Anna Murphy, BMus Flute

How are you enjoying your studies?

Being at the RNCM is really exciting professionally but socially it’s also a very nice place to be. It’s very friendly. I’ve had a lot of support for many things and also there’s a big variety of things we can do. It’s a conservatoire that really pushes people to be creative so I’ve been able to look into a bit of jazz and other types of music I wouldn’t have otherwise.

You are from France, how was your experience settling in?

Methods of teaching in the UK differ to France, but I’ve found the RNCM very supportive for international students. I’m bilingual so I didn’t need help with the language, but there are people to help with managing your workload and a counsellor to speak to if you need some extra support. Compared to other places I think there’s a lot more support here.

I really like Manchester itself; I think it’s a really friendly city, especially coming from abroad sometimes it can be a bit tough not being home. The city is really nice and the student part of the city is very compact. Having the Bridgewater Hall just next door and student prices is really good. It’s only about £3 to go to concerts.

What are some of your performance highlights?

I’ve got a quintet, Chameleon, where the five of us together play 16 instruments. I play flute, alto flute, bass flute, piccolo and alto saxophone. It’s quite an exciting thing to do because we can play a big range of music, from classical to musical theatre and even a bit of jazzy stuff. It’s really fun. We also won the Trevor Wye Prize at the College last year, and got Runner-up and the Audience Prize at the Christopher Rowland RNCM Chamber Ensemble of the Year Award. Because of this we’ve now got loads of gigs and concerts coming up.

Something else I really enjoyed was the Professional Experience Scheme in my third year. I was able to play with the BBC Philharmonic in a live broadcast concert on Radio 3. That was a really amazing experience.

What are your future plans?                         

I want to do a postgrad, so that’s my immediate plan, but the RNCM has taught me not to close any doors and not to think in just one direction. I know there is a massive variety of things I can do when I leave and I’m very grateful for that, whether it’s chamber music, orchestral, teaching, outreach work… all kinds of things.