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:
Programmes available in:
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
All students initially have weekly one-to-one lessons in Principal Study with one assigned teacher. On some instruments, such as percussion and saxophones, more than one teacher will deliver specialist tuition in various disciplines. A series of instrument-specific classes and school-wide performance classes supplement this one-to-one tuition and provide students with exposure to all the tutors of your discipline.
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.
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.
Under the direction of the Director of Woodwind Studies, Rob Buckland, wind players have numerous learning, performance and audition opportunities available to them. All wind students receive:
- Individual lessons as well as a number of Performance/Techniques group classes, delivered in a mixture of individual lessons and instrument-specific classes
- Opportunities to study appropriate doubling or associated instruments
- Masterclasses given by world-leading woodwind performers and teachers
Masterclasses from esteemed performers and experienced teachers enhance and support your learning and have recently been given by Karen de Fleyt (flute); Bart Schneeman (oboe); Ole Kristian Dahl and Dan Jemison (bassoon); Michael Collins and Mark Simpson (clarinet); Arthur Campbell (electro acoustic clarinet); and Paolo de Gaspari (bass clarinet).
Graduates have gone on to establish successful performance and teaching careers, including:
Richard Davis: Principal Flute, BBC Philharmonic
Jenny Galloway: Principal Oboe, BBC Philharmonic
Lindsey Marsh: Principal Clarinet, Hallé
Andrew Nicholson: Principal Flute, West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Julie Price: Co-Principal Bassoon, BBC Symphony Orchestra
Lenny Sayers: Principal Bass Clarinet, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Thomas Verity: Clarinet, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Because of versatile repertoire, style, and instrument doublings, this discipline is partly autonomous, although administration comes under the umbrella of woodwind studies. Under the artistic direction of Rob Buckland, individual instrumental tuition is divided amongst various tutors to reflect the needs of the profession. In addition, chamber music and participation in the RNCM Big Band are strong components of performance.
Recent masterclasses have been given by Arno Bornkamp, John Harle, Johan van der Linden Timothy McAllister, Bob Mintzer, Marius Neset and Chris Potter. RNCM alumni continue to make a strong impact in the profession and include Ruth Bourn, Anthony Brown, Rob Buckland, Sally MacTaggart, Carl Raven, Andy Scott, Jenni Watson and Huw Wiggin.
Recorder is now available as Principal Study at the RNCM at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Led by Chris Orton, the department keeps up to date with news from the recorder world, including concerts, international competitions and new developments in ‘modern’ recorders and technology for music, as well as developments in the wider artistic worlds of art, dance and drama.
Undergraduate students will explore the whole range of repertoire – original and arranged – that exists for the instrument from the Medieval epoch until music of today. The opportunity to study doubling instruments such as Baroque oboe, bassoon and flute exists, or students may pursue continuo harpsichord or gamba.
Postgraduate students may choose to specialise on a particular area of repertoire, from English Consort Music of the Renaissance, music of the 20th century through to improvisation with live electronics.
Led by Head of School Professor John Miller, the brass department has been strengthened by the recent establishment of the Philip Jones Centre for Brass. Continuing the vision of trumpeter Philip Jones, the RNCM’s first Head of Brass, the Centre will elevate brass playing to new and sophisticated levels, offering students exceptional tuition and performance opportunities.
All students receive a mixture of individual lessons and instrument-specific classes. Brass students will benefit from new historical, analytical studies and musicianship training, offered within the College’s undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum. Philip Jones left his archive of brass ensemble music and related correspondence to the College, leaving a rich resource for wider study and research.
Brass students at the RNCM develop a broad range of professional skills, with studies in historical performance, chamber music, orchestral playing and jazz. International Tutors from Europe and the US visit regularly to offer supplementary expertise.
There are frequent masterclasses given by internationally renowned brass players, which have recently included trumpeters Alison Balsom, Tine Thing Helseth, Anthony Plog and Markus Stockhausen; trombonists Zoltan Kiss, Mark Templeton and Jiggs Whigham; tuba players Roger Bobo and Simon Styles, and horn player Jacques Deleplancque.
The College’s brass graduates have active careers working across the world as soloists, band and orchestra members and teachers, including:
John Barber: Principal Trombone, Foden’s Band
Richard Brown: Principal Trombone, BBC Philharmonic
David Childs: International soloist, Euphonium
Owen Farr: Solo Tenor Horn, Cory Band
Tom Hutchinson: Principal Cornet, Cory Band
Tim Jackson: Principal Horn, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Simon Johnston: Principal Trombone, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Katrina Marzella: Solo baritone player, Black Dyke Band
Paul Milner: Bass Trombone, London Symphony Orchestra
Mark O’Keeffe: Principal Trumpet, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Tom Osborne: Trumpet, Hallé
Jamie Prophet: Principal Trumpet, BBC Philharmonic
Ben Thomson: Tuba, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
David Thornton: Esteemed Euphonium player and teacher
Martin Winter: Associate Principal Trumpet, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Dean Wright: Principal Trumpet, Welsh National Opera
Under the direction of acclaimed percussionist, Simone Rebello, students will receive world-class tuition and performance opportunities in a supportive and collaborative environment. Each student will receive tuition in timpani, tuned percussion, orchestral percussion, drum kit and world music skills delivered in a variety of individual lessons by specialist tutors. Therefore students will have three or more regular tutors. In addition, you are encouraged to take up opportunities for chamber music coaching.
There are a number of department classes including orchestral studies, performance and presentation skills, practise tips and working in larger scale rhythm sections and world music ensembles. These classes are alternated between members of the percussion staff and visiting artists such as Cormac Byrne (bodhran) and Randy Max (timpani).
The department is divided into small percussion ensembles who select the repertoire they wish to play in the annual percussion ensemble concert. In addition, the larger percussion ensemble will take part in various events including the RNCM Day of Percussion where we have backed artists such as Arthur Lipner and Ney Rosauro.
From the outset the students are put into a variety of ensembles from Brass Band, Big Band, Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, and opera. These are all groups that perform public concerts either within the College or externally. We also have various wind, brass and percussion repertoire sessions throughout the year. The RNCM has many professional partners including The Hallé, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Black Dyke Brass Band and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. There are opportunities for the students to work alongside professional musicians in these organisations.
The department is run with the students in mind and it is often the students who suggest and drive various projects, for example the RNCM Salsa Band. Within the department students often take positions of responsibility from being principal of a section, to assisting with the visits of international artists and the whole department help to run the flagship RNCM Day of Percussion which features guest artists, workshops, concerts, lessons and an extensive trade exhibition.
We have had many visiting artists over the years for masterclasses and lessons including Evelyn Glennie, Colin Currie, Keiko Abe, Joe Locke, Eric Sammut, Ash Soan, Anthony Kerr and Ney Rosauro.
John Abendstern: Timpanist, the Hallé
Liz Gilliver: Senior Tutor in Percussion, RNCM
Ian Hood: Northern Ballet
John Melbourne: Northern Ballet
Simone Rebello: Director of Percussion, RNCM
Adrian Spillett: Principal Percussion, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Stephen Whibley: Principal Percussion (No. 2) in the BBC Concert Orchestra
Andrea Vogler: Leading freelance percussionist; Tutor at the RNCM
Head of School
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 Saxophone
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
International Tutor in Bassoon and Chamber Music
International Tutor in Flute
Dr Anders Ljungar-Chapelon
International Tutor in French Horn
Frøydis Ree Wekre
International Tutor in Trombone
International Tutor in Jazz Trombone
International Tutor in Percussion
Tutors in Flute
Katherine Baker BMus, DipRAM, ARAM, FRAM
Paul Edmund Davies
Laura Jellicoe GMusRNCM, PPRNCM
Tutors in Piccolo
Tutor in Baroque Flute
Dr Stephen Preston AGSM, PhD
Tutors in Oboe
Melinda Maxwell BA, ARCM, LTCL, HonARAM
Hugh McKenna LRAM, ARCM, ARAM
Jonathan Small ARCM
Tutors in Cor Anglais
Thomas Davey BMus, MMus, ARAM
Rachael Pankhurst BMus,GRNCM, PPRNCM, LRSM
Tutor in Baroque Oboe
Anthony Robson FRAM
Tutors in Clarinet
John Bradbury MA, ARAM
Nicholas Cox MA, SolDip (Musikhochschule Hannover)
Professor Linda Merrick GRSM, MMus, PhD, FRNCM, ARAM, LRAM, FLCM, FRSA, FHEA, HonVCM
Antonio Salguero Montesinos Premio Extraordinario de Honor Fin de Carrera
Christopher Swann GRSM, LRAM
Tutors in E Flat Clarinet
Christopher Swann GRSM, LRAM
Tutors in Bass Clarinet
Dr Sarah Watts BMus (Hons), LRAM, Tweede Fase (Rotterdam Conservatorium), PhD
Tutor in Early Clarinet
Dr Lesley Schatzberger BA(Hons), ARCM, DUniv
Tutors in Bassoon
David Chatwin ARCM
Simon Durnford ARCM
Laurence Perkins GRNCM
Graham Salvage ARAM, LRAM, ARCM
Tutor in Contrabassoon
Bill Anderson ARAM, LRAM
Tutors in Saxophone
Rob Buckland GRNCM, PPRNCM, FRNCM
Carl Raven BMus, PPRNCM
Andy Scott GRNCM
Tutor in Jazz Saxophone and Improvisation
Mike Hall BSc, PGDipRNCM
Tutor in Recorder
Chris Orton HonBC, AdvPGDip (Prof Perf), BMus (Hons)
Tutors in French Horn
Rebecca Goldberg GRNCM, PPRNCM, PGDipRNCM
Julian Plummer GRNCM, PPRNCM
Lindsey Stoker GMusRNCM, PPRNCM
Tutor in Hand Horn
Rebecca Goldberg GRNCM, PPRNCM, PGDipRNCM
Tutors in Trumpet
Murray Greig GMusRNCM, MMus, PPRNCM
Professor John Miller MA, FGS, FRNCM
Rhys Owens DipRCM
Tracey Redfern BMus, PPRNCM, PGDipRNCM
Gareth Small GRSM, ARAM, LRAM, LTCL
Visiting Tutor in Trumpet
Mark O’Keeffe DipCSM, ALCM, LTCL, FTCL, PPRNCM, MMus
Tutor in Jazz Trumpet
Steve Waterman GTCL, HonARAM
Tutors in Natural Trumpet
David Hendry GRNCM, PGDipRCM
Tutors in Cornet
Richard Marshall BA, LRSM
Professor Roger Webster MMus, PhD
Visiting Tutor in Cornet
Tutors in Trombone
Roger Cutts AGSM
Robert Holliday GRNCM, PPRNCM
Tutor in Bass Trombone
Tutor in Sackbut and Classical Trombone
Susan Addison ARCM(Hons), HonRAM, HonLRAM
Tutors in Tuba
Ewan Easton MBE
Robin Haggart BMus, LRAM, ARAM
Brian Kingsley ARCM
Besson Visiting Tutor of Tuba
Leslie Neish BMus (Hons), PGDip, PPRNCM
Tutors in Euphonium and Baritone Horn
Steven Mead BA, ALCM, FRNCM
Dr David Thornton BA, PPRNCM
Visiting Tutor of Euphonium
Tutor in Tenor Horn
Tutors in Percussion
Elizabeth Gilliver GMusRNCM, PPRNCM
David Hassell HonARAM
Paul Patrick LRAM, ARAM
Simone Rebello GMusRNCM, PPRNCM
Andrea Vogler BMus (Hons), PGDipRNCM
Tutor in Timpani
Ian Wright FRNCM
What Our Students Say
My first year here has shown me the vast opportunities for the students – we are so lucky! There is always something exciting on, such as workshops, masterclasses, or amazing outreach projects. One of the things I love about studying at the RNCM most is its incredible vibe, an atmosphere of constant creativity which keeps you inspired. I think it all comes down to the people here who are clearly passionate about what they’re doing and want to help you to achieve your full potential. Each project that I’ve taken part in since being at RNCM has been truly unique, working with different ensembles and conductors on fantastic new repertoire.
Pola Kompf, BMus (Hons) Flute
The range of ensembles that are offered to me are fantastic. In the space of a week I could be going from playing in the Big Band, to one of the orchestras and also be working with a number of different chamber groups, all of which are at a very high standard.
Aaron Wood, BMus (Hons) Trumpet
I came to the RNCM for the well-known teachers – they are renowned in the musical world, so it’s an opportunity for me to work with the best. I’m new to the College but already I really like the spirit of the Percussion Department – we’re all friends and work together as a team
André Nadais, BMus (Hons) Percussion
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