble – these are all skills we learned within the Conservatoire and have been putting into practice ever since. If you make good use of the facilities and excellent tuition, you can build on these skills to become autonomous and well-prepared to enter the profession.”

Virtual Tour

Explore the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in our 360 virtual tour. You’ll be able to see our rehearsal and practice rooms, professional performance venues, production workshops, editing suite, ballet studios and more.

Entry Requirements

General Academic Entrance Requirements
  • Scottish Highers — 3 passes (grade C or above)
  • A Levels — 2 passes
  • International Baccalaureate — minimum score of 24 with 3 subjects at Higher Level
  • Recognised equivalences (EU and International Entry Requirements)

We welcome the Scottish Baccalaureate and will accept combinations of Highers and Advanced Highers.

We offer a flexible approach to students taking Higher over more than one academic year and/or who achieve their qualifications in more than one sitting.

Subjects recommended

Within the minimum academic entrance requirements listed above, the subject recommended are:

  • History at Higher, Advanced Higher or Advanced Level or equivalent
  • English at Higher, Advanced Higher or Advanced Level or equivalent
  • The study of Gaelic and/or another European language at least to National 4/5 or Standard Grade/GCSE
Other Standards

A strong indication of potential is sought at the entrance audition for this programme. Successful applicants will normally be of a standard at least equivalent to Grade 8 with Distinction of the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music in their Principal Study. You can apply and audition without having obtained Grade 8 with distinction, however as an indication only, applicants are normally expected to have reached this standard in their performance.

Language of Study

The language of study is English. Applicants who first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. We accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Level 6.0 (with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component) is required of applicants to the School of Music.

Direct Entry

Applications for direct entry beyond Year 1 will be considered on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the Royal Conservatoire’s Recognition of Prior (Experiential) Learning policy. If you wish to apply for direct entry, please mark the point of entry on UCAS Conservatoires application as 2 or 3.

Non-Standard Entry

We welcome applications from individuals whose academic qualifications or English language qualifications do not match (in terms of equivalence) or fall short of the normal entrance requirements, where specified*. Having satisfied the Audition Panel that they meet the selection criteria and demonstrated that they have the capacity to pursue the proposed course of study, such applicants will be considered through examination of contextualised data provided in accordance with the Non-Standard Entry Policy. The appropriate Head of Department/ Programme will make a case in support of the applicant for consideration by the Directors of the Schools and Convener of the Quality and Standards Committee.

*Note that UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) imposes minimum English Language qualifications in respect of international (non-EU) applicants who require a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK.

Mature Students

RCS welcomes applications from mature students, i.e. students over the age of 21 at entry to the programme. Whilst the selection procedures will still be applied, consideration will be given to appropriate artistic experience not normally expected in school leavers, which is deemed to compensate for any lack of traditional entrance qualifications. Successful mature applicants, as for all other applicants, must convince auditioning panels that they have the ability and potential to cope with the demands of the programme. Their progress, especially in the early stages of the programme, will be closely monitored and appropriate advice and support given.

How to Apply

Apply via UCAS Conservatoires

Applications are made through UCAS Conservatoires website. The UCAS Conservatoires application system is separate from the main UCAS undergraduate application system. If you wish to apply to conservatoires and universities within UCAS, you will need to register for both services.

There is a UCAS application fee of £26.50 to register to use UCAS Conservatoires.

To begin a new UCAS Conservatoires application, you will need to register. You can read the UCAS Conservatoires’ advice on completing the UCAS Conservatoires application.

If you need assistance with your application, you can contact UCAS Conservatoires team by telephoning (Monday to Friday, 8.30 — 18.00). Phone 0371 468 0470 from within the UK or +44 330 3330 232 if you are calling from overseas.

Application deadline date

The deadline dates to apply and submit your audition recording can be found in the table below

  UCAS Conservatoires Application Deadline  Audition Recording Deadline
UK Applicants 3rd October 2022 17th October 2022 (for applicants unable to attend an in-person audition)
International Applicants 1st December 2022 1st December 2022

International student applicants

We are aware that international students, particularly those coming from the USA, may struggle with the UCAS deadline. As a consequence, we have set an additional deadline of 1st December 2022 for international students.

Once you submit your UCAS Conservatoires application, please then upload your audition recording to Acceptd – https://app.getacceptd.com/rcs.

If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that your audition recording will be reviewed by the audition panel. If you do want to submit a late application, you must contact admissions@rcs.ac.uk in the first instance to check we are accepting late applications. Late applications will be considered on a case by case basis and will not be considered in the first round of scholarship allocation.

We do not offer deferred entry. If you wish to commence in 2023, you must apply next year.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland institution code is R58.

BMus (Hons) Performance: 300F

Joint Principal Study (Hons): 301F

Book an advice lesson with one of our Music tutors (faculty)

An advice lesson gives you the chance to experience having a lesson at the Conservatoire and provides a great opportunity for you to gain some expert advice. If you are unsure of what programme you wish to apply for, we recommend booking an advice audition with a teacher who can assist gauge which programme you may be suitable for. Advice lessons normally take place late August to early October and are dependent on staff availability.

Book an advice lesson

Application Fee

There is a UCAS Conservatoires application fee of £26.50. In addition to the application fee, each conservatoire charges an audition assessment administration fee. For RCS, the audition assessment administration fee is £65 per programme applied for. Fees are not refundable. The fees are paid via the UCAS Conservatoires website and not directly to RCS.

Audition Assessment Administration fee

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland charges an audition assessment administration fee of £65 per course.

We recognise that auditioning and interviewing for conservatoires, drama and ballet schools can be costly. The audition assessment administration fee charge allows us to offer a thorough and positive experience to all applicants and we encourage you to get in touch to ask the panel questions and find out more about the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to see if it is the best place for you.

We are committed to ensuring fair access to a conservatoire education for students who have the talent and potential to benefit from it, regardless of their background. In support of this, audition fee waivers are offered to applicants whom financial hardship may be a barrier to auditioning. Please see the audition fee waivers document for more information.

References

It is your responsibility to ask two separate referees to write references and ensure that these are sent to RCS.

The references must be written by two different people and we will not accept references from family, other relatives or close friends. You can submit your UCAS Conservatoires application form and send your references at a later date, but they must be received prior to your audition date.

UCAS Conservatoires provides reference forms for you to download and send to your referees for completion.

Selection Process

Applicants are selected first and foremost on the basis of merit and potential. However, due attention is also paid to the range of Principal Studies accepted in order to ensure the optimum experience for each student and to sustain the critical mass required for curricular activities, such as the symphony orchestra and choral activities.

Applicants who apply on time invited to upload their audition recording to Acceptd. The deadline dates can be found below –

UCAS Conservatoires Application Deadline Audition Recording Deadline
Applicants 3 October 2022 17 October 2022

If you submit your audition recording after this date, we cannot guarantee that your audition recording will be reviewed by the audition panel.

Please note that the Conservatoire is obliged to offer one audition recording per application. If you are unable to submit your audition recording by the deadline date above, you must email us immediately stating the reason. We have a specific period allocation to audition and all on time applications will receive a decision before Christmas (week commencing 14 December). If your audition recording is delayed, there is a risk that places will already have been taken and your application may not be considered in the first round of scholarship allocation.

BMus Joint Principal Study (JPS)

The Joint Principal Study pathway is intended to cater for the needs of individuals who are equally accomplished in two Principal Study disciplines (e.g. Flute and Composition, or Trumpet and Conducting, etc.) and who wish to maintain this intense level of dedication in their musical studies. Please note that Conducting is only available as a Joint Principal Study and Jazz Performance is only available in conjunction with Conducting or Composition.

The selection process for applicants applying for Joint Principal Study is the same as that for other applicants; please submit your audition recordings via Acceptd for each principal study. Applicants to the Joint Principal Study pathway who are successful in only one of their Principal Studies may be offered a place on the relevant ‘single-study’ pathway (i.e. Performance, Composition or Jazz).

Audition

With the safety of our students, applicants and staff as our priority, all School of Music auditions will take place via audition recording. The deadline dates to apply and submit your audition recording can be found in the table below –

  UCAS Conservatoires Application Deadline  Audition Recording Deadline
UK Applicants 3rd October 2022 17th October 2022 (for applicants unable to attend an in-person audition)
International Applicants 1st December 2022 1st December 2022

International student applicants

We are aware that international students, particularly those coming from the USA, may struggle with the UCAS deadline. As a consequence, we have set an additional deadline of 1st December 2022 for international students.

Once you submit your UCAS Conservatoires application, please then upload your audition recording to Acceptd – https://app.getacceptd.com/rcs.

Once you submit your audition recording, you may be invited to an online interview and this will include sight reading and scales.

All decisions will be posted on UCAS Conservatoires following your audition via UCAS Conservatoires track (you will need your username and password). We aim to post outcomes before Christmas (12 December 2022).

Recording Guidelines:

  • When setting up for your video recording, your body (typically, from about the waist up) and instrument should be the focal point of the frame. The committee wants to be able to see not just your face but how well you navigate your instrument.
  • The video recording should be provided in ONE continuous shot without separate tracks for different musical pieces.
  • Please begin the recording by introducing yourself to camera and stating what you will be performing. You can take a little time between pieces so long as your body must remain in the frame.
  • For any pieces that were written for your instrument and piano accompaniment, you are encouraged to perform with piano accompaniment (whether live or pre-recorded) if practical for you. Be assured, however, that if this is not possible for you, then you will not be disadvantaged in any way.

For more information on recording a video audition, Guitar Lecturer Matthew McCallister reveals his top tips on recording your music audition online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYNY47cVNBA.

 

Repertoire

All repertoire listed below is suggested repertoire only.  You may choose to play a contrasting programme of your own choice.

Flute

Performance of two contrasting pieces; suggested repertoire below:

  • J S Bach — Sonata No. 6 in E, 1st and 2nd movements
  • Enesco — Cantabile et Presto
  • Martinu — Sonata, 1st movement
  • Prokofiev — Sonata No. 2, Op.94, 1st or 2nd movement
  • C P E Bach — Hamburger Sonata, either movement
  • Rhene-Baton — Passacaille

Oboe

Performance of two contrasting pieces; suggested repertoire below:

  • Britten — Six metamorphoses after Ovid, any two movements
  • Dutilleux — Sonata
  • Grovlez — Sarabande and Allegro
  • Handel — Fitzwilliam Sonata in Bb major, any two movements
  • Poulenc — Sonata, any one movement
  • Saint-Saëns — Sonata in D, any one movement

Tenor Saxophone

Performance of two contrasting pieces; suggested repertoire below:

  • Fiocco — (arr. Bazelaire, trans. Londeix) Concerto, 1st movement only
  • Handel — (arr. Londeix) Sonata in G minor, Op.1 No. 6, complete
  • Villa Lobos — Fantasia for [soprano or] tenor saxophone, 1st movement
  • Marcello — (arr. Joosen) Concerto in C minor, complete
  • F Martin — Ballade (1940) for [trombone or] tenor saxophone
  • Burnet Tuthill — Sonata, Op. 56, 2nd and 3rd movements

Alto Saxophone

Performance of two contrasting pieces; suggested repertoire below:

  • J S Bach — Sonata No. 4, 1st and (arr. Mule) 2nd movements
  • Paul Bonneau — Suite, complete
  • Jolivet — Fantaisie-Impromptu
  • Koechlin — Étude No. 1 from 15 Études
  • Paul Maurice — Tableaux de Provence, 1st and 2nd movements
  • Phil Woods — Sonata, 1st and 2nd movements

Bassoon

Performance of two contrasting pieces; suggested repertoire below:

  • Grovlez Sicilienne and Allegro giocoso
  • Pauer Concerto, 1st movement
  • Pierne Solo de Concert Op.35
  • Vivaldi Concerto in A minor, F.VIII No. 2, 1st movement
  • Weber Concerto, 1st movement
  • Mozart Concerto, 1st or 3rd movement
  • A Baroque Sonata of the candidate’s choice

Clarinet

Performance of two contrasting pieces; suggested repertoire below:

  • Arnold Sonatina, 1st or 3rd movement
  • L Bernstein Sonata (either movement)
  • Milhaud Duo Concertante
  • Poulenc Sonata (any movement)
  • Stravinsky Three (any movement)
  • Weber Concerto No. 1 in F, 1st or 3rd movement
  • Messager Solo de Concours
Following your Audition

All decisions will be posted on UCAS Conservatoires following your audition via UCAS Conservatoires Track,  (you will need your username and password). You will also receive notification from UCAS Conservatoires when decisions on all your choices are available.

Please see below for an explanation of UCAS Conservatoires codes:

Guaranteed Unconditional (GU) RCS is satisfied from the information you have given, that you have already met the conditions for e