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MMus/MA Woodwind

Introduction

Head of Woodwind, Heather Nicoll DRSAMD MA

The 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 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.

Why study here?

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is third in the world for performing arts education.

 

Unparalleled one-to-one tuition

Students receive a 90 min principal study lesson each week with their tutor

Performance collaborations with international artists

Weekly tuition is enhanced by regular visits from distinguished guest artists from across the globe. Students benefit from creative collaborations with those artists in addition to the masterclass programme.

Diverse performance opportunities

All woodwind students benefit from the enormous range of performance opportunities. Symphony, chamber and wind orchestra performances, opera productions, wind ensembles and chamber experience are also central to the training of each student. We encourage you to form your own ensembles and offer professional coaching to support your work.

Side-by-side concert series

All woodwind students will have the opportunity from Year 1 to perform alongside professional musicians in our Monday @ 1 concert series. RCS staff members and visiting artists perform in chamber ensembles with our students throughout their training.

Stevenson Winds

The department’s elite ensemble, Stevenson Winds, provides students with intensive coaching from professional players and offers extensive performing experience alongside those professionals in prestigious events across the country.

Unique mentoring schemes

Students are given the best possible start to their performing careers, participating in public performances, TV broadcasts, and worldwide tours with Scotland’s major orchestras and ensembles. We currently run schemes with the BBCSSO, RSNO, Orchestra of Scottish Opera and Red Note Ensemble.

Fantastic concerto opportunities

Annual professional concerto performances with both the BBC SSO and the RSNO are available to students. Further concerto opportunities with the RCS Symphony and Wind Orchestras are available & offer performing experience throughout the country in prestigious venues.

Professional accompanist provision

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.

Woodwind venues

A dedicated reed-making room provides superb equipment and facilities for regular classes in this specialist art and the David Nicholson Room provides flautists with a devoted rehearsal and practice space.

Introduction

Head of Woodwind, Heather Nicoll DRSAMD MA

The 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 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.

Why study here?

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is third in the world for performing arts education.

 

Unparalleled one-to-one tuition

Students receive a 90 min principal study lesson each week with their tutor

Performance collaborations with international artists

Weekly tuition is enhanced by regular visits from distinguished guest artists from across the globe. Students benefit from creative collaborations with those artists in addition to the masterclass programme.

Diverse performance opportunities

All woodwind students benefit from the enormous range of performance opportunities. Symphony, chamber and wind orchestra performances, opera productions, wind ensembles and chamber experience are also central to the training of each student. We encourage you to form your own ensembles and offer professional coaching to support your work.

Side-by-side concert series

All woodwind students will have the opportunity from Year 1 to perform alongside professional musicians in our Monday @ 1 concert series. RCS staff members and visiting artists perform in chamber ensembles with our students throughout their training.

Stevenson Winds

The department’s elite ensemble, Stevenson Winds, provides students with intensive coaching from professional players and offers extensive performing experience alongside those professionals in prestigious events across the country.

Unique mentoring schemes

Students are given the best possible start to their performing careers, participating in public performances, TV broadcasts, and worldwide tours with Scotland’s major orchestras and ensembles. We currently run schemes with the BBCSSO, RSNO, Orchestra of Scottish Opera and Red Note Ensemble.

Fantastic concerto opportunities

Annual professional concerto performances with both the BBC SSO and the RSNO are available to students. Further concerto opportunities with the RCS Symphony and Wind Orchestras are available & offer performing experience throughout the country in prestigious venues.

Professional accompanist provision

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.

Woodwind venues

A dedicated reed-making room provides superb equipment and facilities for regular classes in this specialist art and the David Nicholson Room provides flautists with a devoted rehearsal and practice space.

Programme Outline

MMus

The MMus programme is designed to refine your Principal Study skills to meet the demanding artistic and technical expectations of the contemporary professional world.

The RCS values its MMus students as autonomous and creative learners and the programme has specialist Principal Study pathways allowing each student to tailor their training to support their own professional ambitions.

Principal Study Pathways

Solo Performance – assessed in a public recital

Orchestral Performance – assessment comprises an orchestral audition and live orchestral performances

Chamber Performanceassessed in a public recital

Concertoassessed in a concerto performance. Enviable concerto opportunities are available with the BBC SSO, RSNO and RCS Symphony Orchestra (selection by audition).

Studio Recordingassessed in a studio recording comprising repertoire appropriate to the specialisms of the student and a viva examination discussing the values of the recording process and repertoire decisions.

New Workassessed in a performance or studio recording of a new work and viva examination on the collaborative process with the composer.*

Lecture Recitalassessed in a lecture- recital on a relevant specialist subject

Independent Project – assessed through a practice-based project designed around a particular area of a student’s specialism.

* 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.

Supporting Studies comprises the core 1-2-1 lessons, performance and technique classes, (reed-making if relevant), chamber music collaborations, orchestral and operatic productions, ensemble work and masterclasses. MMus students are eligible for all competitions and apprenticeship schemes.

Audition requirements

The audition and interview

Before your audition, you will have 15 minutes (or more dependent on your Principal Study) to warm-up on your instrument. RCS is not able to offer additional practice facilities before the allocated warm-up time, because the building is in full use by current students or by other audition candidates.

Through the audition, applicants will be required to demonstrate:

  • a high degree of technical competency on the instrument or voice in the service of specific repertoire
  • an ability to demonstrate a considerable degree of understanding of the repertoire performed
  • an ability to perform specific repertoire convincingly
  • a considerable degree of self-confidence and creativity with respect to the repertoire performed
  • a degree of self-sufficiency, initiative and independence in selecting, preparing and performing a particular programme
  • a developing musical personality

The interview will assess the candidate’s suitability for the programme in terms of knowledge, experience and commitment.

Accompanists

Instrumentalists (excluding piano, guitar, jazz, Scottish music and percussion and timpani) and vocalists will be automatically allocated an official RCS accompanist to play for them at their audition (unless RCS is notified that the applicant intends to use his/her own). Applicants will be given time with the accompanist prior to their audition in order to run through their programme. RCS does not require advance notice of your audition programme.

Applicants will be expected to perform two works: the set concerto for their instrument as indicated below, and a piece of the applicant’s own choice.

Flute

Mozart Concerto in G major (1st and 2nd movements)

Oboe

Mozart Concerto in C major (1st and 2nd movements)

Clarinet

Mozart Concerto in A major (1st and 2nd movements)

Bassoon

Mozart Concerto in Bb major (1st and 2nd movements)

Saxophone

Glazunov Concerto in Eb major

Sight-reading will be given.

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.

How to apply

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.

Why choose us?

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

  • Numerous and unique performance opportunities including TV/radio broadcasts, public performances, worldwide tours and concerto soloist opportunities with Scotland’s major orchestras and ensembles
  • 90-minute one-to-one lesson on your principal study each week
  • A rich programme of public masterclasses, individual and group coaching, side-by-side performances and CD recordings
  • 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 have toured India with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and this year will 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
  • 100% of postgraduate respondents from the School of Music are in employment or further study (HESA, 15/16)

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

Find out more about the audition on our Guide for Applicants.

Fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for academic year 2018-19

  • MMus Performance (2 years) UK/EU Students – £8,313
  • MMus Performance (2 years) International (non-EU) – £16,290
  • MA Performance (1 year) UK/EU Students – £11,280
  • MA Performance (1 year) 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 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

Royal Conservatoire Woodwind alumni occupy positions in numerous prestigious orchestras and ensembles worldwide.

Elisabeth Dooner Scottish Chamber Orchestra former flute

Peter Dykes Royal Scottish National Orchestra associate principal oboe

Rosie Elliot BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra former principal flute

Robert Fairley Orchestra of Scottish Ballet principal clarinet

Lawrence Gill Orchestra of Scottish Opera clarinet

Sheena Gordon Scottish Chamber Orchestra former flute

John Grant Royal Scottish National Orchestra former principal flute

Alison Green Scottish Chamber Orchestra bassoon

John Hall BBC National Orchestra of Wales flute

Michael Hallit Macau Orchestra former principal piccolo

Mary James Orchestra of Scottish Ballet oboe

Catriona McKinnon Welsh National Opera principal oboe

Katherine Mackintosh Royal Scottish National Orchestra former oboe

Stewart MacIlwham Royal Philharmonic Orchestra principal piccolo

Michelle McCabe Orchestra of Scottish Ballet flute

John McDougall BBC Concert Orchestra principal bassoon

Lorna McGhee International soloist & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra principal flute

Jennifer Hutchinson BBC Philharmonic Orchestra principal piccolo

Bryony Middleton Metropolitan Orchestra of Lisbon former oboe

Ruth Morley Scottish Flute Trio/ Red Note Ensemble

Heather Nicoll Head of Woodwind, Orchestra of Scottish Ballet former principal bass clarinet

Paul Rissmann Animateur & Composer www.rissmann.co.uk

Ewan Robertson Orchestra of Scottish Opera flute

Lorraine Robertson L’ensemble Orchestral du Loir et Cher Principal flute

June Scott Philharmonia Orchestra flute

Ian Scott Royal Ballet Sinfonia principal clarinet

Kathleen Stevenson BBC Symphony Orchestra principal piccolo

Sarah Turner Gran Teatre Del Liceu Orchestra, Barcelona former oboe

RusselI Tyler Orquestra do Norte, Portugal principal oboe

Thomas Voelcker Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra former principal piccolo

Fraser Gordon Royal Philharmonic Orchestra principal contra bassoon

Samuel Hernandez Avila Tenerife Symphony Orchestra clarinet

Kate McDermott Gothenburg Opera co-principal clarinet

Graeme Brown BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra bassoon

Fraser Langton BBC Philharmonic Orchestra clarinet

Kenny Sturgeon BBC Philharmonic Orchestra oboe

John Roberts Royal Philharmonic Orchestra principal oboe

Sinziana Mugea National Radio Orchestra of Romania subprincipal oboe and cor anglais


Current Students

BMus IV student Hannah Foster is currently on trial for the Principal Piccolo position with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales whereas MMus student Rhiannon Carmichael is a trialist for the Principal Contra Bassoon position with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Facilities

  • Weekly performance, technique and repertoire classes take place in our world-class recital venues providing the ideal environment for your development.
  • A dedicated reed-making room provides superb equipment and facilities for regular classes in this specialist art.
  • The David Nicholson Room provides flautists with a devoted rehearsal and practice space.
  • The RCS possesses, for student use, a wide-ranging and extensive collection of specialist ancillary instruments for both modern and period performance.
  • State of the art studios provide our students with professional recording performance experience. Recent Woodwind Department CD’s are available from our box office (A Box of Chatter & Blow the Wind Northerly).

Woodwind staff

Flute
Lorna McGhee – Visiting Flute Consultant, Principal, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Richard Blake – Principal, Orchestra of Scottish Opera

Katherine Bryan – Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Alison Mitchell – Principal, Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Ruth Morley – Scottish Flute Trio / Red Note Ensemble

Helen Brew – Associate Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

 

Piccolo
Janet Richardson -BA Hons, Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

 

Baroque Flute
Elisabeth Dooner – former sub-principal, Scottish Chamber Orchestra

 

Oboe

Rosie Staniforth – sub-principal, Scottish Chamber Orchestra

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

James Horan – BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Amy Turner – Principal, Orchestra of Scottish Opera

Stéphane Rancourt – Principal, The Halle Orchestra

Peter Dykes – Associate Principal Oboe, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

 

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

Rosie Staniforth – Scottish Chamber Orchestra

James Horan – Principal, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

 

Baroque Oboe
Rosie Staniforth – Scottish Chamber Orchestra

 

Clarinet
John Cushing – Principal, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Yann Ghiro – Principal BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Lawrence Gill – Orchestral of Scottish Opera

 

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 Professor in Saxophone http://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

 

Contra Bassoon
Alan Warhurst – Principal, Orchestra of Scottish Opera HonARAM LRAM

 

Accompanist
Scott Mitchell LRAM ARAM

Masterclass 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.

2017/18 visiting artists include:

Flute

  • Catherine Gregory – Decoda Ensemble (masterclass)
  • Adam Walker – Principal, London Symphony Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Charlotte Ashton – Principal Flute, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (masterclass)

Piccolo

  • Jenny Hutchinson – Principal Piccolo, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (masterclass)

Oboe

  • François Leleux – International Artist (masterclass)
  • John Roberts – Principal, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Orchestral playing masterclasses)
  • Nicholas Daniel – International Artist and Principal, Britten Sinfonia (masterclass)
  • Steven Hudson – Principal, Royal Northern Sinfonia (Crowthers Sponsored Artist – performing in our Double-reed concert and leading a masterclass).

Clarinet

  • John Bradbury – Principal, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Maximiliano Martín – Principal, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (masterclass)

Bass Clarinet

Bassoon

  • Amy Harman – Principal, English National Opera and Aurora Orchestra (masterclass)
  • Fraser Gordon – Principal Contra Bassoon, Royal Philharmonic 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 Artist and RCS Visiting Professor in Saxophone (masterclasses/chamber coaching and Director of the Saxophone Department Concert)
  • Kyle Horch – International Artist (masterclass)

Chamber Music & Ensembles

  • Maximiliano Martín – Principal, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Director of the Clarinet Department Concert and concerto soloist with the Conservatoire wind orchestra in Daugherty’s Brooklyn Bridge
  • Timothy Lines (chamber music)
  • Graeme Brown – Bassoon Principal No.2, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (chamber music)

Details of our 2018/19 masterclasses will be available soon.

Competitions and prizes

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.

Notable successes in 2017/18 include:

Hannah Foster (BMus 4 flute) – joint winner of the Conservatoire’s Classical Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance of Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G Major with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Chamber Orchestra.

“Performing as a concerto soloist with the RCS chamber orchestra on both flute and piccolo this year was thoroughly enjoyable and I learnt a lot. Having the opportunity to play with orchestra is exciting and something which I am passionate about. Working with friends and colleagues in an encouraging and friendly environment also makes the experiences at RCS even more enjoyable. With numerous concerto and recital competitions available to the players in the Woodwind Department, there are always fantastic performance opportunities to strive for.”

Cathal Killeen (MMus clarinet) – winner of the Conservatoire’s distinguished Dunbar-Gerber Prize for Chamber Music performing in the Knokkos Trio along with Heidi van der Swaagh (cello) and Iain Clarke (piano).

Trio Arcania, comprising Sergio Vega Dominguez (CE oboe), Ronan Whitten (MMus Bassoon) & Matthew Jansen Giraldo (MMus Clarinet) – winners of the coveted Conservatoire Governors’ Recital Prize for Chamber Music.

Greg Crowley (BMus 3 Bassoon) – winner of the Conservatoire’s Classical Concerto Competition with the forthcoming opportunity to perform Weber’s Bassoon Concerto in F Major with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Symphony Orchestra.

Adam Lee (BMus 1 Clarinet) – winner in the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarships for Clarinet 2018.

Lewis Banks (MMus Saxophone) – recipient of the Making Music’s Philip & Dorothy Green Young Artist Award 2018 and finalist and runner-up in The Bromsgrove International Musicians Competition.

Richard Scholfield (BMus 4 saxophone) – winner of the Conservatoire’s Royal Scottish National Orchestra Concerto Opportunity (WW) with an upcoming performance of Gregson’s Saxophone Concerto with the RSNO.

Konrad Fiszer (MMus flute) – winner of the Salzburg Grand Prize Virtuoso. As a prizewinner, Konrad has been invited to perform in the prestigious Wiener Saal, Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Alumni profiles

Kate McDermott

Graduate of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland MMus with Distinction and Co-Principal Clarinet of Gothenburg Opera

I chose to return to Scotland after completing my undergraduate degree in London because of the incredible amount of performance opportunities in Glasgow. With two symphony orchestras, opera and ballet companies, and a chamber orchestra in nearby Edinburgh, it seemed the ideal place to launch my career as an orchestral musician.

Coming from a London college meant I was able to compare the two experiences, and in my opinion one of the biggest advantages the RCS offers is having one of the country’s top accompanists on hand when you need him. After an undergraduate spent searching for, and paying for accompanists, this was a privilege that removed a lot of the stress from preparing for performance classes and recitals.

The apprenticeship schemes meant I got to experience orchestral auditions early on – something that is crucial for those hoping to secure an orchestral position, and which helped me personally with the many auditions I did after I left. My apprenticeship with Scottish Opera was particularly valuable to me as I got to perform my first opera with them, something I now do as a full time job!

My best memories of my time at the RCS include symphony orchestra concerts in City Halls, and performing John Adams’ ‘Gnarly Buttons’ as a concerto soloist. Some highlights of my career since leaving the RCS have been playing principal clarinet in orchestras such as the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; English National Opera and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. As well as my job in Gothenburg I am also a regular guest with orchestras around Scandinavia and the UK, where I often come across fellow alumni from the RCS, who are playing with orchestras all over the world.


Fraser Langton

Graduate of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland MMus with Distinction and recently appointed sub-principal Clarinet with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

I chose to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland because the quality of the woodwind faculty is amongst the best anywhere. The woodwind staff are top players from Scotland’s professional orchestras and with the orchestral scene buzzing in Glasgow, there are so many chances to see your teachers perform. Already, I have had some fantastic opportunities, which I may not have experienced, had I decided to study elsewhere.

The Royal Conservatoire operates three apprenticeships in conjunction with the RSNO, BBC SSO and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera. This has given me the chance to appreciate the subtleties of the profession first hand. Those opportunities included experiencing playing 2nd clarinet in a professional orchestra, taking part in the complete run of a full opera production as part of the Scottish Opera collaboration. I was also the concerto soloist with the BBC SSO performing Francaix’s Clarinet Concerto, which was an unbelievable experience!

There are also many performance opportunities within the Conservatoire itself. The orchestral programme is diverse and highly developed and there are many other specialist chamber ensembles such as the Stevenson Winds Ensemble that brings in leading artists to direct. There are also regular performance classes and masterclasses given by amazing artists, which heighten your development as a musician.

Fraser is currently on trial for principal positions with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia.


Graeme Brown

Photo credit. BBC / Reuben Paris

Graduate of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Bassoon Principal No.2 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Woodwind Department is ‘ simply the best’. From the word go opportunities are abound for the aspiring woodwind player – and during my time here I have been given many, which I strongly believe would never have been offered to me elsewhere. The woodwind staff are extremely friendly and supportive in helping you to become the musician you want to be.

The early years in the department are a great opportunity to build on existing technique and understand your instrument more, particularly as we are offered a generous weekly 90minute lesson on our principal study and a further 30minutes on our related instrument (in my case, Contra). It prepares you well for the growing performance opportunities, and initial appearances in the Royal Conservatoire’s Symphony and Wind Orchestra’s helped me to build my understanding of orchestral technique early on – a valuable skill.

As a bassoonist, I was also able to do lots of work on reed-making before it ‘ really mattered’. All double reed players know that making your own reeds is very important and at the Royal Conservatoire the Woodwind Department has some of the best provisions for this in the UK. We have a double reed room for exclusive use of double reed students for personal practice and lessons. It also houses the Conservatoire’s reed-making equipment where we received regular reed-making classes.

As you develop through the course more opportunities arise in the form of competitions, concerto performances, large scale symphonic orchestral programmes with internationally renowned conductors, three professional orchestral training schemes, larger scale chamber music, opera orchestra, contemporary ensembles…the list is endless. Everything, I believe, is here for the aspiring woodwind player – great opportunities in a friendly and welcoming environment.

Graeme is currently on trial for the 2nd Bassoon position at the Royal Opera House.

Conservatoire Clarinet Festival Sponsored by Buffet

Sunday 14 October 2018

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Buffet Crampon present a day of masterclasses, concerts, workshops and talks all in celebration of the clarinet.

The festival features international Buffet artists, Nicolas Baldeyrou, Maximiliano Martín and our acclaimed RCS teaching staff: John Cushing, Yann Ghiro, Lawrence Gill and Josef Pacewicz.

The event welcomes clarinettists from every age and stage. Competitions, collaborative performances and interactive sessions offers something for everybody.

Book your place

There is no cost to attend the Conservatoire Clarinet Festival however each attendee must have a ticket. Booking is now open via the Conservatoire Box Office website. Please visit rcs.ac.uk/boxoffice or follow this link.

For more information

The festival schedule will shortly be made available here. If you would like to register for updates please contact woodwind@rcs.ac.uk.

Trade Stands

The Wind Section and Vandoren* will be showcasing their wares in our Jack Bruce Space throughout the day, with a selection of instruments, mouthpieces and clarinet accessories on display and available to try.

 


*Vandoren is being represented by Barnes & Mullins Ltd


Our clarinet festival image has been designed by RCS Woodwind Graduate Victoria Lopez. See more of her work at

Conservatoire Clarinet Competition Sponsored by The Wind Section

As part of the Conservatoire Clarinet Festival, we are thrilled to launch the Conservatoire Clarinet Competition. Sponsored by The Wind Section, this competition is open to all young clarinettists who are of school age and pre-undergraduate study. Finalists will be chosen to compete in a live final on Sunday 14 October at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Entry Requirements

The competition is aimed at musicians playing at a Grade 5 (ABRSM or equivalent) standard or higher.

Prizes

1st Prize: The competition winner will be awarded a voucher from the Wind Section of £2000 which can be used to purchase, or put towards the purchase of an instrument.

In addition, a Most Promising Award will be given to an applicant from the first round who shows great promise and potential for the future. This prize winner will be awarded a certificate during the Conservatoire Clarinet Festival.

First Round

For the first round, please complete the online application form. To support your entry, an audio-visual recording of 8-10 minutes duration should be submitted as an unlisted YouTube link to woodwind@rcs.ac.uk.

This recording should include repertoire of your own choice (clarinet and piano or solo clarinet) plus feature the competition set work.

Set work

Fantasy Piece for Clarinet and Piano in G Minor by Carl Nielsen. Performed without the repeat the work will be approximately 3 minutes in duration.

You can listen to the set work here.

Final

From the applications, 4 finalists will be chosen to present a 12-15 minute recital in a live final taking place during the Conservatoire Clarinet Festival at the RCS, on Sunday 14 October.

Final Round: A 12 – 15 minute recital which includes repertoire of your own choice (clarinet and piano or solo clarinet) and the set work.

Closing Date

Please complete the online application form and submit your recording by 5pm on August 30, 2018.

Finalists will be notified no later than September 16, 2018.

Accompanist

Our Woodwind Department accompanist, Scott Mitchell will be available to accompany all finalists as required.

The Jury

Our distinguished judging panel will be chaired by our Head of Woodwind Heather Nicoll and comprise of our RCS Clarinet tutors.



Our clarinet competition image has been designed by RCS Woodwind graduate Victoria Lopez. See more of her work at Fagotina