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National Youth Wind Ensemble of Scotland: Senior (ages 12-17, Grade 6+)

Summer School for Children and Young People


Are you an aspiring wind, brass or percussion student who wants the opportunity to play in a large wind orchestra? Spend a fun and immersive week making music, learning and performing in Scotland’s national conservatoire.

The National Youth Wind Ensemble of Scotland is for aspiring young brass, percussion and woodwind musicians who wish to further develop their musical skills and ensemble experience. Offered at two levels, for Intermediate and Senior instrumentalists, students will work with some of the UK’s finest musicians and educators to tackle a variety of fun and engaging repertoire from across the globe.

Participants will work with instrumental specialists in sectional rehearsals, as well as in full ensemble rehearsals, culminating in a public showcase concert at the end of the week.

If you have any questions in advance of booking, please contact us at or (0044) 141 270 8213.

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The important details

12 - 17, Grade 6+


13 - 19 July 2024

Saturday - Friday, 10am - 5pm

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 100 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G2 3DB

Course Information

There is no deadline to apply, however booking is first come, first serve – so we recommend applying as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Please see Entry Requirements tab for further information about the supporting materials which are required for application.

Payment of the balance of the tuition fee is payable once applicants have been notified that they have been successful in their application to the course and completed their booking.

The National Youth Wind Ensemble of Scotland provides an opportunity for musicians to extend their performance experience at a national level.

Students on this summer course will all share a love of music and a desire to improve their skills in a constructive and fun environment.

The ensemble will tackle a diverse and challenging mix of repertoire to be performed in a concert on the Friday at 4pm for friends and family in the Stevenson Hall at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

As a student on this course you will benefit from the chance to perform in smaller ensembles as well as receive coaching from highly experienced and professional teachers.

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This summer school is for young wind players aged 12—17 who are at Grade 6 and above to benefit fully from this course.

At the time of application, participants are asked to submit a short recording of no longer than 3 – 4 minutes in length which best demonstrates their current playing level.

Recordings can be uploaded to your online application form as an unlisted YouTube link or mp3. This can be done using your mobile phone, tablet or any handheld recording device. No need to worry about recording quality, it is to access whether this course is best suited to your current level.


Students on this course should want to:

  • develop musically and technically
  • build repertoire and performing experiences
  • enhance their experience of playing in an ensemble
  • meet other passionate wind players
  • experience life as a full-time music student
  • meet and work with full- time students from the Royal Conservatoire

Music will be handed out on the first day.

Please bring pencils and a rubber as well as any expendable items relative to your instrument, i.e. reeds, valve oil, mutes, etc.

Students should dress comfortably for ensemble playing and lessons. For the final concert, dress code will be all black – top, trousers/skirt, tights/socks, and shoes.

Students should bring bottled water. Lunch is not provided so bring a packed lunch or money to buy food.

The course runs Saturday, 13 July – Friday, 19 July, from 10am to 5pm.

There will be a short sharing of the work students have been engaging with on the Friday afternoon for invited family and friends.

Please note this is a sample schedule which may change before the course start date.


  • 9.30am Registration in the Cafe Bar
  • 9.45am – Welcome meeting and introduction to tutors
  • 10am – Full Band/Sectionals
  • 11.45am – Sectionals
  • 12.45pm – Break for lunch
  • 1.30pm – Sectionals
  • 3pm – Break
  • 3.30pm – Full Band
  • 5pm – Finish


  • 10am – Sectionals
  • 11.45am – Full Band
  • 12.45pm – Break for lunch
  • 1.30pm – Sectionals
  • 3pm – Break
  • 3.30pm – Sectionals
  • 5pm – Finish


  • 10am – Full Band/Sectionals
  • 11.45am – Sectionals
  • 12.45pm – Break for lunch
  • 1.30pm – Sectionals
  • 3pm – Break
  • 3.30pm – Full Band
  • 5pm – Finish


  • 10am – Full Band
  • 11.45am – Sectionals
  • 12.45pm – Break for lunch
  • 1.30pm – Sectionals
  • 3pm – Break
  • 3.30pm – Full Band
  • 5pm – Finish


  • 10am – Full Band/Sectionals
  • 11.45am – Sectionals
  • 12.45pm – Break for lunch
  • 1.30pm – Sectionals
  • 3pm – Break
  • 3.30pm – Full Band
  • 5pm – Finish


  • 10am – Full Band
  • 11.45am – Full Band
  • 12.45pm – Break for lunch
  • 1.30pm – Full Band/Sectionals
  • 3pm – Break
  • 3.30pm – Full Band
  • 5pm – Finish


  • 10am – Full Band
  • 11.45am – Full Band
  • 12.45pm – Break for lunch
  • 1.30pm – Full Band
  • 3pm – Break
  • 4pm – Concert for friends and family
  • 6pm – Finish

Matthew Chinn: Originally from Aberdeen, Matthew graduated with a first-class honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) where he studied Tuba, Community Music and Conducting.

During his time of study, Matthew was the recipient of many prizes, including the Music Benevolent Fund Education Award, the Robert McCreath Memorial Prize, the John Mather Study Award, the Countess of Munster Trust Award and the Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarship. Matthew went on to receive a Post Graduate Diploma in Performance and a Master of Music Performance.

For the past 20 years Matthew has enjoyed a portfolio career working as a professional musician, conductor, director, educator and arts manager. As a tuba player, Matthew has performed with many of the UK’s leading orchestras including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Ballet, as well as performing with the world famous Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra.

As an animateur, director, and educator, Matthew has devised and led multi art form education programmes and concert events working in partnership with many local, national and international organisations, including: NASA, National Geographic, the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain, Edinburgh International Festival, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Children’s Classic Concerts, Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

As a founding member of award-winning brass quintet Thistle Brass, Matthew has given hundreds of recitals and toured extensively, delivering exciting and interactive workshops and performances in his own innovative and inimitable style from the Shetland Isles to the Great Wall of China.

For 10 years Matthew held the position of Music Director of the multiple Platinum award winning North Ayrshire Schools’ Senior Concert Band. Matthew is also the Artistic Director for the National Youth Wind Ensemble of Scotland which run their annual Intermediate and Senior Ensemble summer courses at the RCS. Matthew continues to enjoy conducting commitments across the country and beyond, with invitations to work with a variety of ensembles both nationally and internationally. Matthew is a regular guest conductor with the State Honours Education Programme (SHEP) held in Brisbane, Australia hosted by the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffiths University.

Since 2008 Matthew has worked at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as an Pre-HE arts education manager developing a variety of roles. Matthew is currently the Associate Head of the Junior Conservatoire (Music), where he teaches Tuba, conducts the Juniors 10-piece Brass Ensemble and Concert Band, and oversees the education of more than 1000 aspiring young musicians across their Junior, Pre-Junior, Music Centre, Early Years and Primary Instrumental programmes.


Kevin Price studied trumpet at the Guildhall School of Music and is a professional musician of considerable performance experience. As well as a successful freelance career where he worked with the Royal Opera House, The National Theatre and various shows in the West End, Kevin has been involved in chamber music with Paragon Ensemble, Brass Ecosse (Scottish Opera), BBC Scottish Brass Ensemble, SCO Brass Ensemble and the RSNO Brass Ensemble.

Kevin has been the Music Director of the National Youth Wind Ensemble of Scotland since 1998 and has also had a long and highly successful career as the Musical Director of the Glasgow Wind Band, the current Scottish and UK Open Champions, a position he has held since 1984. He has also acquired extensive experience of conducting at a regional level, including the regional bands and symphony orchestras for the Scottish Borders and East Renfrewshire.

In addition to conducting, Kevin has a high reputation for his work as a teacher in both the state and independent sector. He also acts as an external examiner for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, as a tutor for the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, and as a lecturer for the Scottish Association for Music in Education.


Michelle McCabe studied flute at the RSAMD graduating with a BA (Hons) and a Postgraduate in Orchestral Studies. She then went on to study chamber music in Canada at the Banff Centre for the Arts with her award winning Quartet, Just Flutes with whom she performed many concerts and Workshops for Live Music Now!

Michelle has enjoyed playing sub principal flute with Scottish Ballet for the last 10 years as well as freelancing with various ensembles and orchestras, including the BBC SSO, The Scottish Flute Trio and the Auricle Ensemble.

Michelle teaches flute at The High School of Glasgow, where she also conducts the Junior Wind Band. She tutors for various ensembles including WOSIS, Stewarton Academy Bands, and the East Dunbartonshire Concert Band. Other summer Schools include many years as a tutor on the Flute summer school for young players, Tutti Flutey.


Lawrence Gill is a Clarinet and Woodwind Chamber Music tutor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Lawrence studied at the Conservatoire (formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) then in Switzerland and Germany. He freelanced with all of the Scottish orchestras before taking up his present job with the orchestra of Scottish Opera. He has taught at the Conservatoire since 1983 and has a very keen interest in chamber music which has led to recitals and concerts with Paragon chamber group of Scotland and the Hebrides ensemble for radio and television. He lives in Glasgow with his wife Alison Green and their two children. Future plans include improving speaking French and his repertoire of cooking!


Rebecca Roberts started as a clarinetist when she studied atChetham’s School of Music but changed to Bassoon where she studied under Charles Cracknell. Claire continued her studiesat Guildhall with Martin Gatt, followed by Conservatiore de Geneve with Roger Birnstingl. Shewas Co-Principal Bassoon in the Biel Symphony Orchestra, Switzerland, Co-Principal Bassoon at Opera De Lyon and second bassoon in Opera North. Rebeccafreelanced in orchestras such as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Halle Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.

Rebecca moved on to teaching woodwind for East Renfrewshire Council andshe is still actively teaching today. She trainsmany bassoonists for theNational Youth Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and West of Scotland Schools Orchestra as well asteaching at the Junior Conservatoire and coaching for NYOS, WSSO, NCOGB and East Renfrewshire Schools.

After a break in her career, Rebecca returned to performance, playingMahler 3 in the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). She has since freelanced with RSNO, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish BalletandScottish Opera.


John Miller is a former student of Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, studying Classical Saxophone with Josef Pacewicz (1990-95), graduating with BA (Musical Studies) and Cert. PG Studies. During this period John won a scholarship from The English Speaking Union, enabling him to become the first saxophonist to attend the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival (Boston, USA). This resulted in John being involved in the creation of Marsalis on Music, a series produced by Sony Music featuring legendary trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

As a freelance saxophonist John has performed with all major Scottish orchestras, as well as with a varied list of musicians including Bruce Adams, Sarah Brightman, Natalie Cole, Jacqui Dankworth and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. John is also a founder member of RSNO Big Band and a member of Alba Saxophone Quartet.

John has worked with the Junior Conservatoire since 1998, tutoring saxophone, saxophone quartet and conducting the Junior Conservatoire Wind Orchestra. He has also examined for RCS and adjudicated for the National Concert Band Festival.

John is a Woodwind Tutor for North Lanarkshire Council, where he also conducts the Regional Wind Ensemble. He holds regular performance class sessions for saxophone students sitting National Qualifications in music. John has also produced and presented in-service courses for NL staff on saxophone and conducting technique, he is also a Jupiter artist.


Arlene Macfarlane began playing the trombone at the age of 11 through her local brass band and in 1996, joined the brass department of the RSAMD Junior Academy. She was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland for four years and also the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland.

Arlene went on to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama under Kevin Thomson and Lance Green where she graduated with a BMus Degree in Performance with First Class Honors, obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance with Distinction in 2005 and was awarded a Masters in Music with Distinction in 2006.

Throughout Arlene’s academic studies she was the recipient of several awards. In 2002 she won the Governors Recital Prize for Brass, the Professor Charles Leggett Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund in 2004, and in 2005, the Musicians Benevolent Fund Education Award, the Countess Of Munster Musical Trust and the Caird Trust. In 2006, she was awarded the Dewar Arts Award.

Arlene’s professional work includes appearances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra of the Scottish Opera, RTE Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

In addition to her orchestral work, Arlene has appeared with several prestigious chamber groups such as The Golden Section, Paragon Ensemble, Fine Arts Brass and Bones Apart. She is also a founding member of the award wining ensemble Thistle Brass which was formed in 2002.

Arlene was appointed Sub Principle Trombone of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 2008 where she spent four years immensely enjoying her work within the Orchestra. She was regularly involved in community music projects both for the BBC and independently, she taught trombone at Cardiff University and the Junior Welsh Collage of Music, and taught privately around the Vale of Glamorgan.

Arlene relocated back to Scotland for her family and now works for South Ayrshire Music Service and continues to enjoy performing as a freelance trombonist. She is also on the staff team for the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and the West of Scotland Schools Orchestra Trust.


Calum Huggan, an award-winning percussionist, has captivated audiences and critics alike with his musicality and personality.

Throughout his studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Mannheim Musikhochschule and the Royal College of Music, Calum showed an affinity towards the marimba, winning his first solo BBC broadcast at the age of 18. A winner and finalist in many prestigious competitions, Calum has gained international recognition as a solo and chamber musician, becoming Gramophone Magazine’s ‘one-to-watch’ in 2021 with his debut album, ‘American Music for Marimba’ on Delphian Records.

In addition to his solo performance, Calum’s passion lies in cross-arts collaborations. He has worked alongside some of the most recognised and talented creatives in the arts, co-creating, recording and performing in spectacular spaces across the globe.

Calum is an active and highly sought-after clinician and educator, holding teaching positions at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and as a visiting professor at several other institutes in the UK. Truly passionate about education, Calum challenges the boundaries of classical music, pursuing pathways for every young person to access a music education.

Calum is a Yamaha Artist and an Acoustic Percussion Signature Artist.

Summer Accommodation

We are pleased to welcome students from across the world to our Summer Schools. Our course fees do not include accommodation or food, and these should be organised by the student. Our campus is located in Glasgow city centre, and you can find the addresses below.

We recommend Base Glasgow, as purpose-built accommodation for Conservatoire students, with Rehearsal Rooms, Practice spaces and Dance Studios. Base Glasgow is perfectly suited for our summer school students; both safe and secure, with 24/7 staff presence and only 3 mins walk from our main Renfrew Street building, keeping travel costs to a minimum.

Classic En-Suite rooms come with a 3/4 bed, en-suite bathroom, ample storage, mirror, study desk and chair. The shared area includes a spacious lounge and kitchen area.

Please note that Short Courses staff are not affiliated with BASE or on site outwith the summer school teaching hours, and therefore cannot take responsibility for students outside of these hours.

For more information about booking accommodation at BASE Glasgow you can contact them directly via website BASE – Student Accommodation in Glasgow or email

Alternatively, there are plenty of hotels, hostels, and b’n’b options available. We are located close to transport links should you wish to stay outside the city centre. If you are travelling to Glasgow for a course, we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance that covers course fees, travel, accommodation, and cancellations due to COVID-19 – as RCS will not refund in this circumstance. You can view the Cancellations and Refund policy for full information.

For students under 18 years old, we strongly advise travelling with a responsible adult should any emergency situations arise during class. Students are only monitored by staff during class times.

Renfrew Street Campus: 100 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G2 3DB
Wallace Studios Campus: 210 Garscube Road, Glasgow, G4 9RR

Further Information

We want to ensure as many children, young people and adult learners as possible can access the performing and production arts education that is offered through Short Courses at RCS. Financial support options available for Short Courses include:

Agnes Allan Bursary

Agnes Allan was a teacher, passionate about inclusion, and this bursary scheme exists to offer support to students to participate in the performing or production arts.

The Agnes Allan Bursary provides some support to students who may require financial assistance to take part in a short course in dance, drama, music, production or screen.

Anyone who wishes to take part in our Short Courses and faces a financial barrier can apply for bursary support to help meet the cost of tuition fees.

James McAvoy Drama Scholarships

BAFTA-winning and Golden Globe nominated actor James McAvoy is committed to nurturing the creative potential of young Scots who experience barriers to access and participate in drama at RCS Short Courses.

James is a graduate of the BA Acting programme at RCS and Patron of the Junior Conservatoire of Drama. The Glasgow-born actor has funded the new James McAvoy Drama Scholarships to enable young people to experience the world-class drama training at RCS as he did.

The scholarship aims to support applicants who would otherwise find meeting the cost of tuition fees at RCS a barrier to accessing pre-Higher Education drama training at the Royal Conservatoire.

You can find more information about these funds on our Financial Support page.

We run various promotional offers for our Short Courses and Summer Schools. You can view our current offers on our Promotional Offers page.

You should contact us at to request your discount code before booking a course.

Please note, only one promotional offer can be applied per course and should be used at the time of booking as we are unable to apply a discounts retrospectively.

Please see our Short Course FAQs for more information about all aspects of choosing, booking and attending your course.

Please see our Short Courses – Terms and Conditions for more information about your contract with Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Cancellation and Refund policies.

Sign up to our mailing list to receive the latest updates of courses, offers and news from Short Courses. You can do this by completing this short online form found here.

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