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MA Musical Theatre (Performance), (Musical Directing)

Introduction

Performance

  • The performance pathway is an intensive blend of high-level vocational education and creative opportunities for students who already have a related degree and/or performing experience.
  • As well as practical performance learning, we’ll equip you with skills, knowledge and contacts for your professional career. The programme is closely linked with the industry, and has been developed with professional input, ensuring you acquire the practical skills that employers are looking for. You will have a high degree of one-to-one contact time, including individual voice and singing tutorials with some of the finest singing teachers in the UK, as well as conservatoire level training in acting, dance and music.
  • During the MA Musical Theatre programme you will work on a new musical development and a public performance of a solo cabaret or devised performance. You will also spend a full season performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; including a fully produced main stage musical theatre production (previous productions include Jerry Springer the Opera, Spring Awakening, The Addams Family and Avenue Q) and the performance of a new work.

Musical Directing

  • The musical directing pathway is designed to support the development of skill base and the exploration of creative thought for the musician with a passion for theatre. Through specialised conservatoire training, specific attention will be paid to grounding your keyboard and conducting skills, to exploring scoring and arranging, keyboard programming and vocal technique, all with a view to building the depth of process needed in the varying environments relevant to musical theatre. As well as practical performance training, we’ll support you in the development of skills, knowledge, and contacts for your professional career as an imaginative and versatile artist.
  • You will collaborate with your peers on the BA and MA Musical Theatre (Performance) programmes, gaining valuable production and performance experience in a range of contexts and environments including Big Band, Cabaret, New Musical Development and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You will have a project mentor who will support and feedback on each project in consultation with your industry mentor who will also guide you through your Industry placement.
  • During the MA Musical Theatre programme you will work on the development of new work in conjunction with writers and a creative team. You will be Assistant Musical Director on some fully-produced BA Musical Theatre shows including a book musical, a contemporary musical and an actor-musician project. You will also have the opportunity to be Musical Director of a public concert series with the RCS Big Band and take on a variety of creative roles on a season of work produced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

A full fee waiver applies for the Musical Directing pathway.

 

Introduction

Performance

  • The performance pathway is an intensive blend of high-level vocational education and creative opportunities for students who already have a related degree and/or performing experience.
  • As well as practical performance learning, we’ll equip you with skills, knowledge and contacts for your professional career. The programme is closely linked with the industry, and has been developed with professional input, ensuring you acquire the practical skills that employers are looking for. You will have a high degree of one-to-one contact time, including individual voice and singing tutorials with some of the finest singing teachers in the UK, as well as conservatoire level training in acting, dance and music.
  • During the MA Musical Theatre programme you will work on a new musical development and a public performance of a solo cabaret or devised performance. You will also spend a full season performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; including a fully produced main stage musical theatre production (previous productions include Jerry Springer the Opera, Spring Awakening, The Addams Family and Avenue Q) and the performance of a new work.

Musical Directing

  • The musical directing pathway is designed to support the development of skill base and the exploration of creative thought for the musician with a passion for theatre. Through specialised conservatoire training, specific attention will be paid to grounding your keyboard and conducting skills, to exploring scoring and arranging, keyboard programming and vocal technique, all with a view to building the depth of process needed in the varying environments relevant to musical theatre. As well as practical performance training, we’ll support you in the development of skills, knowledge, and contacts for your professional career as an imaginative and versatile artist.
  • You will collaborate with your peers on the BA and MA Musical Theatre (Performance) programmes, gaining valuable production and performance experience in a range of contexts and environments including Big Band, Cabaret, New Musical Development and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You will have a project mentor who will support and feedback on each project in consultation with your industry mentor who will also guide you through your Industry placement.
  • During the MA Musical Theatre programme you will work on the development of new work in conjunction with writers and a creative team. You will be Assistant Musical Director on some fully-produced BA Musical Theatre shows including a book musical, a contemporary musical and an actor-musician project. You will also have the opportunity to be Musical Director of a public concert series with the RCS Big Band and take on a variety of creative roles on a season of work produced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

A full fee waiver applies for the Musical Directing pathway.

 

Programme Outline

Performance

  • New musical development
  • Skills classes in dance, voice, acting and performance
  • Intimate scene study
  • Fully produced performance of a public Big Band concert in conjunction with the RCS Big Band
  • Musical Theatre scene study and performance
  • Public performance of solo cabaret or devised performance
  • Full season of work produced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; including a fully produced main stage musical theatre production (previous productions include Jerry Springer the Opera, Spring Awakening, Company and Avenue Q) and the performances of a brand new work (previous productions include the award-winning Wasted Love, Freak Show, Forest Boy and Rocket Science)

Musical Directing

  • Skills classes in keyboard skills, conducting and rehearsal techniques, scoring and arranging, keyboard programming and vocal technique
  • Students will be mentored through a series of projects
  • New musical development
  • Assistant Musical Director and mentorship through three fully produced BA Musical Theatre shows including a book musical, a contemporary musical and an actor-musician project
  • Fully produced public Big Band concert in conjunction with the RCS Big Band
  • Musical Theatre scene study and performance
  • Public performance of solo cabaret
  • Full season of work produced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; including a fully produced main stage musical theatre production and performances of a brand new work developed through the course of the year

Staff and masterclasses

Teaching Staff

Andrew Panton Visiting Professor

Erin Carter
– Lecturer (Performance and Artistic Development)

David Higham – Lecturer (Musical Direction)

Eve Jamieson – Lecturer (Acting)

Singing staff

  • Gordon Adams
  • Susie Dumbreck
  • Scott Harrison
  • Michael Howell
  • Caroline Hurst
  • Marjory Watson

Dance staff

  • Lynne Bustard
  • Preston Clare
  • Freya Jeffs
  • Rowan Macgregor
  • Steinvor Palsson

Voice staff

Music staff

Visiting Staff, Professionals and Practitioners

  • Ken Alexander
  • Gordon Barr
  • John Barrowman
  • Simon Beck
  • James Brining
  • Andy Charles
  • Ali Craig
  • Joe Douglas
  • Barbara Dickson
  • David Grindrod
  • Dominic Hill
  • Philip Howard
  • Dougie Irvine
  • Jemima Levick
  • Matthew Malthouse
  • David Marsden
  • Pete Woollard

Audition requirements

The Performance Audition

Dance/movement

The first element of the audition process is a dance call. No preparation is required for this section; applicants will be led through a group class/workshop on the day. Please wear fitted dance clothing for this part of the audition.

Acting

Prepare two pieces between one and three minutes in length – one Shakespearean monologue and one contemporary monologue. You should have an understanding of the full play and not just the monologues.

 

Devised piece

You should present a two-minute piece of your own devising. This can include sections of text combined, an original piece or a devised character piece. Make sure you use the devised piece to express something significant to you.

 

Singing

For this section, applicants are required to prepare four songs: two up-tempo and two ballads of varying stylistic demands

  • music should be prepared clearly for the pianist and should be in the correct key
  • no recorded backing will be permitted and you may not accompany yourself for this element of the audition
  • three songs should be musical theatre and one should be from another genre (e.g. pop, rock, blues, jazz)
  • it is unlikely that the panel will listen to all four complete songs; we will hear what we need to get an overall impression of range, technique and potential

The Musical Directing Audition

For the interview process, candidates should prepare the following:

Portfolio of work

Indicative content would be a CV, production reviews, past arrangements by the candidate, CD of recorded work etc. This material should be provided at least one week prior to interview.

Set arrangement

This will be issued to the candidate with the email confirming interview date. Clear instructions will be given as to what is required and this arrangement may be discussed during interview.

Workshop (condensed rehearsal)

Candidates will be asked to lead a 30-minute workshop to a group of Musical Theatre students which should include:

  • a short warm-up
  • elements of vocal technique
  • the start point of teaching a section of ensemble repertoire of the candidate’s choosing
  • elements of style and interpretation

Consultation lesson

The candidate will be given a 30-minute consultation piano lesson working through varying pieces of prepared repertoire.

This session will explore the range of keyboard skills and understanding of stylistic interpretation through a one-to-one workshop. Please bring a small selection of song accompaniments for this session. The following sections need no formal preparation:

Sight-reading

Candidates will be asked to accompany one or two solo singers. Sheet music will only be seen at point of interview.

 

 

For more information, visit our Guide for Applicants Journey.

How to apply

Applications for the MA Musical Theatre (Performance) or (Musical Directing) or (Choreography) programme should be made through the UCAS Conservatoires website. There is a UCAS application fee of £25 (which is in addition to the audition fee) which allows you up to six choices of programme of study. For more information on how to apply, please visit the Apply section.

Before applying we recommend that you visit our Guide for Applicants journey which provides information regarding entry requirements, and the full application and audition process:

Begin your Applicant Journey here.

Student Showcase

Why choose us?

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is in the World Top 5 for performing arts education

  • Industry showcases in Glasgow, London with a New York showcase for North American students
  • Excellent industry connections
  • Excellent staff-student ratio
  • Staff members are active, multi-disciplinary artists
  • Regular masterclasses and workshops with industry professionals including producers, directors, casting directors, agents and performers (recent visitors include John Barrowman, James Brining, David Grindrod, Jemima Levick, Barbara Dickson and Dominic Hill)
  • Past students have had opportunity to take on roles as musical directors and directors for external corporate work; assisted guest creatives on Edinburgh Fringe productions; presented their own song or composition material; and produced their own work at the Edinburgh Fringe
  • 97% of postgraduate respondents from the School of Drama are in employment or further study (HESA, 15/16)

 

Entry requirements

  • Normally a good undergraduate degree, or its overseas equivalent, in a subject area relevant to the demands of the programme

Entrance to the Conservatoire is based on talent, potential and ability, therefore consideration will be given to relevant experience which is deemed to compensate for any traditional education. We accept a wide range of qualification, including international qualifications. If you wish to check the suitability of your qualification/experience, please contact us ( admissions@rcs.ac.uk ).

English Language

The language of study is English. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. We accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Other equivalent English Language qualifications may be considered, please contact us ( admissions@rcs.ac.uk ) for more information.

  • IELTS – 7.5 with a minimum score of 7.5 in speaking

 

Fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for academic year 2018-19

  • UK/EU Students – £12,471
  • International (Non EU) – £19,581

Scottish/EU students

New Scottish and EU domiciled students may be eligible for a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan. All eligible students will be able to apply directly to Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a non-means tested loan of up to £3,400. See the SAAS website for further details of the PSAS scheme.

 

Scottish domiciled postgraduate students on eligible courses can also apply for a Postgraduate Living Cost Loan up to £4,500 towards living expenses. This is in addition to the existing loan available towards the cost of their tuition fees.

Scholarships

Any potential student who auditions for a place at the Royal Conservatoire will automatically be considered for a scholarship. They are awarded on a combination of talent, potential and financial need. More information about Scholarships, as well as alternative funding sources and bursaries, is available on our Fees and Funding page.

The Conservatoire’s International and Student Experience team are available to advise and assist applicants and current students in respect of queries about funding your studies at the Conservatoire. Please email or phone +44 (0)141 270 8281/ +44 (0)141 270 8223 for further information.

Graduate destinations

All of our training is geared towards preparing you for a sustainable and long lasting professional career. Graduates of the programme are working around the world; in London’s West End, on Broadway, on international tours, and for renowned companies including the National Theatre of Scotland.

Some recent graduates include:

Performers

  • Rebecca Faulkenberry – Rock of Ages, Spiderman and High School Musical (Broadway)
  • Scott Garnham – Les Misérables and I Can’t Sing (West End)
  • Aaron Lee Lambert – Sister Act, Shrek and Urinetown (West End)
  • Keisha Fraser – Colour Purple and Book of Mormon (West End)
  • John McLarnon – We Will Rock You and The Commitments (West End)
  • Robbie Towns – Legally Blonde and Transatlantic (West End)

Musical Directors

  • Alan Bukowiecki – Book of Mormon, Chicago and Hair (US national tour)
  • Amy Shackcloth – Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK national tour)
  • Tamara SaringerVanities the Musical (West End)
  • James SimpsonLion King (Singapore), Aladdin (Australia)
  • Sarah De Tute – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK national tour)
  • Claire McKenzie – Award-winning composer and founder of Noisemaker music theatre company
  • Andrea Grody – Venice and Love Labour Lost (New York)
  • Lindsey Miller – Fame (UK National Tour)

Testimonials

Facilities

Classes take place across the two Royal Conservatoire of Scotland buildings. During the programme students can expect to work in all of our performance spaces including; the New Athenaeum Theatre, the Stevenson Concert Hall, the Chandler Studio and the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio. Core classes take place in our purpose built dance studios and drama/voice rooms at either Renfrew Street or the award-winning Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks. Research, reflective practice and professional practice subjects are taught in a fully equipped student IT suite and supported by one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of performance materials for dance, drama, music, production and screen in the Whittaker Library.

The Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks has been developed to include eight purpose built multi-functional dance and drama rehearsal spaces which will be utilized for all major productions – allowing a fully integrated professional rehearsal process with onsite production and technical team involvement.

External venues used by the programme have included Oran Mor, Cottiers Theatre, Tron Theatre and Scottish Youth Theatre.

Students have successfully auditioned for and worked with Dundee Theatre, MacRobert Arts Centre and The Citizens Theatre as part of their student placement programmes.

Images and videos

Into the Woods

Into the Woods

Atlantic: A Scottish Story

Atlantic: A Scottish Story

 

Atlantic: America and the Great War

Atlantic: America & The Great War