Royal Conservatoire of Scotland undergraduate student appointed to Hallé Orchestra

Published: November 2, 2017


A brass student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is to combine his undergraduate degree with performing in one of the UK’s most celebrated orchestras.

Kyle MacCorquodale is to join the Hallé Orchestra as Principal Bass Trombone following a competitive audition and trial process. He was awarded the role despite still being in the fourth year of his Bachelor of Music honours degree at Scotland’s national conservatoire, ranked in the world’s top three for performing arts education (QS World Rankings 2017).

The 22-year-old was relaxing with friends when he received a phone call from the Hallé’s Music Director, Sir Mark Elder, who shared the good news. Kyle said: “The call came completely out of the blue but I am absolutely delighted and can’t wait to get started.

“I have loved working with the orchestra so far. They are outstanding musicians but it’s also a very supportive environment and a nice atmosphere to work in, which is important when you are going to be spending a lot of time with each other.”

Kyle grew up in Carluke, South Lanarkshire, playing with Coalburn Silver Band and the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland. He studied with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Alastair Sinclair at the Royal Conservatoire’s Junior Conservatoire before pursuing the BMus degree at the Royal Conservatoire, where he has been taught by the Orchestra of Scottish Opera’s bass trombone player, Chris Stearn.

During his studies, he has enjoyed numerous competition successes including victories at the Besson Scottish Solo Championships, the Bob Hughes Bass Trombone Competition and the Royal Conservatoire’s Governors’ Prize for Brass. In 2016, he was a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Award, performing live on air.

Kyle continued: “I would not be here without the support I have received from the Royal Conservatoire. Chris Stearn, my teacher, has been a fountain of knowledge and has shared his decades of experience as an educator and performer at the highest level. The size of the department meant I received opportunities to perform in a wide variety of ensembles, playing diverse repertoire under so many talented tutors and conductors.”

John Logan, Head of Brass at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Many congratulations to Kyle on his appointment to the Hallé Orchestra. To secure a full-time position in an orchestra while still an undergraduate student is an outstanding achievement, testament to Kyle’s dedication and his exceptional musicality. He now joins an ever-increasing pool of musicians who have come through the doors of the Royal Conservatoire before going on to perform in leading orchestras around the world and I wish him well in this exciting chapter of his professional life.”