Sam Brough, MMus Bassoon, 2015

What brought you to the RNCM?

Before coming to the RNCM I was playing with local orchestras from my area and my county music service. I heard about the RNCM through my bassoon teacher – to be honest I didn’t really know much about music colleges, but when I applied and came for audition, I really felt like it was the place for me.

What’s your typical day like?

The usual parts of a day for me would include a couple of hours of academic classes, quintet and trio rehearsals, a few hours in the reed room and then personal practice as well. On top of that every week I’d have a lesson, bassoon class, orchestra rehearsals, and any masterclasses the College might have on. I’ll then spend time organising myself which usually means sitting down and checking that I’m on top of sorting my diary, checking emails are replied to and spending time in the library finding new music. Then there’s usually a concert in College on most days too, which I might go to. Of course I also make time for socialising and having some down time too!

What have been your high points since being at the RNCM?

At College I’ve done some things which I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to do. For example, each year auditions are held for the end of year symphony orchestra projects, where throughout the rest of the year we are put into orchestra by the head of school. I got to play principal in the Firebird Ballet and Contrabassoon in the Planets at the Bridgewater Hall, both of which have been amazing concerts. I’ve also played in masterclasses for Sir Mark Elder and performed for great bassoonists such as Sergio Azzolini, Stefano Canuti and Dag Jensen.

This year I’m going on an Erasmus exchange year to Italy, studying full time with Stefano Canuti, which is just incredible! The College has visiting tutors for each wind instrument – I had an audition/lesson with Stefano last year which was just great. Coming out of the lesson I felt fantastic and am really looking forward to studying with him.

Over the summer, through recommendation of the tutors at college I also got to play with Manchester Camerata, which was a fantastic experience, and has really cemented my drive to pursue a musical career.

What’s your favourite aspect of being a student here?

At College we have a lot of classes and lectures we must go to, but besides that we’re able to choose the direction our playing takes ourselves. If someone has more of an interest in say, baroque music, there are people at the RNCM that you can go to and take that aspect of your playing further. You might later want to change direction and find some other way of developing a different skill, which you can do.

Read more about the School of Wind, Brass and Percussion here.


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