School of Wind, Brass and Percussion

We aim to develop your solo, ensemble and chamber music skills through first-class tuition and the widest possible range of performance opportunities both in College and with our Europe-wide professional partners.

Principal Study available in:

French Horn
Tenor Horn
Baritone Horn

Programmes available in:

Postgraduate Diploma: Advanced Studies
Postgraduate Diploma: International Artist
PGCE in Music with Specialist Instrumental Teaching

How You Will Learn

The range of repertoire you will experience is broad. Whilst we place a strong emphasis on the performance of new music, we also nurture the established traditions of European wind, brass and percussion playing, including orchestras, other large ensembles, chamber music, historical performance and jazz.

Throughout your course you will receive:

  • Individual Principal Study tuition on a weekly basis
  • Performance activities, such as chamber music, orchestral auditions and creative leadership skills
  • Additional lessons on a doubling, associated or jazz instrument
  • Masterclasses and visits of international tutors who provide invaluable additional perspective and expertise, as well as explaining professional protocol in other countries and cultures

A series of instrument-specific classes and school-wide performance classes supplement one-to-one tuition and provide students with exposure to all the tutors in each discipline.

Chamber Music

Chamber music is a fundamental part of each student’s course, and through the School and the College’s Chamber Music department, you will be able to form your own student ensembles, for which you will be designated a tutor for regular lessons. The chamber ensembles help you to foster initiative, teamwork and commitment and provide frequent performance opportunities.

Performance Opportunities

You will be offered a wide range of performance opportunities from the beginning of your studies. These will include solo recitals, masterclasses, RNCM orchestras, wind, brass and percussion ensembles, Brass Band, New Ensemble, Big Band, chamber music and competitions. Students also perform in specialist public focus days which include Chamber Music Festival, Festival of Brass, Saxophone Day and Day of Percussion.

We also offer the opportunity to audition for placements with our world-class partner orchestras and ensembles through our Professional Experience Schemes. Successful students work with ensembles and receive mentoring support from professional players. Recent projects have included professional paid work and side-by-side work with the BBC Philharmonic; opportunities to coach Foden’s Youth Band, and a group of students joined the Netherlands Wind Ensemble on a three-city tour across Holland.

During your time at the College, you may also apply for external engagements. These opportunities range from background music with a chamber group through to full evening solo recitals.

Recent School Highlights

  • The RNCM recently appointed Nicholas Thompson and Kevin Gowland to the posts of Head and Deputy Head of School respectively, bringing their wealth of experience in teaching and performance.
  • The recent RNCM Wind, Brass and Percussion Festival took place featuring an exciting programme of events including a lunchtime concert which gave a nod to rock ‘n’ roll legends Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley, to a massed band featuring visiting members of local youth bands and a performance of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale (L’Histoire du soldat). We also welcomed the hugely popular Boston Brass, who performed an evening concert with RNCM Brass Ensemble.
  • Student successes: Jess Gillam, BMus (Hons) saxophone, has been nominated for a classic BRIT Award and will also perform at Last Night of the Proms. Meanwhile, A4 Brass Quartet – comprising International Artist Diploma students Jamie Smith, Jonathan Bates, Michael Cavanagh and Chris Robertson – recently won the ROSL ARTS Mixed Ensemble Award.

Key Staff

Head of School
Nicholas Thompson

Deputy Head of School and Director of Woodwind
Kevin Gowland

Deputy Head of School and Director of Percussion
Simone Rebello GMusRNCM, PPRNCM

Senior Tutor of Brass Band
Dr David Thornton BA, PPRNCM

Besson International Chair in Brass
Professor James Gourlay

International Chair in Brass Band
Professor David King

International Chair in Wind and Brass Pedagogy (from January 2019)
Kristian Steenstrup

International Chair in Saxophone
Vincent David

International Chair in Oboe
Professor Bart Schneemann

International Chair in French Horn
Professor Alberto Menedez Escribano

International Chair in Trumpet and Intuitive Music
Professor Markus Stockhausen

William Waterhouse International Chair in Chamber Music and Bassoon
Stefano Canuti

International Tutor in Flute
Dr Anders Ljungar-Chapelon

International Tutor in Clarinet
Gábor Varga

International Tutor in French Horn
Jasper de Waal

International Tutor in Trombone
Zoltan Kiss

International Tutor in Jazz Trombone
Jiggs Whigham

International Tutor in Percussion
Birger Sulsbrück

Further Information

Click here to read more about the audition process and audition requirements

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Departmental Information

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