The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) unveils a new purpose-built learning and teaching complex today (Wednesday, January 25) as part of its 170th anniversary celebrations.
The Creative Campus project, an investment of more than £2million, has introduced a contemporary two-level rehearsal facility, increasing practice room provision by 50%.
The exciting new addition provides students of Scotland’s national conservatoire with essential practical resources as they develop their potential. The project has created 27 acoustically separated rooms for individual practice and one-to-one teaching and two large ensemble rehearsal spaces. The facility will support performers of all ages and backgrounds, from undergraduate students and the young performers of the Junior Conservatoire to lifelong learners who study at the Royal Conservatoire at evenings and weekends.
Helping to officially open the complex are twins and trainee music teachers Hannah and Morgan Charleston from Larkhall, 18-year-old violinists who are in the first year of a BEd degree.
The launch of the Creative Campus comes at the start of the 170th anniversary year of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. A new tartan has been created to celebrate the occasion which is modelled by Scottish actor and Conservatoire graduate, Kevin Guthrie, who stars in this summer’s World War II movie, Dunkirk.
Established in 1847, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is one of the world’s most multi-disciplinary conservatoires, offering specialised teaching across dance, drama, music, production and screen. It is ranked sixth in the world for performing arts education and number one in Scotland for graduate employability, endorsing its status as a national and international centre of excellence for the performing arts.
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said:
“Students are at the heart of everything we do at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and we’re thrilled to hand over this wonderful learning and teaching complex that will support them on their journey with us.
“An inspiring environment is crucial to the student experience and this purpose-built space gives our talented students and lifelong learners a place to grow and develop as performers. Not only will it be a hugely beneficial practical resource, it will also further enhance our dynamic culture of creativity, collaboration and innovation.”
The Creative Campus project has been financed through a fundraising campaign with support from trusts, foundations and individuals including The Robertson Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Hugh Fraser Foundation, The Sackler Trust, PF Charitable Trust, Wolfson Foundation, W A Cargill Charitable Trust.
Professor Nick Kuenssberg, OBE, Chairman of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said:
“We believe exceptional talent and tuition deserve the finest facilities and our new learning and teaching complex, which increases individual rehearsal space by 50%, is an outstanding new addition to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Our facilities are among the best in Europe and creating them wouldn’t be possible without the very generous support of our donors. We deeply thank those who play a vital role in nurturing the performing arts at the Royal Conservatoire – a top ten world conservatoire that Glasgow and Scotland can be proud of.”
Lesley Macdonald, Head of Giving at The Robertson Trust, said:
“The Robertson Trust is pleased to support the Creative Campus project at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. By providing a platform for young people who face barriers to achieving their goals, the Royal Conservatoire is recognised both nationally and internationally for the work it does in widening access to the arts. We hope that our support will help the Royal Conservatoire continue and expand on this work and we believe the campus will be a real asset to the students.”
Dr Kenneth Chrystie, Chair of The Hugh Fraser Foundation, said: “As a long-standing supporter, it’s a pleasure for The Hugh Fraser Foundation to play our part in enabling the Conservatoire to enhance and optimise the learning and teaching experience for all students. The practical design to increase space is creative and productive and I have every confidence this will be a well-used and much valued asset.”
Music students Hannah and Morgan Charleston said there is a buzz around the opening of the new facility: “The new practice rooms will be extremely beneficial – it’s great that these extra spaces are here,” said Hannah.
Morgan adds: “Everyone is really excited about the rooms. I’ll use them a lot during the week when I have gaps between classes or if I have time before choir at night.”
Helen Lucas, of Helen Lucas Architects who led on the Creative Campus project, said: “This effective intervention into the lively and bustling building is designed to accommodate spaces for both social interaction and the singular dedicated pursuit of improvement which is the lifeblood of the Conservatoire.”