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 programme 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.
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.
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. RCS staff members and visiting artists perform in chamber ensembles with our students throughout their training.
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.
Students are given the best possible start to their performing careers through participation in public performances, TV broadcasts, and worldwide tours with Scotland’s major orchestras and ensembles. We currently run schemes with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestra of Scottish Opera and Red Note Ensemble.
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 and offer performing experience throughout the country in prestigious venues.
A professional accompanist is provided for students throughout their training. Frequent rehearsal sessions with Scott Mitchell are available in preparation for performance classes, competitions and examinations.
Head of Woodwind, Heather Nicoll DRSAMD MA