Carmel Smickersgill, BMus Composition
What’s the most interesting/unique project you’ve been involved with since being at RNCM?
The most interesting project I’ve been involved with since being at the RNCM is definitely the joint project between RNCM composers and choreographers from the Northern Ballet. Getting the chance to write music which someone from another artistic discipline can then interpret is very enlightening. Particularly because you can clearly see how dance ideas have developed from the music.
What kinds of opportunities are there for students?
In the composition department we have lots of opportunities to hear our works performed. In Brand New days orchestral pieces get played with a full symphony orchestra and in Composer Labs we can use smaller ensembles to try ideas out. We are also encouraged to enter competitions and have opportunities in college to write for big groups such as the BBC singers.
What’s your favourite thing about being a student at RNCM?
My favourite thing about being a student here is the supportive environment. The other composers are very accepting of different styles and musical interests. It doesn’t feel overly competitive at all. I think this is true of other departments in college as well. As a composer, RNCM is a brilliant place to study. There are loads of experienced musicians up for playing new music, so I don’t have to struggle to find performers.
What are your future aspirations?
In the future I hope to do further study in composition and continue to write for increasingly more diverse ensembles. My ambition is to work with projects that use music to improve social situations, in countries such as South Africa or Venezuela.