A Junior Conservatoire (Music) student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland who dreams of being a professional cellist has been awarded a nationwide scholarship from a world-renowned music organisation.
Emily Brockett, 16, is the recipient of the Dame Colette Bowe Award from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), the UK’s largest music education body and the world’s leading provider of music exams.
The award – established in the name of Dame Colette Bowe to honour her tenure as Chair of ABRSM – provides financial support to a talented and deserving junior cello student who is in the first two years of study on one of the junior programmes of the Royal Schools of Music, of which RCS is a member, along with the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music. Dame Bowe, a member of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee, concluded her term as ABRSM Chair in 2018.
Emily, from Uddingston, who has been a Junior Conservatoire student since September 2018, said: “I am extremely honoured and grateful to have been awarded the Dame Colette Bowe Award, I will continue to work hard and pursue my dream of becoming a professional cellist.”
Francis Cummings, Head of the Junior Conservatoire (Music), said: “We are all thrilled for Emily on receiving the prestigious Dame Colette Bowe Award from ABRSM, which recognises promising young players from junior programmes at the UK’s royal schools of music. Emily is a talented and dedicated cellist and we’re looking forward to watching her further develop her creativity and artistry through her studies with us.”
Here, Emily offers an insight into life at the Junior Conservatoire …
What do you enjoy about your studies at the Junior Conservatoire?
I absolutely adore the Junior Conservatoire! I’ve made lots of amazing friends that have the same interests as me, so it really doubles the fun as we always get to discuss our favourite composers, musicians, our current repertoires and the list goes on.
I also love how the Junior Conservatoire gives you a variety of classes to learn different genres of music making; such as chamber groups, choirs, orchestras and practical musicianship classes. It has a very open and respectful atmosphere.
My teacher, Betsy Taylor, is such an inspiration. She teaches you every small detail to become the best player you can possibly be—she really does push you beyond your highest standard. Ever since I started learning from her, my cello performance skills have definitely improved a lot.
What inspired you to start playing the cello?
I’ve loved classical music ever since I was a baby, I especially loved the sound of the cello. I did not know what a cello was back then, until one day, I was sitting in my music classroom, when I was around 12 years old (S1 in high school). I was greeted by the local instrumental teacher for lower strings, holding a cello.
When I first listened to him play the instrument, a light bulb went on in my head! That’s when I realised that the cello was my destiny—I fell in love with it, I had to start playing it! The feeling was so complicated yet satisfying, it was definitely an unforgettable experience!
“I was also (and even now) inspired by the great cellist Steven Isserlis who is just a phenomenal musician. His books teach you many things you never knew about an assortment of classical composers and are filled with a lot of humour, so anyone at any age can enjoy reading them. He is a man with many talents. It really does highlight his passion for music and it motivates me to keep up with the hard practicing!
What do you love about the instrument and performing?
I love the cello, it is my best friend. Whenever I get upset or frustrated about something, I pick up my cello and start playing it—it really soothes me, as if it were having a conversation with me to cheer me up, and that’s what best friends do! That extremely addictive rich sound—it really is something else! Performing the cello itself to other people is a truly magical feeling. I get nervous sometimes, but I love to make people smile with the lovely rich sound.
Click here to find out more about studying at the Junior Conservatoire.