RCS opens digital doors for first online music open day

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s annual music open day will go global for the first time this year.

Scotland’s national conservatoire will open its doors digitally to prospective students from the UK and around the world on Friday, June 12 from 9.30am.

The Music Open Day, aimed at students who will start their studies in September 2021, will offer an insight into life at RCS, named one of the world’s top ten destinations to study the performing arts in this year’s QS World University Rankings.

Register for the open day here

It will include live Q&As with staff and current students as well as a live Instagram session with Sam McShane, Head of Artistic Planning.

A highlight is a concert programmed exclusively for open day attendees, featuring at-home and archive performances from RCS students and staff.

It will also broadcast to the public on RCS at Home, the popular online platform created by the Royal Conservatoire in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

RCS at Home connects students, staff, alumni and audiences during the time when the Conservatoire’s campus and venues are closed and students and staff are learning and working remotely.

Daily content, shared on the dedicated RCS at Home website and across social media channels, includes the concert strand RCS Presents curated by the institutions’ Artistic Planning team which is dedicated to live and streamed performances. It has enabled RCS to continue to play an important role in commissioning musicians.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “We need young musicians going into the world more than ever before because it’s the musicians and other artists that form the bonds of society, hold a mirror up to society and share our stories together. Young musicians need an institution that can make them more employable in the shifting world that the pandemic has created for us.

“At the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, we have the ability for something that I call genre fluidity. We have experts in classical, jazz, world and traditional music and we have a school of drama, dance production and film where musicians have the chance to not only work in their own discipline but to work with others. The goal today needs to be to be able to graduate as an autonomous, adaptable and excellent musician and I believe that there is no finer place in the world than to do that right here in Scotland.”

The open day comes hot on the heels of the Royal Conservatoire’s digital prospectus, which launched in early May. It takes prospective students behind the scenes to experience RCS through the eyes and experiences of students and graduates from across the disciplines of music, drama, dance, production and film.

Bespoke photography, contemporary design and dynamic digital storytelling combine to create an immersive virtual showcase packed with personality and information that goes straight to the heart of the student experience.

A free downloadable app, Zappar, enables bonus content such as additional images and videos to be unlocked on smartphones and tablets, including an alumni interview with multi-award-winning jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie.

Dr Gordon Munro, Director of Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Music students are immersed in one of the most dynamic, creative and collaborative institutions in the UK. From day one, they’re treated as professionals-in-training who benefit from our partnerships with all of the national companies, perform on stage with their peers and internationally renowned artists.”

The open day is geared towards those who are considering studying Bachelor of Music, all strands (with Honours), Bachelor of Education Music (with Honours), Masters of Music, all strand and Master of Arts Music, all strands.

Chris Michie, a fourth year Bachelor of Music flautist from Glasgow, said: “Studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has been the best thing I’ve ever done in my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s an incredibly busy and exciting place with numerous concert every week and I’ve been lucky to take part in many of them. I

“I’ve performed in all of our major projects, from concerto, chamber and wind to opera and symphony orchestras. The hour-and-a-half tuition every week is rare to find at music colleges and is truly world class. I’ve had a wide variety of tutors from all aspects of performing which has opened up my horizons. Being a member of the woodwind department and family will be the thing I miss most when I graduate. It’s a friendly, caring and tight-knit community.”

He said a special moment was performing at Buckingham Palace for RCS Patron, His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay, in 2019. RCS musicians, ballet dancers and alumni Outlander star Sam Heughan, international mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill and renowned conductor Jessica Cottis presented a glittering programme for VIP guests attending The Prince’s Foundation’s gala dinner.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined performing at Buckingham Palace. It was such an incredible experience,” said Chris.

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