David Maxted, French Horn

What made you first apply for Junior RNCM? And how old were you when you applied?

It was during my teens that I decided I wanted a music career and that I wanted to go to conservatoire one day. So, I applied to Junior RNCM because I wanted a new challenge and something to push me up to a new level. I also wanted to start making contacts and connections to the musical world. Junior RNCM definitely provided those contacts – as well as amazing teaching.

What were your favourite aspects of Junior RNCM?

The best thing about Junior RNCM for me was the high quality of teaching – it was fantastic. I also loved the social side of Junior RNCM. We all got to know each other really well, because for many of us, as well as Junior RNCM on a Saturday, we also did RLPO Youth or Halle Youth on a Sunday and would all meet up again. It was great to be surrounded by like-minded, young musicians and all those long days were well worth it!

What advice would you give to anyone auditioning for Junior RNCM? 

I would say, don’t worry about having a perfect audition because it’s all about potential. They are not expecting the finished product. The audition panel will be able to spot musical potential really easily and they are looking for someone who will thrive in a musical environment such as Junior RNCM.

What are your main personal achievements during your time at Junior RNCM?

I feel I achieved loads while at Junior RNCM and I think part of that is due to having so many concerts and performance opportunities – both here at RNCM and externally. I got to play such a range of repertoire and some of it included pieces with big horn parts which was really exciting for me. I also got to go to BBC’s Media City and play live on Radio 4 with a brass quintet. Near the end of my time there, I got to perform Haydn’s double horn concerto in the RNCM Concert Hall – that was definitely a highlight. My ultimate achievement though, has to be successfully gaining a place to study on the undergraduate programme at RNCM. 

You are in your 2nd year of the RNCM BMus course now. How did you find the transition from Junior RNCM to being a full time RNCM undergraduate student?

It felt like a really natural progression to go from Junior RNCM to doing a degree at RNCM. At the end of my time at Juniors, I wanted a new challenge and to take music to the next level – and coming to RNCM was definitely that! The progression was made easier, because some of the classes we had at Junior RNCM, like theory and musicianship, are also taught as part of the undergraduate programme. Also, the calibre of staff at Junior RNCM is similar to the staff at RNCM so I was used to the good work ethic and high standard expected by the tutors. There was a lot of emphasis on chamber music at Junior RNCM which set me up well for RNCM where chamber music plays a huge part of my course and extra curriculum activities.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Music programme here