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MMus/MA Brass

Introduction

My name is John Logan and as Head of the Brass Department at the RCS, I am delighted to welcome you to our website. After a long playing career with many of the UK’s symphony orchestras including a five year tenure with Sir Simon Rattle at the CBSO and a seventeen year tenure as Associate Principal Horn with the RSNO, I am delighted to be working with and sharing my experiences with our fine students here at the RCS on a regular basis. I am at present still very active in the professional performing world as a conductor and arranger especially in the area where Scottish Folk music collaborates alongside the symphony orchestra. I am very proud to be the leader of our ‘brass family’ here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Our Brass programme has a long tradition of excellence and a worldwide reputation for training leading musicians. Our team of dedicated staff includes many of Britain’s finest brass players, with international reputations as soloists, orchestral, and chamber musicians. Students receive an unparalleled two hours individual tuition a week, divided between principal study (trumpet, trombone, horn, tuba, euphonium, or cornet), and either a second study or related study such as handhorn or piccolo trumpet. It is also possible to receive lesson time from our jazz department. We have regular visiting artists from all brass disciplines and have at present an International Fellow to the department, Ian Bousfield.

On this programme you’ll get a real sense of the demands of the professional world, with weekly classes in orchestral repertoire and the opportunity to set up your own ensembles and perform in our lunchtime concert series. We also enjoy professional collaborations with Scotland’s major orchestras and operate apprenticeships with the RSNO, BBC SSO and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

In comparison to other conservatoires we run a smaller department, large enough to tackle challenging repertoire, but small enough to ensure widespread performance opportunities for every student. Our students take part in Symphony, Wind, Opera, and Chamber Orchestras, and a diverse range of ensembles including Big Band and Royal Conservatoire Brass. Our Conservatoire ensembles give concerts regularly at home and abroad including countries such as China, Malta Germany and Brazil.

Glasgow has so many great orchestras that there are a number of excellent brass players in the city who are connected to the Conservatoire. Frequently you’ll see tutors performing in professional situations and you’ll build up professional connections during your studies.

John Logan
Head of Brass

The brass department at the RCS is quite unique in having a full 90 minute one to one lesson and an added 30 mins on related or second study bringing the total to 2 hours.

Our strong relationship with Scotland’s National Orchestras is unequalled anywhere else. As well as apprenticeship schemes with the BBCSSO, the RSNO and Scottish Opera it is possible through competition and audition to be assessed as part of your course by performing a concerto alongside these top professional players.

Introduction

My name is John Logan and as Head of the Brass Department at the RCS, I am delighted to welcome you to our website. After a long playing career with many of the UK’s symphony orchestras including a five year tenure with Sir Simon Rattle at the CBSO and a seventeen year tenure as Associate Principal Horn with the RSNO, I am delighted to be working with and sharing my experiences with our fine students here at the RCS on a regular basis. I am at present still very active in the professional performing world as a conductor and arranger especially in the area where Scottish Folk music collaborates alongside the symphony orchestra. I am very proud to be the leader of our ‘brass family’ here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Our Brass programme has a long tradition of excellence and a worldwide reputation for training leading musicians. Our team of dedicated staff includes many of Britain’s finest brass players, with international reputations as soloists, orchestral, and chamber musicians. Students receive an unparalleled two hours individual tuition a week, divided between principal study (trumpet, trombone, horn, tuba, euphonium, or cornet), and either a second study or related study such as handhorn or piccolo trumpet. It is also possible to receive lesson time from our jazz department. We have regular visiting artists from all brass disciplines and have at present an International Fellow to the department, Ian Bousfield.

On this programme you’ll get a real sense of the demands of the professional world, with weekly classes in orchestral repertoire and the opportunity to set up your own ensembles and perform in our lunchtime concert series. We also enjoy professional collaborations with Scotland’s major orchestras and operate apprenticeships with the RSNO, BBC SSO and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

In comparison to other conservatoires we run a smaller department, large enough to tackle challenging repertoire, but small enough to ensure widespread performance opportunities for every student. Our students take part in Symphony, Wind, Opera, and Chamber Orchestras, and a diverse range of ensembles including Big Band and Royal Conservatoire Brass. Our Conservatoire ensembles give concerts regularly at home and abroad including countries such as China, Malta Germany and Brazil.

Glasgow has so many great orchestras that there are a number of excellent brass players in the city who are connected to the Conservatoire. Frequently you’ll see tutors performing in professional situations and you’ll build up professional connections during your studies.

John Logan
Head of Brass

The brass department at the RCS is quite unique in having a full 90 minute one to one lesson and an added 30 mins on related or second study bringing the total to 2 hours.

Our strong relationship with Scotland’s National Orchestras is unequalled anywhere else. As well as apprenticeship schemes with the BBCSSO, the RSNO and Scottish Opera it is possible through competition and audition to be assessed as part of your course by performing a concerto alongside these top professional players.

Programme Outline

The MMus/MA in Brass offers a period of intensive training as a transition to the music profession.

The MMus programme is made up of four modules. As well as incorporating your one-to-one lessons, the Principal Study offers a particularly wide range of assessment choices, including solo performance, chamber, orchestral and large ensemble performance, performance of a concerto, studio recording, collaboration on a new work, a lecture recital and an independent project.

The Supporting Studies module offers a range of experiences in support of your principal study, including performance classes, workshops, masterclasses, rehearsals and concerts. The programme is completed by the Approaches to Critical Artistry module, in which you carry out a practice-based research project, and up to two Elective modules in each year of study.

The structure of the one-year MA programme is similar, including Principal Study, Supporting Studies, Approaches to Critical Artistry and the option to take one Elective. This programme is completed by the Negotiated Study module, offering the opportunity to pursue an significant period of independent study in an area of your own choosing.

Full details of the structure of both the MMus and MA degrees are in the MMus-MA Guide for Applicants 2015-16, which can be found at http://www.rcs.ac.uk/studyhere/how-to-apply/music/.

Staff and masterclasses

Our teaching staff includes principal and co-principal players of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

International Fellow

Emeritus Professor in Brass

  • John Wallace

Horn

Trumpet

Trombone

Tuba

Period and Historical Performance

Cornetto / Natural Trumpet

  • Alexander McGrattan

Sackbut

Ophicleide and Serpent

  • Anthony George (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra of the 18th Century)

Accompanist

Recent visiting professionals who have delivered seminars and Masterclasses include Valentin Garvie, Ewen Easton, Graham Sibley, Keith McNichol, Kristian Steenstrup, Ian Bousfield and Boston Brass.

Distance Lessons

Video Conference one-to-one lessons and Brass Clinics can now be booked by arrangement.

For more information and bookings please contact Helen Douthwaite – H.Douthwaite@rcs.ac.uk

How to apply

Before applying we recommend that you follow our Applicant Guide journey which provides all the essential information regarding entry requirements, and the full application and audition process.

Begin your Applicant Journey here.

Making your application

Applications for the MMus/MA 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.

Entry requirements

  • Normally a good Honours (at least 2.2) 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 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 admissions@rcs.ac.uk for more information.

  • IELTS – 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component

Audition Requirements

Audition requirements are given in the MMus-MA Guide for Applicants 2015-16, which can be found at http://www.rcs.ac.uk/studyhere/how-to-apply/music/.

Fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for academic year 2017-18

  • MMus Performance (2 years) UK/EU Students – £8,094
  • MMus Performance (2 years) International (non-EU) – £15,513
  • MA Performance (1 year) UK/EU Students – £10,983
  • MA Performance (1 year) International (Non EU) – £18,648

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 following website for further details of the PSAS scheme:

http://www.saas.gov.uk/full_time/pg/index.htm

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 is available here

Sources of external funding

For more information about alternative funding sources, including external scholarships and bursaries, please visit here.

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 telephone +44 (0)141 270 8281/ +44 (0)141 270 8223 for further information.

Graduate destinations

Many Royal Conservatoire Brass alumni occupy positions in orchestras and ensembles across the world. Here is a sample:

  • John Gracie, John Logan, Dávur Juul Magnussen – Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Mark O’Keeffe, Alan Mathieson, Hedley Benson – BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Nigel Cox, Gregor Stuart – Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Simon Bird – Orchestra of Scottish Opera
  • Alexander McGratton, Alan Friel – Orchestra of Scottish Ballet
  • Martin Wright – City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Elaine Close – BBC Philharmonic
  • Daniel Edwards, Arlene MacFarlane – BBC National Orchestra Wales
  • Keith McNicol, Jonathan Durrant – Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Frances Magee, Jason Sinclair, Colme Byrne – RTÉ Symphony Orchestra
  • Paul Klein – Ulster Orchestra
  • James Mildred – Orchestra of Welsh National Opera
  • Laurie Gargan – Singapore Philharmonic
  • Dougie Waterston – Hong Kong Philharmonic
  • Robert Ross – Munich Philharmonic and Bayreuth Festspiel Orkester
  • Christopher Dicken – Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Mahler Chamber Orchestra
  • Matthew Breeze – Tenerife Symphony Orchestra
  • João Carneiro – Algarve Symphony Orchestra
  • Angela Whelan – Fine Arts Brass Ensemble
  • Lorna MacDonald – Bones Apart Trombone Quartet
  • Ryan Quigley – Lorna MacDonald, Michael Owers – Scottish National Jazz Orchestra

Facilities

The brass department with a most versatile cohort make maximum use of the many facilities there are to offer at the RCS. As well as a fabulous library and several computer suites our brass students have access not only to a purpose built recording studio but the use of an expert recording producer. Recordings can be made for course assessments and also at any time for personal use.

Our large venues are used regularly by brass playing in Symphony orchestra, wind orchestra, opera, ballet, musical theatre and chamber sized ensembles.

Externally you may play in the Glasgow City Hall, The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the soon to be new home of the RSNO.

Images and videos

Royal Conservatoire Brass department