BA (HONOURS) ACTING
Situated in the heart of England, Birmingham Conservatoire is a place where talent develops, individual creativity flourishes and successful careers begin – all against the backdrop of one of the UK’s greatest modern cities. Our history as the conservatoire of the Midlands stretches back nearly 150 years, to our early development as the music department of the historic Birmingham and Midland Institute. Today we are a thriving international conservatoire with over 500 students on undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes, as well as a Junior department of over 200 students. So that we can offer you the very best professional training, we ensure the continuous development and improvement or our programmes by constantly assessing and responding to the demands of the profession. In return, we expect you to work hard, enjoy yourself and take advantage of all we have to offer. Your time with us will be some of the most exciting of your life. Our aim is that you should leave us as a happy, confident and self-possessed musician, ready to make your mark.
PRESIDENT Sir Simon Rattle CBE VICE PRESIDENT Peter Donohoe FRNCM GRNCM ARNCM ARCM DUniv (B’ham) PRINCIPAL Professor George Caird MA (Cantab) FRAM FRCM FRNCM HonFLCM FRSA VICE PRINCIPAL Professor David Saint BA BMus FRCO HEAD OF RESEARCH Professor Peter Johnson MA MusB (Cantab) DPhil (Oxon) FRCO HEAD OF JUNIOR CONSERVATOIRE Timothy English AGSM REGISTRAR Michael Hill MA (Oxon)
In addition to being an international conservatoire, since 1970 we have also been part of one of Britain’s most proactive universities, Birmingham City University (formerly University of Central England in Birmingham), giving our students access to a range of benefits and opportunities few other music colleges can provide. As well as the Conservatoire, Birmingham City University’s substantial arts training provision also includes Birmingham School of Acting, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham School of Media and the National Writing Academy, putting us - and you - in the best possible creative company.
ADVICE FOR ALL APPLICANTS
10 10 11 13 Why Music? Conservatoire or University? What’s it like to study here? Open Days
ABOUT THE CONSERVATOIRE
41 44 47 Facilities Library Instruments
114 116 118 Choirs Orchestras and Large Ensembles Jazz
178 180 182 HND Popular Music Practice BSc (Hons) Music Technology MA Digital Arts in Performance
54 56 56 56 59 Personal and academic support Accessing personal and academic support Personal Development planning Lifelong learning Music in the community
17 17 18 18 20 22 22 22 The City Getting here and getting around Arts Scene Where to see, hear and perform Getting involved Birmingham on a budget Accommodation Tuition Fees
122 122 124 124 126 128 131 133 134 137 140 140 Professional Development Performance Opportunities Concert Series Festivals Recording Musicianship Electives Supporting your development Enhancing your core skills Broadening your musical knowledge Professional Schemes External Engagements International Exchange
APPLYING AND AUDITIONING
186 188 189 190 190 191 192 194 Applications Research Applications (MPhil /PhD) Joint Course Applications Main Auditions Late Auditions International Audition Centres Audition Recordings Scholarships and Financial Aid
62 64 68 72 76 78 82 84 86 88 93 94 98 100 102 105 106 108 110 How it works Bowed Strings Plucked Strings Orchestral Woodwind Recorder and Saxophone Brass Percussion Piano Organ & Harpsichord Vocal & Operatic Choral Conducting Jazz Composition Music Technology Research Academic tutorial staff Coaching Chamber Music Early Music PHOTOGRAPH CREDITS
ADVICE FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS
26 26 27 28 28 30 30 An International Conservatoire Advice Useful Websites English Language Requirements Summer Sessions Support while you study Working in the UK
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How to find us Partners Sponsors
144 150 154 156 158 160 166 170 174 BMus (Hons) BMus (Hons) Jazz GradDip Jazz PgCert Music PgCert Music (Specialist Performance) PgDip/MMus Music Advanced PgDip Professional Performance Research: MPhil/PhD Junior Conservatoire
ABOUT OUR UNIVERSITY
34 36 38 The University Students’ Union After you graduate
Thank you for picking up our prospectus. If you are a talented individual looking to pursue or further your career in music, then you will find here a selection of flexible and challenging courses designed to meet the wide variety of needs of the modern professional musician. We hope this prospectus will also give you a real sense of what it’s like to study with us – of the atmosphere of dedication and support that we cultivate, and of the creative collaboration that goes on at the highest level between our performers and composers. It is, of course, for every student to find their own future with an institution that suits their personality, aspirations and style of learning. At a time when more and more musicians are choosing to join Birmingham’s rapidly expanding musical scene, we hope you will choose to find your future here, alongside some of the most talented and passionate musicians in the country. PROFESSOR GEORGE CAIRD PRINCIPAL
Advice for all applicants
Advice for all applicants
WHY MUSIC? There was a time when it was far easier to draw a box around what was classed as a ‘music career’. Then, in the public consciousness at least, being a ‘musician’ meant a) playing in an orchestra, b) touring as a soloist, c) teaching or d) being unemployed! Of course, it sounds ridiculous now, because the music industry today is one of the broadest and most dynamic fields in which to work, as well as a big player in the national economy. According to the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), the UK music industry: • generates nearly £5bn annually • employs some 130,000 people, nearly 90 per cent within small or medium enterprises • is second only to the USA as a source of repertoire • contributes to the third largest market in the world for music sales In a reality where sugar-coated pop bands, challenging modern composers, cutting-edge jazz artists, cult DJs, classical virtuosi, die-hard rockers, specialist period performers and masters of indigenous music can all coexist and inspire each other, there are more opportunities for musicians than ever before. Music is an immensely enjoyable, challenging and rewarding subject to study; and one which is likely to lead you to an exciting full-time job or diverse ‘portfolio’ career. This might involve combining performance and/or composition with a huge variety of other jobs that rely on the skill of highly trained musicians, including production and engineering, music management, teaching, publishing, concert promotion, community workshops, recording, online music, music therapy, working across art forms... it’s yours to create. Our courses will help you get there.
CONSERVATOIRE OR UNIVERSITY? Aspiring professional musicians can face difficult decisions when considering where to continue their studies. The reputation of the institution, quality of teaching, professional training opportunities, location and cost of living must all be considered. On a more intrinsic level, many music students feel they must balance their need for vital specialist training in performance or composition with their desire to have a broad and varied university experience. As a part of a major university, we can offer all the benefits of university student life in addition to the intensive individual training with professional musicians available only in conservatoires. You will learn in a dedicated building with the creative atmosphere of a music college and, at the same time, be part of a 25,000-strong community of students pursuing a variety of courses and careers at the University. At a time when students are justifiably expecting more from higher education institutions than ever before, we can offer you the best of both music college and university life.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO STUDY HERE? Because of the calibre of the musicians they attract, conservatoires are naturally competitive institutions, yet our students enjoy an atmosphere of support, motivation and collaboration. It is of huge importance to us that you have the opportunity not only to develop your practical skills, but also to explore different types of and approaches to music. We therefore see it as a great advantage that we are situated in the very heart of Britain’s most diverse city, home to a vibrant and varied musical and cultural community. Our own student population is equally cosmopolitan, drawn not just from the surrounding area, but from all over Britain, the EU and overseas. So, wherever you come from and wherever you see yourself going, it’s likely that you will feel at home here.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:
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Birmingham Our partner faculties Our facilities Student support
Advice for all applicants
www.birmingham.org.uk ............................................................................................................................................ www.birmingham.gov.uk
OPEN DAYS Both the Conservatoire and the University hold regular Open Days. Conservatoire Open Days are designed to give you a real insight into student life and involve introductory talks, guided tours, open rehearsals, performances and chances to meet staff and students. If you cannot make it to a Conservatoire Open Day, you are welcome to attend a general University Open Day, where a Conservatoire representative will be available to answer questions. Please note, however, that you will not normally be able to visit the Conservatoire on University Open Days. For information on University Open Days, contact the University’s advice shop, Choices (T: 0121 331 5595 E: [email protected]
) or visit: www.bcu.ac.uk Conservatoire Open Days occur twice a year in January and June and run from 10am-4pm. Exact dates and an example timetable can be found on the website below, or for further information please contact: Judy Francis Open Day Co-ordinator T: 0121 331 6905 E: [email protected]
www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk/open-days UPCOMING CONSERVATOIRE OPEN DAYS Friday 18 June 2010 Thursday 27 January 2011
See for yourself
Our friendly and supportive atmosphere is one of the things that sets us apart, and the best way to experience it is to visit us.
CONSULTATION LESSONS If you’re considering a place at the Conservatoire, you may request a consultation lesson with the relevant tutor, for which a fee may be payable. Please contact our Admissions Team for further details: T: 0121 331 5901 E: [email protected]
Just a brief note to thank you and everyone else involved for putting together such a fascinating, valuable, exhausting and hugely enjoyable day. I arrived as a complete ‘innocent’ but now have a really good handle on what’s on offer and more importantly a feel for the wonderful ‘family’ atmosphere which somehow, someway, you create. I can think of no more supportive environment in which to study, learn, develop and have fun making music. The skill, commitment and passion of all the teaching staff I met was inspirational and I hope that I may be fortunate enough to enrol this September.
VISITOR FROM OXFORD
Studying in Birmingham opens up the world. For students from outside the UK, it offers an opportunity to improve English skills while taking advantage of excellent professional opportunities. For all students, studying in Britain’s largest regional city offers all the excitement, diversity and culture of a major city without the cost of living in the capital. THE CITY Birmingham is unique. Situated in the heart of England, its bustling Chinese Quarter and famous ‘Balti mile’ are obvious testaments to its multicultural nature. There is a dazzling array of restaurants, shops, pubs and clubs on offer, plus world-class sporting events and, of course, live music. Yet when it all gets too much, in just 15 minutes you can be out of the city and enjoying tranquil countryside. Popular West Midlands destinations such as Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick Castle, Ironbridge, the Cotswolds and the Malvern Hills are all close by. Find out more: www.visitheartofengland.com GETTING HERE AND GETTING AROUND With its own international airport and two major rail arteries, getting to and from Birmingham is simple. Once you’re here, the city’s manageable size – around one million people – makes it friendly and fast to get around. Within the city, local rail and bus coverage is excellent and there are plans to extend the city’s tram line. Plus, Birmingham’s location makes it an ideal base for musicians travelling to engagements elsewhere in the UK (London is 90 minutes by train).
Find out more about visiting and how to find us on page 198
ARTS SCENE Birmingham boasts a superb arts scene. Local theatres include the Hippodrome (home of Birmingham Royal Ballet), the Alexandra Theatre and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre with its associated studio theatre, The Door. The Midland Arts Centre, set in Cannon Hill Park, stages a more eclectic range of theatrical events and films as well as workshops and exhibitions. From megaplex StarCity to the fabulously refurbished Electric Cinema, film fans can enjoy everything from arthouse to Hollywood to Bollywood. The city also has some of the finest art galleries in the country – the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, housing the world’s leading collection of Pre-Raphaelite art, contrasting with the modern, innovative work on show at the Ikon Gallery. Each September, Birmingham’s ArtsFest, the UK’s largest free arts festival, attracts more than 100,000 visitors, and our own New Generation Arts showcase presents the best work from emerging artists to audiences drawn from across the Midlands and beyond. Due in part to the resourcefulness of our own students and alumni, jazz is now flourishing in the city, with several jazz nights in local venues providing performance platforms for our students and visiting artists. As well as the larger venues mentioned above, intimate performance spaces dotted around the city centre and further afield host a variety of bands and many pubs double as venues. The Drum in Aston is a particular hot-spot for jazz, owing to homegrown talent Soweto Kinch’s Live Box sessions.
WHERE TO SEE, HEAR AND PERFORM From traditional Irish to rock, contemporary classical to bhangra, you can find it here. Many of Birmingham’s major music venues are just minutes away from us, including: • Symphony Hall: 2,262 seats, home to the renowned City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) • Town Hall: 1,088 seats, Grade 1 listed, reopened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation • Our own venues, particularly the Adrian Boult Hall and Recital Hall are used by many of Birmingham’s principal concert promoters (see page 41) • CBSO Centre: a flexible performance space used by a variety of groups, including Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG), Birmingham Jazz and Birmingham Symphonic Winds • 02 Academy Birmingham and National Indoor Arena: together with the National Exhibition Centre (located about 10 miles out of town), these venues host a huge variety of international artists, from living legends to today’s hottest bands
CBSO with Sakari Oramo
GETTING INVOLVED Although we aim to provide a full range of performing ensembles and activities to keep you busy at the Conservatoire, one of the great advantages of studying in Birmingham is the huge array of excellent professional development opportunities that will be available to you as a student or graduate. • Music Services – one of the largest services in the country, Birmingham Music Service organises and administers 19 Central Ensembles and 41 Area Ensembles. Fruitful relationships also exist with Dudley, Staffordshire and Oxfordshire Music Services. Many of our students teach for the Music Service and find the work both challenging and highly rewarding. • For aspiring singers and organists, Birmingham’s many churches, as well as its Oratory and two cathedrals, St Chad’s (Roman Catholic) and St Philip’s (Anglican), offer a number of choral and organ scholarships. • Alongside the major players (CBSO, BCMG etc), a variety of performing ensembles and organisations within Birmingham and the West Midlands offer the chance to get involved at non-professional, semiprofessional or professional level (see oposite) ORCHESTRAS AND INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLES Birmingham Chamber Orchestra: www.birminghamchamberorchestra.com Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra: www.bpo.org.uk Birmingham Symphonic Winds: www.bsw.org.uk CBSO Youth Orchestra: www.cbsoyouthorchestra.com Central England Ensemble: wwwcentralenglandensemble.co.uk Chandos Symphony Orchestra: www.chandos.org.uk Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra: www.myjo.co.uk National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain: www.saxchoir.com Queen’s Park Sinfonia: www.queensparksinfonia.org.uk Sinfonia of Birmingham: www.sinfonia.org.uk CHORAL AND OPERATIC GROUPS Birmingham Bach Choir: www.birmingham.bachchoir.com Birmingham Choral Union: www.birminghamchoralunion.org.uk Birmingham Festival Choral Society: www.bfcs.org.uk City of Birmingham Symphony Choruses: www.cbso.co.uk/choruses Ex Cathedra: www.ex-cathedra.org Operamus (youth opera): www.operamus.co.uk Heart of England Singers: www.heart-of-england-singers.org.uk St Chad’s Cathedral Choir: www.stchadscathedral.org.uk St Philip’s Cathedral Choir: www.stphilipscathedral.org COMPOSITION AND CONTEMPORARY PERFORMANCE CoMA (Contemporary Music for Amateurs) West Midlands: www.coma.org
Famous for its diversity, Birmingham supports a wide range of organisations delivering music within the community, as well as one-off projects, including: The Drum: www.the-drum.org.uk mac: www.macarts.co.uk Musicate: www.musicate.org Sampad: www.sampad.org.uk Sound Futures: www.soundfutures.org Sound it Out: www.sounditout.co.uk
BIRMINGHAM ON A BUDGET Finance is becoming an increasingly important factor in deciding where to study. Home to three major universities and a number of specialist training institutions, Birmingham is a student-friendly city. There are plenty of places offering part-time work to music students, including venues such as Symphony Hall and the CBSO Centre, as well as our own venues. In terms of making the most of the city, you’ll find that most of Birmingham’s major attractions offer free or reducedprice entry for students, with some music venues offering special discounts for those studying at the Conservatoire. ACCOMMODATION Once you have accepted a place at the Conservatoire, the University’s Accommodation Service will offer you help in finding somewhere to live, either in one of its Halls of Residence or in other University or private accommodation. If you live a distance from Birmingham which precludes commuting, you will normally be guaranteed University accommodation for your first year. Conservatoire students are most frequently housed in the city centre, close to the Conservatoire. For further information and application for University accommodation, please visit: www.bcu.ac.uk/accommodation Apart from University accommodation, a wide variety of housing options are available across the city and the cost of living is relatively low. Renting a private house or flat tends to vary between £55 and £90 per week.
TUITION FEES The latest fees will be posted on our website www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk as soon as they are available. You may find it helpful to speak to a financial adviser in our Student Services Unit, who can provide up-to-the-minute information on tuition fees and bursaries. The Unit also publishes a guide to Fees and Funding, containing practical advice for prospective students. Contact Student Services for a copy (T: 0121 331 5588 E:[email protected]
) or visit www.bcu.ac.uk/studentservices In accordance with requirements issued by the Office for Fair Access, the University publishes an Access Agreement, available on the OFFA website www.offa.org.uk
Find out more about scholarships and financial aid on page 194
Advice for international students
Advice for international students
AN INTERNATIONAL CONSERVATOIRE Students and staff come from all over the world to study and teach in the unique environment we offer. Our international student population has risen and diversified greatly over the last ten years, with the result that the Conservatoire is now as cosmopolitan as it is friendly and welcoming. So, whether you’re from a remote village in Shropshire or a remote village in China, you can be sure that your study within the heart of Britain will be infused with a variety of cultural flavours and influences. ADVICE If you are applying from outside the EU, we recommend you contact our Assistant Registrar Ruth Stanton ([email protected]
) before making an application. Ruth can provide advice on international qualifications, making an application, fees and other matters. Once you have accepted a place at the Conservatoire, the University’s International Advice Service will become another important resource for you. To make your trip to the UK as easy as possible, they provide pre-arrival information and run a Meet & Greet Scheme. Once you arrive in Birmingham, an orientation programme will help to make you feel at home. The International Advice Service is also able to offer advice on visa extensions, travel outside the UK while you are a student, working during and after your studies and general funding and finance issues. USEFUL WEBSITES The University’s International Advice Service maintains an extensive, up-to-date and easy-to-use website for prospective international students, so we recommend that you make it your first stop for information. However, please be aware that the information on the site changes frequently depending on the time of year. Some other useful websites are also listed below. University websites • University International Advice Service: www.bcu.ac.uk/studentservices/international • University Student Services: www.bcu.ac.uk/studentservices • Main University website: www.bcu.ac.uk • Information for international students: www.bcu.ac.uk/international • Conservatoire website: www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk External websites • British Council: www.britishcouncil.org (see also their Links page) • UKCISA: The Council for International Student Affairs: www.ukcisa.org.uk
We have in recent years welcomed students from:
Austria Australia Belgium Brazil Canada China Colombia Czech Republic Denmark Finland France Germany Hong Kong Hungary India Indonesia Israel Japan Korea Latvia Malaysia Malta Norway Iceland Romania Russia Singapore South Korea Sweden Spain Taiwan Thailand Turkey Poland Ukraine USA
Advice for international students
DI XIAO Piano, AdvPgDip (2006 graduation) Tutors: Prof Malcolm Wilson, Prof Mark Racz The best thing about studying at the Conservatoire is having access to the people and the facilities; everyone tries their best to help and the resources are excellent. I am really grateful for the wonderful tuition and support from both of my tutors, who went beyond education into the realms of mentorship. What I value the most is the connection between the Conservatoire and Birmingham’s two amazing concert halls: Town Hall and Symphony Hall. There are so many music events and you can see performances by the world’s top class artists only five minutes’ walk from the Conservatoire. Additionally, the Conservatoire’s ‘Symphony Hall Prize’ offers the winner the opportunity to give recital in this gorgeous hall. I gave me debut there in 2006 and have now played there four times! It is still one of my dream venues. Currently, I split my time between Birmingham and Lincolnshire. Since 2007, I have been a tutor in the Conservatoire’s Piano Department – my opportunity to put something back into the college – and many of my concerts take place around Birmingham, so I come back regularly. I think the best thing about Birmingham is its size: two beautiful concert halls, a museum, a number of art galleries, the biggest shopping mall in Europe, Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Central Library, theatres, cinemas, China town (very important to me! )… all within walking distance. It’s really convenient; the only difficulty is deciding at which venue you are going to spend your night! During the 08/09 season I was selected as the UK’s representative to the European Concert Halls Organisation (ECHO) Rising Star series of concerts. I gave concerts in 11 major halls including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Salzburg ’s Mozarteum and Birmingham’s Town Hall – its name may not be as glamorous as some of the others but I can assure you it is one of the best! Recordings from these live performances were played by radio stations across Europe.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS All teaching at the Conservatoire is in English, so you must be able to demonstrate a strong command of the English language. If your first language is not English, you must have gained one of the following recognised English language qualifications, or an approved equivalent qualification: MMus candidates, minimum requirements • IELTS: 6.5 • TOEFL (iBT): 90-91 • TOEFL (CBT): 232 BMus (Hons), GradDip, PgDip, AdvPgDip, MPhil, PhD, minimum requirements • • • • • IELTS: 6.0 TOEFL (iBT): 79-80 TOEFL (CBT): 213 Hong Kong Examination Authority use of English: E Cambridge Certificate of Profiency in English or Certificate in Advanced English: C • GCSE or IGCE English Language: C PgCert, PgCert (SP), minimum requirements • IELTS: 5.5 • TOEFL (iBT): 71 • TOEFL (CBT): 196
Regardless of whether you meet the stated requirements, if your first language is not English, we will ask you to take an additional English language test when you arrive. If we feel you need further help in a particular area, you will be required to attend an English class once a week until you have attained the appropriate level of competence. The classes are provided free of charge and all non-UK students who wish to attain greater fluency in English are welcome to attend. Tuition is offered in grammar, conversation and comprehension, as well as assistance with reading and essay-writing. SUMMER SESSIONS If you are otherwise successful in your application, but narrowly miss the English language requirement for your course (for instance, if you score a 5.0 or a 5.5 on your IELTS), the University may offer you a place on a 5- or 10-week PreSessional English Course before you start your studies at the Conservatoire. Please note that there is an additional fee for these courses. Classes cover a mixture of general and academic English, including writing, reading, grammar, listening and formal and informal speaking. You will also have the chance to find out about British culture and society and, of course, meet and make friends with other international students. You will not need to retake IELTS or TOEFL after the Pre-Sessional course. For more advice on the University’s English Language Requirements and Summer Sessions, visit www.bcu.ac.uk/international
In addition, I have played for some of the major music festivals including those in Buxton and Leamington and for the Bremen Musikfest. Apart from my solo career, I enjoy playing chamber music and recently gave a concert with Mr & Mrs Julian Lloyd Webber in London. I released my first CD in 2008 (recorded in Symphony Hall), which has received some quality airplay including on BBC Radio3. While at the Conservatoire, I won its Piano Prize, Ludlow Philharmonic Concerto Prize and Symphony Hall Prize. Since graduating, I have won first prize in the 28th Brant International Piano Competition (2007) and a Silver Medal from The Worshipful Company of Musicians of London (2008). To new students, I would say: Never give up your dream and the freedom to pursue your happiness. No doubt the conservatoire gave me a very good foundation. It prepared me for my first European tour and gave me the tools I needed to develop myself as a concert pianist. www.dixiao.co.uk
Advice for international students
SUPPORT WHILE YOU STUDY Renowned for our friendly and welcoming atmosphere, we go to great lengths to ensure that our international students are supported both personally and academically during their studies. When you first arrive in Birmingham, you will take part in an International Welcome, during which you will have the chance to meet and get to know other international students at the University, including Conservatoire students. Wherever you are from, you will be entirely integrated into the student body; however, if you are from outside the UK, you can also take advantage of individual attention throughout the duration of your studies at the Conservatoire and can look forward to being part of a diverse community of musicians. Celebrating the end of your studies is an important part of any student’s experience and we want you to be able to make the most of it. The Conservatoire holds a prize-giving ceremony and end-of-year concert in June; however your official graduation ceremony will take place in the February after you finish your course. In case you are not able to return to the UK to take part in your official awards congregation, the University also holds a special International Presentation ceremony in June/July, to which you are welcome to invite friends and family.
WORKING IN THE UK If you are not a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA) you will usually be granted permission to work in the UK part-time up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during vacations. However, you should be aware that you will only be admitted to the UK on the understanding that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependants without taking employment. Therefore, you cannot rely on finding employment in the UK to fund your stay here. On completion of your degree you may be eligible for a working visa, please visit: www.ukvisa.gov.uk for the latest information. Please note that the information provided here is intended to be a guide only.
About our University
CITY NORTH SPORTS CENTRE
About our University
THE UNIVERSITY With around 25,000 students, six faculties and teaching sites spread across Birmingham, our parent university (Birmingham City University) offers a vibrant, multicultural atmosphere in which to study. Although you will learn alongside other music students in a purpose-built conservatoire, your University colleagues will often be no more than a stone’s throw away. The fact that most art, acting and technology students are based in the city centre means the opportunities for creative collaboration are limited only by your imagination. BIRMINGHAM SCHOOL OF ACTING (BSA) BSA was founded in 1936 and has become a leading UK drama school focused on providing professional vocational training for actors. It recently moved to new £4m state-ofthe-art premises within Millennium Point, where it educates and trains the next generation of professional actors for stage, screen and broadcast: www.bsa.bcu.ac.uk BIRMINGHAM INSTITUTE OF ART AND DESIGN (BIAD) With nearly 4,000 students spread over four campuses, BIAD is one of the largest centres for art, architecture, design and jewellery education in the UK. The high calibre of its students’ work is constantly recognised by industry awards, such as those from Macmillan Children’s Books, D&AD Design Awards, RSA Goldsmiths Design Awards, Tetley Tea Photography Awards and many more. Expert staff, excellent industry links and state-of-the-art facilities have enabled many of BIAD’s graduates (such as fashion designer Betty Jackson) to reach the top of their profession. BIAD’s major events include numerous exhibitions and shows by students, staff and visiting professionals: www.biad.bcu.ac.uk
ENVIRONMENT (TEE) TEE offers a wide range of interactive media, ICT, design technology and advanced engineering courses. Based at Millennium Point, a £114 million complex opened in Birmingham city centre in 2001, TEE provides cutting-edge facilities for exploring and utilising technology, including music, media and moving image technologies. A range of industrial links, including applied research, allows tutors to apply their own knowledge to the challenges facing business and industry, thereby ensuring that teaching programmes are underpinned with relevant and current vocational material. www.bcu.ac.uk/tee OTHER FACULTIES Other faculties based at the University’s main City North Campus include English, home to the National Academy of Writing; and Education, where our new part-time PGCE is taught (see page 144).
About our University
LUCIE LOUVRIER Voice, MMus (2010 graduation) Tutor: Catherine Benson I moved to England in 2007 and auditioned in London and Birmingham. I had heard from English professional musicians that Birmingham Conservatoire had a very good reputation for its Vocal Department. My first impressions of the Conservatoire were very positive – I enjoyed my audition and I was made to feel very welcome. My years at the Conservatoire have been both intense and positive for me, and I am really glad I chose to study here. The atmosphere here is very nurturing and supportive. Teachers are great for inspiring self-confidence and helping students to do their best and to reach their potential. Catherine Benson has been invaluable in my development – she has ‘unlocked’ my voice and helped me become as autonomous as possible. Performing opportunities are numerous and varied. Auditions for productions are open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, which means there are opportunities for everyone. There are usually three productions a year, as well as competitions, concerts, and other projects such as ‘Liederabends’ and many extra-curricular projects throughout the year. During my time at the Conservatoire, I have participated in several productions. Highlights include singing an excerpt from Carmen and singing Mrs Jedermann in the world premiere of David Blake and Keith Warner’s opera Scoring a Century, conducted by Lionel Friend. This was a fantastic experience, particularly working with a world-renowned director such as Keith Warner. It was really fast-track learning! I have also really enjoyed performing Contemporary pieces in collaboration with the Composition Department on several occasions. And for something completely different, I very much enjoyed taking part in the Conservatoire Cabaret!
LUCIE LOUVRIER WORKING WITH KEITH WARNER
Birmingham is a great city to study in. There are many venues available in the city for concerts, such as St Martin’s in the Bullring, St Phillip’s Cathedral and St Paul’s Church to name a few. The Conservatoire also encourages students to take on external engagements. After graduating I plan to audition for opera companies. During the production of Scoring a Century, I received a lot of help and valuable advice from our drama teacher, Michael Barry, about writing CVs and letters to agents. In addition, our coaches are always available to guide us in our repertoire choices for auditions and in mental preparation for performance. I’m very grateful for my time at the Conservatoire. The training and support I have received have been exceptional.
STUDENTS’ UNION Our energetic Students’ Union offers a wide range of essential services to students, including more than 60 clubs and societies, entertainments, bars, sports facilities, shops, a variety of part-time job opportunities and more. When you first arrive, you’ll receive the Union’s Essential Student Guide – a lifeline for new students. After that, you can keep up to date with student affairs through their radio station (SCRatch) or student newspaper (Spaghetti Junction). The Union is a valuable source of information, independent advice and support on any matter – a professional advice
worker is available for consultation in the Conservatoire each week. The Union is a democracy and the Universitywide Student Council has places specifically reserved for Conservatoire students. Getting involved in the Union during your studies is a great way to meet new friends, develop interpersonal skills and enjoy a lively and full student lifestyle. For more details, visit www.birminghamcitysu.com or contact the Union: T: +44 (0)121 331 6803 E: [email protected]
About our University
After you graduate
ALUMNI Our graduates can be found performing in orchestras, concert halls, jazz clubs and recording studios throughout the UK, Europe and beyond. Some have gone on to pursue careers in major organisations within the music industry, while others have taken up further study, research or teaching at national and international music colleges. NEW GENERATION ARTS FESTIVAL Our continuing support for graduates has included an annual showcase of final-year and alumni talent: the New Generation Arts Festival, held in collaboration with partner faculties, as well as other arts training organisations in Birmingham. CAREERS To assist you in pursuing your chosen career, alongside the development of your specialist skills, each of our courses is designed to provide you with a thorough grounding in business acumen, self-promotion and management, and related skills. Plus, before and after you graduate, you can access our Careers Service for employment and careers advice, including a listing of graduate vacancies.
BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATOIRE ASSOCIATION (BCA) BCA is a charitable organisation which provides a vehicle for alumni, staff, parents and other friends of the Conservatoire to stay involved with our work. It provides support for current students through bursaries and activities, and publishes an Fanfare III. informational newsletter, Fanfare III Recently BCA has, with the help of the University’s Alumni Association, organised a number of successful reunions for staff and students of the Conservatoire and its previous incarnation: Birmingham School of Music. UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Conservatoire alumni may also join the University’s main Alumni Association, which provides a virtual meeting point for graduates of all faculties (see www.bcu.ac.uk/alumni for details). As well as organising occasional professional development and social events, the Alumni Association publishes Aspire magazine and provides a way for you to keep in touch with the University’s development as a whole institution.
For further details on BCA’s activities, visit: www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk/bca
About the Conservatoire
VENUES We use our major performance venues for a wide range of student concerts, performance classes, workshops and masterclasses, so you will have the opportunity to perform regularly in professional standard venues. ADRIAN BOULT HALL The Adrian Boult Hall is a 520-seat auditorium with outstanding acoustics, which can accommodate a symphony orchestra. There is also a licensed bar and coffee area plus an exhibition space. Our own varied concert programme integrates with series promoted by external organisations such as Birmingham Jazz, the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra and Birmingham Chamber Music Society, with its programme of internationally renowned ensembles. Together, these provide a rich and diverse schedule of concerts and events throughout the year. The Hall recently underwent a £700,000 refurbishment, which included the fitting of new carpet, seating, acoustic curtains, house and stage lights. The Hall and its three dressing rooms were painted and performance monitors installed at the main doors in the foyer and backstage. We now have six spaces for wheelchair users, including two at the back of the hall which can be accessed by a lift. The work has created an attractive and comfortable venue able to compete with any hall in the country. RECITAL HALL Our 150-seat Recital Hall is a flexible, modern performance space with adjustable acoustics. Well-suited to solo and chamber music performance, it has also been redesigned to accommodate performance with live electronics. Its recent major renovation included the installation of a highly sophisticated multi-channel sound system, which allows performers complete control over amplified sound within the entire performance space. The Recital Hall is the first concert venue in the UK with a permanent system of this kind. During the summer of 2007, the Recital Hall underwent one further development: the installation of a new organ. ARENA FOYER An interesting, modern area, our Arena Foyer backs on to the Adrian Boult Hall. With an audience capacity of 100, the Foyer can be used for a variety of concerts and events, as its space is entirely flexible and includes a small gallery approached by stairs on each side, which can be used inventively in performances.
ADRIAN BOULT HALL
About the Conservatoire
RECORDING AND LIVE ELECTRONICS Our music technology facilities are some of the best of their kind in the country. All of our studios are capable of recording from any of our concert halls or live rooms.
STUDIOS • Recording and production studio equipped with ATC speakers, Digidesign Protools HD3/192 and Yamaha 02R96 desk • 5.1-equipped production studio • Recording and production studio equipped Genclec speakers with Digidesign Protools HD3/192 and Yamaha 02R96 • Recording studio, equipped with Audient ASP8024 Large-Frame analogue console with Mac Pro • Protools HD-equipped edit suite with High Definition Video editing capability and 5.1 surround system • Protools HD-equipped edit suite with High Definition Video editing capability and 5.1 surround system LIVE ROOMS • Medium-sized room suitable for chamber groups and bands. Equipped with a Yamaha grand piano • Small room suitable for production-based projects and vocals, etc
OTHER FACILITIES • iMac Lab – comprising ten professional digital audio workstations (Intel iMacs) • Music for Media Lab – eight professional workstations (Mac G5 Quads / iMacs) set up to enable production and editing of music with moving image (www.musicformedia.bcu.ac.uk) • Recital Hall – unique to the Conservatoire, this bespoke live electronics venue comprises a Yamaha DM2000, Apple Mac, and flexible d&b audiotechnik 10.2+ surround system • Research Room • Various portable recording, editing and live electronics systems SOFTWARE • All studio and lab systems run the latest software, including Logic, Protools (TDM and LE), Waves (Platinum and Gold), Native Instruments (Komplete), Digital Performer, Peak, Spark, Sibelius, MaxMSP/ Jitter and IRCAM Software. • To remain abreast of changes in the industry, we upgrade all our software on a rolling basis.
About the Conservatoire
LIBRARY All students have full access to the Conservatoire Library, an integral part of the University’s Library Services, which links all its central and specialist libraries and enables students to borrow items from any of them. Alongside wide-ranging and substantial collections of books and journals, specialised print and computer-based sources are available to support various project and research needs. Other items can be obtained via the inter-library loan system as required. The Library recently underwent extensive building work funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the University. With the stock safely stored offsite, the space was completely gutted in order to create a mezzanine level, which now offers an additional quiet study area. Another new feature is a ground-floor seminar/group study room, which can also be used by Library staff for meetings and information skills training for students. The Library’s collections include over 8,000 books, 1,300 orchestral and band sets, 1,100 sets of vocal scores, about 100,000 individual scores and parts, and around 12,000 sound recordings. To deal with our ever-expanding stock, we have installed a public compact storage system (moveable shelving) and new storage racks for our collection of over 8,000 CDs. Our new Audio Room has an upgraded suite of listening and recording equipment, plus two separate cubicles for listening and viewing. The Library has been re-equipped with new computers and online services include the British Humanities Index, RILM, JSTOR, New Grove Online, NAXOS and the Classical Music Library. You can also access our complete library catalogue via the internet. Our professionally trained staff will provide you with an introduction to the Library when you enrol, and more detailed guidance is offered to groups or individuals whenever appropriate. The Conservatoire Library is open seven days a week during term time and weekdays during vacations.
TERM: Monday – Thursday 9am – 7.30pm Friday 9am – 6pm Saturday and Sunday 9am – 4pm VACATION: Monday – Thursday 9am – 5pm Friday 9am – 4pm
About the Conservatoire
INSTRUMENTS The Conservatoire owns a sizable collection of fine modern instruments, all of which are available for loan. Additionally, our dedicated Percussion Suite houses a large collection of instruments available for student use. Oboists and bassoonists can also take advantage of reed-making classes and equipment. EARLY INSTRUMENTS An excellent growing collection of early instruments, both reproduction and original, are available for student use. These include: • A full complement of Baroque stringed instruments and bows • Harpsichords (including a Taskin-Goermanns model by Michael Johnson, 1996) • Chamber organ (Kenneth Tickell, 1997) • Fortepianos (including a Fritz model by Denis Woolley,1996) • Theorbo (Peter Biffin, 1980) • Renaissance recorder consort (Mollenhauer, 2003) • Baroque recorders (David Heathcote) • Baroque flutes (Rudolf Tutz) • Baroque and Classical oboes by Richard Earle and Marcel Ponselle • Classical clarinets (Brian Ackerman) • Baroque bassoon (Matthew Dart) • Cornetts (Christopher Monk Workshop) • Six natural trumpets (Keavy-Vanryne, 2002) • Sackbutts (Frank Tomes) • Natural and baroque horns (Halstead-Webb) • Medieval and Renaissance instruments, including crumhorns, shawms, hurdy gurdies, harps and lutes PIANOS Our excellent stock of pianos for student/concert use includes three Steinway Model D concert grand pianos, two housed in the Adrian Boult Hall and one in the Recital Hall. The remaining ground floor rooms all have practice pianos. Our 2nd floor piano studios are equipped with a number of recently-purchased Steinway Model B and Model AS pianos, alongside two new Yamaha S6 instruments, giving students and staff a range of high-quality instruments for teaching and rehearsal purposes. In addition to our service agreement with Steinway, we engage an experienced piano technician to keep all our pianos in tip-top shape. ORGANS Organ teaching is centred on the three-manual Walker organ in nearby St Chad’s Cathedral. Within the Conservatoire building are four small tracker-action practice organs. Since 2007, the historic neo-baroque Eule organ commissioned by Lady Susi Jeans in the 1930s (generously donated by the Royal School of Church Music) has allowed our students to perform in the Conservatoire Recital Hall and participate in competitions.
About the Conservatoire
OPEN ACCESS COMPUTERS In addition to the substantial specialist facilities that will be available to you if you’re working with music technologies, we maintain a number of shared-access computers to support you in your studies. All our computers and software are updated on a rolling basis and one of our IT technicians has specific expertise in music software and networks, should you need assistance. COMPUTER LAB Our main computer room contains nine PCs, each of which runs Windows XP and is equipped with the full Microsoft Office Suite, Sibelius and internet access. There are also two cardaccessed printers available for you to use. CONSERVATOIRE AND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES Additional computing facilities are available in the Conservatoire Library. Their lapsafe contains 15 MacBooks available for student use within the Library, plus 20 fixed computers; all have the same software spec as our Computer Lab PCs. There are three additional computer terminals for accessing the Library catalogue and three networked printers available for use in the Library. As a Conservatoire student, you will also be able to use any of the open access computers in the University’s main Kenrick Library at City North Campus, or in any of the specialist libraries in our partner faculties. BROADBAND AND WIRELESS The University’s broadband data network runs across all sites including the Conservatoire, giving you access to multimedia information from both internal and external sources. Access to Library Services, large information datasets and the internet is provided via the University network and JANET (Joint Academic NET work) and a similarly capable network (RES net) is accessible from all halls of residence bedrooms. Wireless access is available across the University in most communal and recreational areas; our own wireless footprint covers the Conservatoire Coffee Bar and most communal areas on the ground floor of the building. MOODLE The University’s on-line learning system, known as ‘Moodle’, is an integrated and invaluable part of the teaching and learning experience at the Conservatoire. Moodle, one of the most widely implemented virtual learning environments (VLE), is entirely web-based and straightforward to use. It supports a huge number of activities aimed at improving access to and distributing course materials. The Conservatoire makes good use of these facilities to support both the academic modules and first study activities our students undertake. Whether it’s course notes, audio lecture podcasts, interactive support lessons, assessment deadlines or course communication, it’s all available on Moodle 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Moodle has given staff the opportunity to review and enhance their approach to learning and has enabled more interactive teaching in conventional face-to-face sessions. Our University is committed to expanding and developing Moodle, thus allowing our students to make use of an increasingly diverse and wide range of learning materials. To see for yourself what Moodle’s all about, visit: www.moodle.bcu.ac.uk/pme
About the Conservatoire
PRACTICE ROOMS Our purpose-built site includes over 50 dedicated practice rooms: some of the most heavily-used rooms in the entire University! Additional practice facilities are available after 6pm, including some spacious studios used for teaching during the day. Most practice rooms are equipped with one or two upright or grand pianos and all are fitted with sounddampening panels. Demand for practice rooms is high, and an on-line booking system is available for student use. Our suite of organ practice rooms is detailed on page 47 CONSERVATOIRE CAFÉ The Conservatoire Café is open weekdays during term time from 8.30am to around 4.30pm (closing times vary a little, depending on what’s going on in the building). Hot food, freshly prepared, is available at breakfast and lunch times, with sandwiches, snacks, cold and hot drinks available throughout the day. COFFEE BAR Serving hot and cold drinks and a selection of snacks, the Conservatoire’s Coffee Bar generally opens before and during the interval of concerts in the Adrian Boult Hall, Arena Foyer and Recital Hall.
CONSERVATOIRE BAR Our licensed bar is open before and during the interval of major concerts at the Conservatoire. However, most students prefer the comfort and laid-back atmosphere of the local pubs, many of which have been co-opted as student bars! BUILDING HOURS AND SECURITY The Conservatoire building is open to students seven days a week all year round, from 7.30am to 9.45pm on weekdays and from 8am to 7pm at weekends (holidays excepted). As a city centre campus, security is a high priority for us. Our reception desk is staffed by a team of security guards during the opening hours. A separate team of building assistants is available within the Conservatoire. Personal Lockers are provided for storing small instruments and belongings and there are dedicated instrument storage rooms available to percussionists, lower strings players and harpists.
PERSONAL AND ACADEMIC SUPPORT Together with our parent University, we offer excellent support for all of our students. Whatever your individual needs, we will work hard to make sure that they are met. ADVICE FOR ALL STUDENTS Beginning a course of study can mean a dramatic change in lifestyle. To assist you, we have a comprehensive and integrated Student Services Unit which provides help and advice in a number of key areas, including accommodation, careers, chaplaincy, child care, counselling, disability, health care and legal matters. For further details, visit www.bcu.ac.uk/studentservices ADVICE FOR DISABLED STUDENTS All our major venues are now fully accessible to disabled users. Throughout the rest of the Conservatoire, access and facilities are also significantly improved and our evaluation of how we can continue to meet the needs of disabled students and audiences is ongoing. Our Disability Service aims to enable students with disabilities or learning support needs to make the most of their time at university, whether they have a physical, sensory or hidden disability, mental health difficulties or specific learning difficulties. In order to help you plan and prepare for university life, we have a range of services and equipment which can be made available to you. We think it is important that you feel you can tell us about any disability you may have. We regard disclosure of a disability as a positive step, because once we are aware of your disability we can then try to support your individual needs. If you have not made us aware of your disability or you feel you may have a disability, please contact the Disability Service (T: +44 (0)121 331 6495/7775 (text/voice) E: [email protected]
) EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES The Conservatoire and its parent University promote equality of opportunity in every aspect of their provision. University and Conservatoire policy and practice will seek to provide an environment that is free from discrimination against students, staff and others. The Conservatoire and its staff will ensure that all prospective students are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential. The Conservatoire will seek to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religious belief, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family circumstances, citizenship, social and economic status, or any other individual differences. For full details of our Equal Opportunities Policy, please visit www.bcu.ac.uk/student-info/equality-and-diversity
ACCESSING PERSONAL AND ACADEMIC SUPPORT Throughout your study, you will have access to both academic and personal support. Because of the close working relationship between student and first-study teacher, as well as the fact that you will be used to receiving feedback from him or her, your first-study teacher will probably be your primary source of formal personal support. Your head of department, too, will be able to provide valuable advice and guidance when needed. You will also be allocated a personal tutor, whom you will meet during the first week of your course and again during the first term. You will be able to meet with your personal tutor by appointment as often as necessary and, if possible, you will remain with the same personal tutor for the duration of your course. Furthermore, each department normally nominates a senior student to act as a student mentor, giving advice and support to fellow students. Your academic progress will be monitored by your module tutors and module co-ordinators, with whom you can book appointments as and when needed. You will also have a year tutor who can provide advice on course matters through meetings with all the students in your year. Additional academic and personal support is available for international students (see page 30). PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING Now embedded into every year of all our courses, personal development planning (PDP) is not just about getting the best out of your course, it’s about getting the best out of yourself. Through PDP, you’ll be able to discover and articulate your personal and professional goals, as well as devise a plan for achieving them. On the most practical and immediate level, PDP will help you to plan an appropriate choice of electives to enhance and complement your first study and course module and, if you’re an undergraduate, to develop a rationale for your fourth-year major project. In a wider context, you’ll benefit from having the opportunity to consider your individual learning style and work patterns, which can then inform how you approach your studies, your practice and your career. LIFELONG LEARNING We believe that learning is for everyone and that people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities should have the opportunity to experience high quality music making and music education. To this end, regular education projects, such as our Brass Explosion! events and our Lower Strings Days for all-comers are a great way to get enthusiasts, beginners, professionals and teachers playing and learning together. At the other end of the spectrum, our Continuing Professional Development events provide a vehicle for music teachers to top up or diversify their own professional skills. On the most basic level, our undergraduate and postgraduate courses are truly open to all musicians who meet our entry requirements and who demonstrate the desire and potential to develop their musical abilities to professional standard. What you do after that is limited only by your own imagination.
MUSIC IN THE COMMUNITY One of the fastest growing areas of employment for conservatoire graduates is in providing practical music support for schools and community-based music projects. Through tutorials, action research and project delivery, we encourage our students to explore ways in which participatory music can be used to affect positively the lives of children and young people. Targeting those with little or no access to music provision, our students work in partnership with host organisations to plan and execute projects that achieve a series of musical and social objectives. Community music electives have been designed to support the work of the DCSF/DCMS-led Music Manifesto, the new Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and Birmingham City Council’s youth arts strategy – Creative Futures. Taking part requires you to work as part of a team and demonstrate a willingness to experiment, take risks and work outside of existing comfort zones. EDUCATION AND OUTREACH PROJECTS Our regular education events actively engage people of all ages and backgrounds with music making, including young musicians and teachers from across the UK. Previous projects have included specific string, brass, woodwind and percussion events for people of all ages and abilities; world music workshops; professional development training for school and music service teachers and specialist instrumental ‘roadshows’. Our programme of activities has led to the formation of strong long-term partnerships with organisations and institutions in the West Midlands, across the UK and abroad. Participating in these projects under the supervision of experienced workshop leaders and professional practitioners can help you to develop your group leadership and communication skills and can form a significant part of your professional portfolio, improving your career prospects as a versatile professional musician.
How it works
FIRST STUDY AREAS Your first study activities will be demanding and challenging, and will take up the majority of your time. It is important that you allow yourself adequate time to compose or prepare for solo and ensemble performances, to study for exams, to complete your academic work and to undertake other important engagements. Joint first study is not offered between all instruments and is most commonly offered when an instrument or voice is studied in combination with composition. If you are exceptionally capable in two areas, you may be considered for joint first study in two performance areas; however, you should discuss this with our Admissions Team before making an application. TEACHING Our world-class tutorial staff has grown and diversified substantially over the past few years and now includes over 200 full- and part-time specialist tutors, including international soloists, chamber and orchestral musicians, cutting-edge jazz artists; and leading composers, performers and academics. Their expertise lies not only in classical music, but also in jazz, community music, folk and world music, early music, music technology, North Indian classical music, and popular music. We also boast a notable specialism in contemporary composition and performance, which draws on the contributions of several leading lights in this field, and makes use of our unique performance spaces and equipment, the combination of which makes us one of the UK’s leading institutions for musicians working with new technologies. SECOND STUDY Versatility is important. So, although you will spend most of your time concentrating on your first study, you will also have the chance to pursue a second study specialism, in an area either related or complementary to your first study. MASTERCLASSES AND CONSULTANTS Many departments now have one or more consultant tutors or a visiting artist-in-residence. These world-class musicians, working at the top of their field, normally visit the Conservatoire several times a year to give masterclasses and/or individual lessons. In addition to consultant masterclasses, regular masterclasses with visiting professionals in your specialist area will form an important part of your study. The number of masterclasses in which you will participate depends on the department in which you study.
COURSES AND DEPARTMENTS During your time at the Conservatoire, you will study within a particular department, determined by your first study area, and on a particular course. Most specialist activities are arranged by departments, where you will learn alongside other students in your area (strings, winds, jazz, etc) who are following a range of different courses (undergraduate, postgraduate, research). You will also undertake more general activities and classes which are part of your course (BMus, PgDip etc) where you will work with musicians studying at the same level as you, but across a range of different disciplines. This intermixing contributes to the Conservatoire’s friendly and collaborative atmosphere and encourages our students to learn from one another.
TUTORIAL STAFF John Todd, Head of Strings: A former member of the Festival Strings Lucerne, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra, John Todd was cellist in the Coull Quartet for 15 years, as well as performing frequently as a recitalist and leader/director of various cello ensembles. He has taught for 20 years at conservatoire/university level.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT John Todd AGSM Dip Kons Luz CONSULTANTS Cello: Raphael Wallfisch FGSM FRAM Double Bass: Peter Buckoke HonARCM ATCL STAT Baroque Violin: Margaret Faultless MA (Cantab) ARCM FTCL SENIOR VIOLIN TUTOR Nathaniel Vallois BMus MMus ARCM Advanced Performance (Distinction) MA VIOLIN Nic Fallowfield LTCL Devorina Gamalova PhD ARCM DipPerf (Sofia) Katherine Gittings* DipRCM ARCM LRAM David le Page Simon Smith Concert Recital Diploma AGSM HonFNMSM Susanne Stanzeleit Advanced Solo Studies (GSMD) Rimma Sushanskaya PhD (St Petersburg Conservatoire) Alexandra Wood MA (Cantab) Adv PgDip ARCM
BAROQUE VIOLIN AND VIOLA Margaret Faultless MA (Cantab) ARCM FTCL Kate Fawcett BA HonBC Jane Rogers GRSM ARAM LRAM Diane Terry FOLK FIDDLE Joe Broughton BMus HonBC KLEZMER Sue Shortland Webb SENOIR VIOLA TUTOR Robin Ireland BA Mus, Hon.D.Mus VIOLA Devorina Gamalova PhD ARCM DipPerf (Sofia) Emmanuella Reiter BA MA Christopher Yates* CELLO Catherine Ardagh-Walter* ARCM DipRCM Lionel Handy ARAM DipRAM Jane Salmon MA (Cantab) ARCM Hons (Schubert Ensemble) John Todd AGSM Dip Kons Luz
BAROQUE CELLO Imogen Seth Smith BA (Hons) ARCM DOUBLE BASS Tom Millar* DRSAM Richard Lewis CHAMBER MUSIC David Angel ARAM Recital Diploma (RAM) (Maggini Quartet) Robin Ireland BA Mus HonDMus Jane Salmon MA (Cantab) ARCM Hons (Schubert Ensemble) John Todd AGSM Dip Kons Luz JUNIOR FELLOWS Boult Quartet *denotes member of CBSO
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: 144 156 122 116 106 BMus (Hons) PgCert/PgDip/MMus/AdvPgDip Professional development Orchestras and large ensembles Coaching
The music profession in the 21st century demands a flexibility of approach and familiarity with different styles and genres of music which were unthinkable even 20 years ago. This diversification in our industry is amply reflected in our experienced and dedicated teaching staff. International soloists Rimma Sushanskaya and Suzanne Stanzeleit on the violin, and our Cello Consultant Raphael Wallfisch bring a wealth of experience and expertise to teaching the solo repertoire of their respective instruments, while our Senior Violin Tutor Nathaniel Vallois and his colleague Simon Smith, new Senior Viola Tutor Robin Ireland, Head of Strings John Todd and our Bass Consultant Peter Buckoke come primarily from a chamber music background, which demands the listening and communication skills so important in any form of music-making. Katherine Gittings, Christopher Yates, Catherine Ardagh-Walter and Tom Millar are all members of the CBSO, while many of our other tutors work as freelance musicians, and are thus able to pass on the adaptable, flexible techniques demanded in that area. The strength of our staff means your learning programme can be tailored to suit your individual needs and aspirations. Advanced technical skills are built up through individual lessons, and you will be given the widest possible exposure to the classical and contemporary repertoire of your instrument through both first study lessons and a range of group activities. Our extensive electives programme offers the opportunity to explore a variety of performing styles, while second study lessons in a specific area, such as folk fiddle, Klezmer or jazz improvisation, give you the chance to pursue a particular interest in greater depth. Participation in chamber music and early music is strongly encouraged and appropriate performance opportunities are available at every stage of your development and include our series of lunchtime recitals, as well as regular performance workshops and masterclasses. All students have access to distinguished guest conductors and sectional coaches through rehearsal and performance with the college’s symphony, chamber, opera and early music orchestras. Further ensembles include a string orchestra and cello ensemble. Advanced students can also audition for the prestigious CBSO or Philharmonia Orchestra professional training schemes. There is a clear recognition of the importance of teaching and communication skills to the modern music professional. If you are an undergraduate, you will be given a thorough grounding in teaching techniques during the latter part of your studies and have the option of pursuing a PGCE qualification as part of your degree.
RECENT MASTERCLASES AND WORKSHOPS VIOLIN Felix Andrievsky Vadim Gluzmann Ilya Gringolts Erich Gruenberg Daniel Hope Henning Kraggerud Malcolm Layfield Anthony Marwood Gyorgy Pauk Krysztof Smietana VIOLA
CELLO Alexander Baillie Natalie Clein Leonid Gorokhov Guy Johnston Moray Welsh DOUBLE BASS Kevin Rundell Mary Scully Dominic Seldis Stacey Walton Tom Martin CHAMBER MUSIC Alberni Quartet Allegri String Quartet Amsterdam Quartet Belcea String Quartet Carducci Quartet Chilingirian Quartet Dante Quartet Endellion Quartet Gould Trio Maggini String Quartet Vanbrugh String Quartet Vogler String Quartet Philip Dukes Yuko Inoue Garfield Jackson Simon Rowland Jones Paul Silverthorne Ivo van der Werff
PRINCIPAL HARP TUTOR Catherine White BMus (Curtis) MMus (Julliard) ORCHESTRAL HARP COACHING Robert Johnston* DipMusEdRSAMD ARCM
HEAD OF CLASSICAL GUITAR Mark Ashford ARAM GRSM (Hons) LRAM ProfCert Hons CLASSICAL GUITAR Mark Eden ARAM GRSM (Hons) LRAM DipRAM ProfCert (Hons)
ELECTRIC GUITAR AND BASS Fred T Baker GBSM LUTE AND THEORBO Elizabeth Pallett BA (Hons) HonBC PGCE QTS * denotes member of CBSO
RECENT MASTERCLASSES AND WORKSHOPS GUITAR Stephen Dodgson Craig Ogden Gary Ryan John Williams Fabio Zanon
Imogen Barford Elinor Bennett Anneleen Leanarts Gabriella Dall’Olio Isabelle Perrin Katherine Thomas Karen Vaughan Sioned Williams
The Guitar Department offers a stable and supportive learning environment, with great teaching and guidance. The academic subjects are relevant and comprehensive, and the learning support is second to none.
MATTHEW PRIOR Guitar, BMus (Hons) (2009 graduation) Tutor: Mark Ashford
William Taylor (early harp) Billy Hornby (harp maintenance) PHOTOGRAPH CREDITS
PLUCKED STRINGS In addition to the activities listed below, our extensive electives programme offers you the opportunity to explore a variety of performing styles, while second study lessons allow you to pursue a related or complementary instrument in greater depth. There is a clear recognition of the importance of teaching and communication skills to the modern music professional. If you are an undergraduate, you will be given a thorough grounding in teaching techniques during the latter part of your studies and have the option of pursuing a PGCE qualification as part of your degree. HARP As a first study harpist, you will undertake intensive individual tuition with world-class harpist Catherine White. Concentrating on the development of solo ability alongside ensemble playing, the harp syllabus covers a wide range of styles, including classical, modern, pop and jazz. Solo, chamber and orchestral performance opportunities are available within the college, and advanced students may obtain paid work through our External Engagements team.
GUITAR Tuition in our vibrant Guitar Department is designed to equip you with all the skills required to enter the music profession. You’ll cover a broad spectrum of repertoire, receiving specialised individual tuition in your chosen area of study, complemented by masterclasses with visiting artists. Additional technique and sight-reading classes will contribute to your training in both modern techniques and early music styles, as appropriate. Regular performance opportunities include weekly performance workshops, lunchtime recitals, chamber music concerts and external events. There is a strong emphasis on ensemble playing, through mixed ensembles, guitar ensembles and our guitar orchestra. If you have a particular interest in chamber music or you are part of a guitar ensemble, there is a new pathway offering specialist training in these areas, available at postgraduate level. Creative collaboration is encouraged, both between classical, jazz and rock guitarists, and with students from other departments throughout the college. LUTE Available as a first study area, or as a complement to other studies, lute tuition concentrates on the differing techniques appropriate to Renaissance, Baroque and Classical playing. You will study solo, chamber and continuo playing for the lute with Elizabeth Pallett, and you will also receive an introduction to the archlute and theorbo, as well as instruction in staff notation and lute tablature. The Conservatoire owns a fine collection of instruments available for student loan. Performance opportunities for early guitarists and lutenists exist within the Conservatoire’s full Baroque orchestra, Capelle and Chamber Music Programme.
JIYOUNG LEE Harp, BMus (Hons) (2010 graduation) Tutor: Catherine White Catherine is an amazing teacher. She has the ability to be very musical and technical at the same time. She’s like a mother to us. Initially I was worried that, with so few harpists, the Conservatoire might not feel competitive enough. But because the Department is small, we get so many opportunities to play – with different ensembles, orchestras, in projects; different genres, pieces – and we can have really close one-to-one relationships with our teacher, lots of individual attention. Plus, there’s so much free time to practise.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: 144 156 122 116 110 BMus (Hons) PgCert/PgDip/MMus/AdvPgDip Professional development Orchestras and large ensembles Early music
TUTORIAL STAFF Michael Harris’ distinguished career includes 31 years with the Philharmonia Orchestra (1974-2005) alongside a busy freelance career performing with groups such as the Nash Ensemble and London Winds. A keen interest in early clarinets has led to work with period instrument groups including the English Concert, English Baroque Soloists and Collegium Musicum ’90. He coaches the wind section of the Britten-Pears Orchestra and is regularly invited to appear as an adjudicator and panellist.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Professor Michael Harris ARCM FRCM WOODWIND COORDINATOR Jenni Phillips GRSM (Hons) ARCM CONSULTANTS Clarinet: Anthony Pay Flute: Karen Jones Oboe: Christopher Cowie DipRCM (Perf) Bassoon: Sarah Burnett FLUTE Judith Hall BA (Melb) Colin Lilley* GGSM Jonathan Rimmer ARCM Christopher Steward LTCL BAROQUE AND CLASSICAL FLUTE Neil McLaren ARCM FTCL MBACP(accred) PICCOLO Francis Nolan LRSM
OBOE Professor George Caird MA (Cantab) FRAM ARCM FRSA, HonFLCM Jenni Phillips GRSM (Hons) ARCM Richard Weigall ARCM BAROQUE AND CLASSICAL OBOE Gail Hennessy BMus (Hons) COR ANGLAIS Anna Cooper GRSM (Hons) CLARINET Professor Michael Harris ARCM FRCM Sally Harrop GBSM ABSM PGDip HonBC Timothy Lines DipRCM (perf) ARCM HonARAM Edward Watson E FLAT CLARINET Martyn Davies* ARCM ARAM CLARINET/BASS CLARINET Professor Michael Harris ARCM/FRCM Mark O’Brien* ARAM CLASSICAL CLARINET Prof Michael Harris ARCM FRCM
BASSOON Meyrick Alexander ARCM Nicholas Hunka ARCM BASSOON/CONTRABASSOON Margaret Cookhorn* GMus RNCM (Hons) BAROQUE BASSOON Alastair Mitchell BA (Hons) (York) Cert Advanced Studies (GSMD) SYMPHONIC WIND ORCHESTRA Guy Woolfenden OBE WIND REPERTOIRE ENSEMBLES Professor Michael Harris ARCM FRCM Our expert orchestral woodwind staff provides specialist tuition in flute, piccolo, oboe, cor anglais, clarinet, E flat and bass clarinet, bassoon and contrabassoon. Comprehensive training in historical performance techniques on Baroque and Classical instruments is also available. Working very much as a team, our woodwind tutors and consultants take the greatest care to ensure that every aspect of our students’ playing is dealt with, from the smallest technical detail to coping with stage nerves. As a new student, you’ll immediately appreciate the supportive and collaborative attitude shared by our staff and students, making for an atmosphere that is motivational rather than competitive. Focusing on each student’s development as an individual performer means everyone can concentrate on the most important thing – music. From the very first weeks of your study, you’ll find yourself playing in a wind repertoire class. Available at introductory and advanced levels, these classes cover all the standard orchestral repertoire from the point of view of the wind section and are a first step in learning the skills of listening and playing in an ensemble. You’ll then develop these further through our Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra and our highly accomplished Wind Ensemble. At every stage in your development, you’ll undertake classes and coaching to build your performance skills, and the Department regularly invites distinguished international soloists to give masterclasses in solo repertoire. Additional performance opportunities are provided at every level by the Conservatoire’s full schedule of internal and public concerts. To encourage you to develop a broad understanding of music and your chosen instrument(s), you will have access to an array of performance electives throughout your study at the Conservatoire.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: 144 BMus (Hons) 155 PgCert/PgDip/MMus/ AdvPgDip 116 Orchestras and large ensembles 106 Coaching
* denotes member of CBSO
BASS CLARINET Clarinettists wishing to explore in depth the now extensive repertoire for bass clarinet and, as a related instrument, basset horn, can take advantage of this first study area within the PgCert or the performance pathway of the PgDip/MMus. The programme has been set up in collaboration with the Italian clarinettist Paolo De Gaspari, who has initiated a diploma for bass clarinet at the Academia in Pordenone, near Venice. His expertise, particularly in contemporary repertoire, alongside that of Prof Michael Harris (Head of Woodwind and former principal bass clarinettist of the Philharmonia Orchestra) and Mark O’Brien (CBSO, BCMG) will ensure your study is both stimulating and musically challenging. You will be offered the option of a shared orchestral audition/recital as your final assessment. INTERNATIONAL DOUBLE REED SOCIETY Last held in the UK in 1989, Birmingham Conservatoire hosted the International Double Reed Society’s annual conference in July 2009. This once-in-a generation event for oboists and bassoonists, attracted leading professionals (including Nicholas Daniel, Carlo Columbo, Jonathan Kelly, Meyrick Alexander, Pascal Gallois and Gordon Hunt), students and enthusiasts from over 40 countries. The conference involved 100 concerts and other events inlcuding 38 world premieres, 56 traders and over 1000 participants. Further details can be found on www.idrs2009.org until July 2010.
COSIMA YU Clarinet, BMus (2010 graduation) Tutors: Michael Harris & Timothy Lines I auditioned for the Conservatoire in my home country, Taiwan, and was awarded a scholarship, so I decided to persuade my performance career here. The best thing for me is that the atmosphere within the Conservatoire is always friendly and helpful. I have been able to play in orchestras, masterclasses, various chamber groups and competitions, and I am always encouraged to play for as much as I can. Outside college, I have been involved in several external engagements (organised through the Conservatoire): mostly orchestral or chamber concerts. In December 2009, I also played in the orchestra for Birmingham Opera Company’s production of Othello, which will be broadcast on BBC. I won the Conservatoire’s Woodwind Prize and the Symphony Hall Recital Competition, the latter leading to a recital at Birmingham’s Town Hall, where I performed in February 2010 - it was very exciting! After graduating, I plan to go to Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London for a postgraduate orchestral clarinet training course. Without my four years studying here in Birmingham, I wouldn’t have been able to progress to this level – my experience here has helped me so much!
FLUTE Wissam Boustany Michael Cox Philippa Davies Paul Edmund-Davies Clare Southworth PICCOLO Keith Bragg Oboe John Anderson Neil Black Ruth Bolister Gordon Hunt Emily Pailthorpe Christopher Redgate CLARINET Paolo De Gaspari Colin Lawson Angela Malsbury Barnaby Robson BASSOON Sarah Burnett Carlo Colombo Martin Gatt John Orford Graham Sheen
RECENT MASTERCLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
Recorder and Saxophone
TUTORIAL STAFF RECORDER Led by Ross Winters, our lively and supportive Recorder Department provides tuition in all aspects of technique, style and repertoire. With a view to making the most of each individual’s potential, all periods of recorder music are afforded equal importance. The course is designed to develop your skills in both solo and ensemble playing and you will also have the opportunity to study related early wind instruments. A range of stimulating and varied performance classes and workshops on related topics is open to students in all years and there are two masterclasses a year given by distinguished visiting professionals. Recorder students at the Conservatoire are respected and integrated into the fabric of student life. In addition to activities within the Department, specialist ensembles are organised for a variety of projects, and the department is closely involved with the Conservatoire’s Early Music Programme. You’ll have the unique advantage of being able to perform with several diverse groups, including the college’s Baroque orchestra (Capelle) and The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble. You’ll also receive regular specialist consort coaching. In addition to a grounding in teaching techniques, you’ll have the opportunity to observe teaching at organisations such as Coventry Performing Arts. SAXOPHONE Birmingham Conservatoire is now at the forefront of saxophone education. We hosted the 8th British Saxophone Congress, where artists as diverse as Gilad Atzmon and Arno Bornkamp shared the stage with the National Saxophone Choir at the gala concert. More recently, we have enjoyed visits from Jean-Yves Formeau and Jacob ter Veldhuis. Alongside the numerous performing opportunities for motivated students, the Conservatoire’s specialist Jazz Department helps to add vibrancy to saxophone studies, as do collaborations with the Composition and Brass departments. The saxophone syllabus is broadbased and ideally suited to those performers wishing to pursue a freelance career. With this in mind, great emphasis is put on versatility and adaptability in performance. A firm technical grounding early on paves the way for the study of major French classical and contemporary works, as well as cross-over and jazz, with the chance to specialise in the latter stages of your study. Coaching is available for saxophone quartets and our Saxophone Ensemble, as well as the Conservatoire’s Symphonic Wind Orchestra and Jazz Big Band provide opportunities to perform in large ensembles.
HEAD OF RECORDER Ross Winters BA (Oxon) ARCM LTCL Diploma Muzieklyceum (Amsterdam)
RECORDER TUTORS Grace Barton BMus (Hons) DPS PgCert QTS Annabel Knight GRSM (Hons) MMus DipRCM GRSM (Hons) Christopher Orton BMus (Hons) AdvPgDip
HEAD OF SAXOPHONE Naomi Sullivan BMus MMus SAXOPHONE CONSULTANT Kyle Horch BMus MMus DipGSMD HonRCM SAXOPHONE TUTORS Anna Thompson Brooks BMus (Hons) Andrew Tweed ABSM GBSM
RECENT MASTERCLASSES AND WORKSHOPS RECORDER
SAXOPHONE Iain Ballamy Rob Buckland Snake Davis Claude Delangle Christian Forshaw Jean-Yves Fourmeau Tim Garland Simon Haram Kyle Horch Richard Ingham Claus Olesen Dave Roach Damien Royannais Stan Sulzmann Jutlandia Saxophone Quartet Piers Adams Anneke Boeke Jean Pierre Boullet Susannah Borsch Tim Cranmore Paul Leenhouts Lucinda Mackworth-Young Joachim Rohmer Markus Zahnhausen
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: 144 156 122 116 110 94 BMus (Hons) PgCert/PgDip/MMus/AdvPgDip Professional development Orchestras and large ensembles Early music Jazz department
TUTORIAL STAFF David Purser, Head of Brass, has 25 years‘ experience teaching at conservatoire/university level. His playing career includes 30 years as principal trombone of the London Sinfonietta, 30 years with the Nash Ensemble, 13 years with the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, 16 years with London Brass and seven years as principal trombone of Sinfonia 21. He has published several arrangements for brass ensemble. David is also Head of our Orchestral Programme.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Professor David Purser ARCM TRUMPET Peter Fisher ABSM Jonathan Holland* ARCM LRAM (Principal, CBSO) Paul Mayes ProfCert LRAM Andrew Stone-Fewings GBSM ABSM Alan Thomas* BMus (Hons) PgDip HonBC (Co- Principal, CBSO) CORNET Richard Marshall BS (Hons) LRSM Ian Porthouse GBSM NATURAL TRUMPET David Blackadder DipPerf RCM ARCM FRENCH HORN Sue Dent DipPerf RCM ARCM Peter Dyson* AGSM Simon de Souza CertMus GMus (CNAA) HAND HORN Sue Dent DipPerf RCM ARCM
TROMBONE Anthony Howe* MusB (Hons) GRNCM PPRNCM Edward Jones* Katy Jones Professor David Purser ARCM BASS TROMBONE Alwyn Green* LRAM LTCL Robert Hughes LRAM FRAM SACKBUT AND CLASSICAL TROMBONE Sue Addison ARCM (Hons) HonARAM TUBA Graham Sibley* GGSM PDOT (GSMD)
EUPHONIUM AND BARITONE David Childs Katrina Marzella TENOR HORN Owen Farr BA RNCM PPRNCM DIRECTOR OF BRASS BAND STUDIES Ian Porthouse GBSM * denotes member of CBSO
Because ensemble playing is at the core of the brass player’s musical life, teamwork is at the core of the Brass Department’s activities. In each specialist area, our team of tutors has the expertise to address all areas of music making and instrumental playing. Leading exponents of orchestral, brass band and chamber music playing come from as far afield as Manchester, Cardiff and London to join their Birmingham-based colleagues as part of our teaching team. They bring with them their pedagogical and technical expertise, as well as the enthusiasm for music that makes them first rate performers. Our aim is to help our students develop distinct but wellrounded musical personalities, with a wide experience of styles and an awareness of the vast range of professional possibilities. So brass band players are encouraged (though not obliged) to spend some time on an orchestral instrument, while orchestral players (who also often appear with the brass band) may take lessons from one of the Conservatoire’s jazz tutors. In another example of cross-fertilisation, Sue Addison and David Blackadder (our sackbut and natural trumpet teachers) will sometimes work with modern instruments to impart their specialist knowledge of period styles in a more familiar contemporary context. Along with the various band, orchestral and chamber music activities, there is an active schedule of special brass classes covering a wide spectrum of topics, from scales to stage presentation, Baroque style to orchestral repertoire and practice technique to performance nerves. Delivered by the Conservatoire’s own teachers as well as a range of distinguished visitors, they provide opportunities for discussion, listening and, perhaps most importantly, the vital experience of playing in public. In addition to the Conservatoire’s regular concert series, occasions such as our Brass Explosion! events and frequent brass chamber music concerts (for ensembles of all shapes and sizes) give us the opportunity to show off the department’s work.
BRASS QUINTET Bespoke tuition is available at postgraduate level for existing brass quintets who wish to extend and consolidate their ensemble skills, while allowing each member to continue with their individual instrumental and academic study. Delivered in collaboration with the Midlands-based ensemble Fine Arts Brass (FAB) and Birmingham Music Service (BMS), the programme addresses all aspects of quintet life from repertoire development to workshop skills, and from the identification and arrangement of suitable music to the practicalities of organising an ensemble.
RECENT MASTERCLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
TRUMPET AND CORNET TROMBONE Jonas Bylund Wycliffe Gordon Chris Houlding Don Lucas Jacques Mauger Kevin Price Lindsay Shilling Denis Wick HORN Alessio Allegrini Richard Clews Elspeth Dutch Martin Owen Hugh Seenan TUBA David Gordon-Shute Oren Marshall Graham Sibley Stephen Wick EUPHONIUM Andrew Fawbert David Thornton TENOR HORN Melvyn Bathgate BRASS BAND Elgar Howarth Phillip Wilby
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: 144 156 122 116 106 BMus (Hons) PgCert/PgDip/MMus/AdvPgDip Professional development Orchestras and large ensembles Coaching
Håkan Hardenberger Michael Laird John Miller Rex Richardson Kristian Steenstrup Roger Webster
TUTORIAL STAFF Principal Percussionist and Timpanist with the CBSO since 1972 and a founding member of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, James Strebing has long been active in Birmingham’s musical community. He studied with George Gaber at Indiana University and was principal percussionist with the Indianapolis Symphony before a Fulbright Scholarship brought him to the UK. PERCUSSION Offering excellent facilities, our lively Percussion Department offers a broad vision of percussion, with tutors trained both in the UK and abroad providing an international outlook. Specialist training is provided in every area: from classical to commercial, theatrical to popular. Outstanding in its diversity, our syllabus combines a wide range of solo, ensemble and orchestral repertoire with access to jazz techniques, and World Music options such as gamelan, African drumming and samba. Providing a chance for you to broaden your horizons and integrate different playing styles, these options offer invaluable experience of unusual styles and instruments and will help to prepare you for the complex demands of the modern percussion world. The department’s size is carefully balanced to ensure ample performance opportunities for every student, while maintaining a healthy percussion ensemble. This flexible group undertakes two or three concerts each year, performing pieces that range from three to twelve players. As a percussion student, you’ll have regular performing opportunities within the Conservatoire orchestras, bands and ensembles, and you can also undertake various external engagements. Sufficiently advanced students can also take advantage of professional training schemes with the CBSO and Philharmonia Orchestra. Our dedicated Percussion Suite houses a large collection of instruments available for student use. Conservatoire percussion graduates can be heard performing in London’s West End, and with professional orchestras such as the LSO, CBSO and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. In collaboration with PASUK, the Conservatoire hosted its first Day of Percussion in 2006, welcoming several international artists including David Friedman. Further events have welcomed Gustavo Gimeno, Lorenzo Ferrandiz and Dave Sanchez among others.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT James Strebing* BMus (Indiana Univ)
TIMPANI AND PERCUSSION James Strebing* BMus (Indiana Univ) DRUM KIT Malcolm Garrett SOLO AND TUNED PERCUSSION Elizabeth Gilliver GMus RNCM (Hons) PPRNCM ORCHESTRAL PERCUSSION Jonathan Herbert GRNCM MALLET AND SOLO PERCUSSION Jason Huxtable BMus (Hons) AdvPgDip Timothy Palmer BMus (Hons) AdvPgDip CONTEMPORARY AND LATIN PERCUSSION Alonso Mendoza Moreno BA (Hons) (Univ of Mexico) MA (The Hague) * denotes member of CBSO
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: 144 156 122 116 106 BMus (Hons) PgCert/PgDip/MMus/AdvPgDip Professional development Orchestras and large ensembles Coaching
PERCUSSION Chris Baron Colin Currie David Friedman Neil Grover Michael Quinn Ney Rosauro Nebojsa Zivkovic
RECENT MASTERCLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
TUTORIAL STAFF Malcolm Wilson studied in Birmingham with Constance Warren before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where his teachers were Kendall Taylor and Maurice Cole. He made his recital debut at the Wigmore Hall in 1975 and has for many years been a principal pianist with both the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the CBSO, with whom he has undertaken extensive overseas tours and made numerous recordings. In association with the BCMG he has recently been involved with the ‘Creative Exchange’ group improvisation programme, led by Peter Wiegold, whose concerts explore the interaction and creative processes between composer, performer and audience. With a distinguished staff of tutors and consultants specialising in accompaniment, solo and orchestral performance, the Piano Department concentrates on your development as a versatile, confident and self-reliant performer. Reflecting the demands of versatility and artistic awareness in the realm of professional performance, your intensive pianistic training will be supplemented by a wide range of specialist activities and workshops, including classes in repertoire, sight-reading, accompaniment, Lieder and French song; coaching in accompaniment fortepiano; and keyboard skills.
As a first study pianist, you will participate in performance classes every week and, nearly as often, in masterclasses, which will be a fundamental part of your study. Involving a high degree of practical involvement and feedback, both programmes will help you to develop the breadth of your own musical vision. Undergraduate performance classes are normally held in our Adrian Boult Hall (see page 41), giving you regular opportunities to perform in an outstanding modern concert hall. As well as solo performance, all undergraduates study accompaniment. You will also be encouraged to participate in chamber music (coaching is available to established ensembles) and you’ll also have the opportunity to gain experience in repetiteur work and orchestral keyboard performance as part of your course. Performance opportunities, provided throughout the course, include the Conservatoire’s series of lunchtime and evening concerts. Selected students can also take advantage of our Pianists for Dance scheme, run in partnership with the Birmingham Royal Ballet. The Piano Department enjoys close ties with the Vocal & Operatic Department and students often collaborate in performances and competitions, as well as in language and accompaniment classes. Peter Donohoe, the Conservatoire’s Vice-President, has been a consultant tutor to the department since 1989, and works closely with both staff and students FORTEPIANO Working towards an annual concert, all undergraduate pianists study fortepiano during their second year, exploring an extensive repertoire (including CPE Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert) on the type of instrument for which it was originally conceived. The Conservatoire possesses two fortepianos: a John Rawson copy of a 1780s Viennese instrument; and another by Dennis Woolley (after Fritz, c.1820). In addition to solo pieces, chamber music and song accompaniment may also be studied.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Professor Malcolm Wilson GBSM ARCM CONSULTANTS Piano: Peter Donohoe FRNCM GRNCM ARNCM ARCM DUniv DMus (B’ham)
PIANO Robert Birchall ARCN GRNCM DPS (Mus Perf) Caroline Costello GBSM ABSM PgCert (GSM) Margaret Fingerhut ARCM Jonathan French BMus (Hons) DPS (MusPerf) HonBC John Humphreys ARAM ARCM Katherine Lam BMus (Hons) DPS (Mus Perf) Philip Martin ARAM LRAM FRAM Robert Markham DMA (Juilliard) Margaret Newman BA (Mus) LRAM FTCL (Perf) Simon Nicholls GRSM ARCM LRAM David Quigley BMus HonBC Victor Sangiorgio AMUSA (Hons) DipHonSiena FellowBMA Prof Malcolm Wilson GBSM ARCM Di Xiao Master’s (Beijing) APD FORTE PIANO Sharona Joshua BMus David Ward ARCM LRAM
HEAD OF ACCOMPANIMENT Robert Markham DMA (Julliard) PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT TUTORS Jonathan French BMus (Hons) DPS (MusPerf) HonBC John Humphreys ARAM ARCM Robert Markham DMA (Juilliard) Simon Nicholls GRSM ARCM LRAM Antony Saunders ARAM LRAM (Teach) ARCM (Perf) ARCO STAFF ACCOMPANISTS Jonathan French BMus (Hons) DPS (MusPerf) HonBC Ben Kennedy BMus (Hons) Robert Markham DMA (Juilliard) Jo Sealey ABSM GBSM HonBC
RECENT MASTERCLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
PIANO Andrew Ball Birmingham Royal Ballet Peter Donohoe Julius Drake Daniel Höxter Martin Jones Mikhail Kazakevich Vanessa Latarche John Lill Leon McCawley Richard McMahon Bryce Morrison Ronan O’Hora David Owen Norris Bernard Roberts Martin Roscoe Balász Szokolay
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: 144 BMus (Hons) 156 PgCert/PgDip/MMus/ AdvPgDip 122 Professional development
Organ & Harpsichord
TUTORIAL STAFF Henry Fairs is both Head of Organ Studies at Birmingham Conservatoire and Organist to the University of Birmingham. Since winning the Odense International Organ Competition Henry Fairs has performed in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Poland and the United States. His orchestral concerto debut was with the Paris Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra in 2004 playing Jean Guillou’s 6th Concerto. His recent schedule included a Messiaen recital at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, a live broadcast of Poulenc’s organ concerto for Danish Radio from the Carl Nielsen Hall, Odense, and a recital at Worms Cathedral, Germany which opened the Kultursommer Rheinland-Pfalz festival. ORGAN & HARPSICHORD The Conservatoire boasts a thriving Organ Department with excellent links to the Royal College of Organists (RCO). Our distinguished staff includes well-known recitalist James Parsons, Head of Student Development at the RCO; Dan Moult, hugely in demand both as a player and as a music educator and animateur; and harpsichordist and organist Douglas Hollick, who studied with Peter Hurford and Marie-Claire Alain and is a regular contributor to Choir & Organ. Marcus Huxley, also a pupil of Marie-Claire Alain, is a St Alban’s prize-winner and Director of Music at St Philip’s Cathedral; while Charles Matthews was first prize winner in the 1999 Liszt Competition in Budapest. The Conservatoire is delighted to welcome distinguished international recitalist, teacher and President of the Royal College of Organists, David Sanger, as Consultant Tutor in Organ Studies. Organ teaching is centred on the acclaimed three-manual Walker organ in St Chad’s Cathedral, where Prof David Saint is Director of Music, but you will also have access to our four small tracker-action organs and our historic Eule organ, commissioned by Lady Susi Jeans in the 1930s and generously donated to the Conservatoire by the Royal School of Church Music in 2007. You’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to several centuries of European organ repertoire, with the opportunity to specialise in areas that interest you later in your study. Lessons in continuo, improvisation and keyboard skills will also form a key part of your training. Regular study weeks in France, Holland and Germany are based around visits to historic instruments and masterclasses given by some of each country’s finest players. These trips will give you the chance to understand repertoire within the context of specific organ-building traditions. HARPSICHORD Harpsichord is available as a first or second study. Our two main instruments are by von Nagel, Paris (1988, after Michael Mietke) and Michael Johnson (1996, after Goermans/Taskin). The syllabus covers the core harpsichord repertoire from the late 16th to the late 18th century but you may also study contemporary works if you wish. Coaching in chamber music (obbligato and continuo pieces) is available and both harpsichordists and organists have regular continuo classes. ORGAN SCHOLARSHIPS Organ scholarships are offered by St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham Cathedral, and other local churches. The Symphony Hall Percy Whitlock Scholarship gives an appropriately experienced student a role in Symphony Hall’s educational programme and opportunities to demonstrate the instrument to a variety of audiences. You will receive details of the organ scholarships available after your application has been received.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Henry Fairs BMus FRCO HonBC Prix d’Exellence Konzertexamen (Cologne) ORGAN CONSULTANT David Sanger EARLY KEYBOARD CONSULTANT Gary Cooper
ORGAN Henry Fairs BMus FRCO HonBC Douglas Hollick BA (Hons) ARCM Marcus Huxley MA (Oxon) FRCO ARCM HonFBC Charles Matthews MA (Cantab) FRCO Daniel Moult MA (Oxon) FRCO James Parsons MA (Oxon) FRCO Professor David Saint BA BMus FRCO HARPSICHORD Douglas Hollick BA (Hons) ARCM
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: 144 BMus (Hons) 156 PgCert/PgDip/MMus/ AdvPgDip 122 Professional development
CONTINUO SCHOLARSHIP Both harpsichordists and organists can take advantage of the Conservatoire’s excellent Early Music programme. One of our two Corton-Hyde Early Music Scholarships is available to support a talented undergraduate or postgraduate continuo student wishing to further their studies in Early Music. RECENT MASTERCLASSES Bine Bryndorf Hans Fagius David Sanger Thomas Trotter Jacques van Oortmerssen
Vocal & Operatic
TUTORIAL STAFF An accomplished tenor, Julian Pike toured extensively in the UK and Europe before embarking on his teaching career. He has performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and was chosen by legendary theatre director Peter Brook to sing Don Jose in his famous production of Carmen (1982). He later created the central role of Michael in Donnerstag aus Licht (1985) for the eminent composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, with whom he enjoyed a close working relationship. The Department of Vocal & Operatic Studies offers extensive tuition for aspiring professional singers. Our comprehensive course of study has been designed to allow you to follow your individual preferences, while providing you with the broad base of experience needed in the profession today. It is of great importance to us that you develop substantial knowledge and experience of all types of repertoire, from opera and early music to performance with technology. Therefore, in addition to your individual lessons, you will have regular individual vocal coaching, as well as Baroque and contemporary music classes. You may, if you wish, choose a related singing specialism (such as Baroque singing) as your second study, providing you with even greater exposure to a particular specialist area. Other core activities through which you will develop your performance skills will include masterclasses with visiting professionals; repertoire and performance classes covering Lieder, French and English song, oratorio, etc; and language tuition in French, Italian, German and Russian. All students undertake a theatrical training programme including drama and stagecraft and, should you be interested in pursuing musical theatre, you will be able to take advantage of specialist coaching in this area. Students who have attained an appropriate level of skill are auditioned for fully staged performances of operas, Baroque operas and musicals, which involve intensive periods of musical and dramatic preparation. Birmingham Conservatoire is distinct in providing operatic performing possibilities at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and, since 2001 our students have enjoyed the use of the fully equipped Crescent Theatre situated nearby in Birmingham’s canal-side development, Brindleyplace. Two other important Departmental activities are our ‘Liederabend’ evenings of song – constructed around the works of particular composers or poets – and our annual Opera Scenes, which consistently sell out. These events, in which the whole department participates, are open to the public and take place once a term. Numerous other performance opportunities are offered by the Conservatoire’s four choirs and full schedule of public concerts, stage works and competitions. Continues...
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Professor Julian Pike ARCM DIRECTOR OF THEATRE STUDIES Michael Barry BEd PgDip
LANGUAGES Olivia Blackburn LCT BA (Hons) (French/German) Patrizia Dina BA (Hons) (Italian) Prof Julian Pike ARCM (French) Michael Pushkin BA (Cantab) (Russian) Cinzia Scafetta (Italian) DRAMA AND STAGECRAFT Michael Barry BEd PgDip MOVEMENT Heather Habens BA (Hons) Laban MUSICAL THEATRE Rosalind Jones CHAMBER CHOIR CONDUCTORS Jeffrey Skidmore BA (Oxon) (Ex Cathedra) HonFBC Paul Spicer BMus (Lond) ARCM ARCO FRSA HonFBC VOICE Catherine Benson AGSM Maureen Brathwaite AGSM Christine Cairns DRSAMD Louise Crane AGSM PgDip (RNCM) Alison Chamberlain BA(Hons) PGCert (Psychol) LRA Rita Cullis ARMCM
Anne Dawson Helen Field Margaret Field MusB (Melb) Henry Herford MA (Cantab) ARNCM GRNCM Justin Lavender AGSM Prof Julian Pike ARCM Gordon Sandison Dip Drama (RSAMD) Dip Music (RSAMD) Gwion Thomas GRNCM PPRNC COACHING Stephen Barlow Robin Bowman MMus AKC ARCM FGSM FRCO Robert Markham DMA (Julliard) Simon Nicholls GRSM ARCM LRAM Jane Robinson GRSM ARCM LRAM Helen Yorke GRNCM LRAM ARAM CONTEMPORARY MUSIC VOCAL CLASSES Mary Wiegold HISTORICAL VOCAL PROGRAMME Andrew King BA (Hons) ARCM PGCE
RECENT MASTERCLASSES AND WORKSHOPS Noelle Barker Leo Black Catherine Bott Michael Chance Richard Jackson Susan McCulloch Patricia McMahon Roger Nichols Fiona Richards Christoph Ritter Paul Rodmell Barbara Robotham Patricia Rozario Stephen Varcoe
144 156 114 93 106
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: BMus (Hons) PgCert/PgDip/MMus/AdvPgDip Choirs Choral conducting Coaching
Vocal & Operatic
STAGE PROGRAMME There is a real atmosphere of inclusiveness within our Department. Our stage activities are open to the entire Department, postgraduate and undergraduate alike. Naturally, the more experienced singers will be those given lead parts, but there are also many smaller roles and chorus parts which offer developing singers the opportunity to gain fundamental stage experience. We consider it essential that you learn in an environment which, although inevitably competitive, is one in which there is understanding and support between all students. Everything we do contributes to the different elements needed to become a professional singer and it will be for you to seize and capitalise upon the many opportunities here. We always take care that, while your skills are developing, you remain within the limits of your technical abilities and are not presented with demands that may cause you to overextend yourself. The choice of stage works is always a challenge, but we try to find works with as many parts as possible and, additionally, double-cast our shows. During your time as a vocal student, you will have the opportunity to perform in a great variety of stage works: mainstream opera, historically informed performances and musicals. All our staged performances are conducted, prepared and directed by visiting specialists who, in addition to staff members, will be vital contributors to your educational experience.
RECENT OPERAS David Blake ..................... Britten ............................. Cavalli .............................. Robin Grant...................... Handel ............................. Janácek ........................... Matthew Locke ................ Monteverdi ...................... Mozart .............................. Mozart .............................. Purcell ............................. Purcell ............................. Rameau ........................... Malcolm Williamson ........ RECENT MUSICALS Bernstein ......................... Bernstein ......................... Harnick & Bock ................ Sondheim ......................... Wonderful Town West Side Story Fiddler on the Roof Merrily We Roll Along Scoring a Century (World Permiere) Albert Herring La Calisto Dee (Commission: World Premiere) Giulio Cesare The Cunning Little Vixen Psyche L’Incoronazione di Poppea Le nozze di Figaro Die Zauberflöte Dido and Aeneas The Fairy Queen Pygmalion English Eccentrics
SCORING A CENTURY WORLD PREMIERE
CHORAL CONDUCTING Available to postgraduate students as part of the Performance pathway on the MMus and PgDip courses, Choral Conducting is well supported at the Conservatoire. You will be offered tailored individual tuition from our principal conducting tutor Paul Spicer (Finzi Singers), supported by Jeffrey Skidmore (Ex Cathedra). The programme concentrates on building your skills in interpretation, communication and vocal technique. Therefore, as well as rehearsing and performing with choirs, your one-to-one first study tuition will be split between conducting and singing lessons with a member of our distinguished vocal staff, according to your individual needs. You will also receive specialised coaching in editing and musical and managerial skills. Of our two chamber choirs, the second, known as Camerata, is run specifically for the benefit of our choral conducting students. You will be able to rehearse with them on a regular basis and to conduct performances on average twice a year. The choir consists of around 25 voices and it is expected that you will cover a range of repertoire, chosen in negotiation with Paul Spicer. Examination is through an assessed rehearsal. The Conservatoire has a range of other choral activities, including the Conservatoire Chorus, Chamber Choir and a Gospel Choir, with which you may wish to get involved. If you are interested in gaining experience in conducting instrumental ensembles, a more general conducting elective is also available.
TUTORIAL STAFF Jeremy Price is a trombonist on the current jazz scene and has worked with Stan Sulzmann, Mike Gibbs, Randy Brecker and David Murray. He has authored jazz education material published by International Music Press and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. He is a member of the London Jazz Orchestra and has played for London Sinfonietta as well as for numerous commercial sessions.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Jeremy Price BA (Hons) ABSM LGSM HonBC VISITING ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Dave Holland LECTURER IN JAZZ Hans Koller MMus
SAXOPHONE Iain Dixon Julian Siegel BA (Hons) Jean Toussaint AssocDip (Berklee) Mike Williams GDJCM TRUMPET Richard Iles Percy Pursglove BMus (Hons) Hon BC Martin Shaw Neil Yates TROMBONE Pete Beachill Ashley Horton Jeremy Price BA (Hons) ABSM LGSM HonBC PIANO Hans Koller MMus Liam Noble BA (Oxon) LGSM
DOUBLE BASS/ELECTRIC BASS Fred T Baker ABSM GBSM Mark Hodgson Arnie Somogyi BA (Hons) ELECTRIC GUITAR Fred T Baker ABSM GBSM Dave Cliff DPLM Phil Robson GGSM DRUM KIT Andrew Bain BMus(Hons) GSMD MMus (Manhattan) Tony Levin Jeff Williams COMPOSITION Mike Gibbs BMus Prof Dip HonFBC Hans Koller MMus Liam Noble BA (Oxon) LGSM BIG BAND & JAZZ ORCHESTRA Jeremy Price BA (Hons) ABSM LGSM HonBC Percy Pursglove BMus (Hons) Hon BC VOICE Sarah Coleman ABSM GBSM VIBRAPHONE Anthony Kerr
I am very happy to be part of the Jazz Department at Birmingham Conservatoire in the capacity of ‘Visiting Artist in Residence’. During a recent visit I saw the commitment to excellence on the part of the students, faculty and administration and look forward to being able to contribute to an already outstanding programme.
The primary aim of our Jazz Department is to create a stimulating and inspiring culture for jazz musicians. As well as nurturing individual development, we place a great deal of emphasis on artistic exchange between students and staff, both within the Conservatoire and on the wider public stage: from local venues to international festivals. The autonomy of the Department means you will follow a curriculum dedicated to jazz performance on a course specifically designed to meet your needs. Because we are able to offer such specialised study, you’ll find yourself learning alongside a body of jazz students who are all highly focused and committed. We have an outstanding team of tutors, all of whom are highly respected artists in their field. The fact that they come not only from the UK, but also from the USA and central Europe, gives a real breadth and depth to the range of jazz music represented here, as well as greater scope for you to find a suitable mentor to watch over your individual development. Our most recent and exciting appointment to the staff is bassist, leader and composer Dave Holland. Dave joins us for one week each semester as Visiting Artist in Residence, to coach ensembles, give bass masterclasses, direct rhythm section workshops and give composition lectures. A public performance is also integrated into each of his visits.
Relative to other parts of the country, the jazz scene in the Birmingham area is flourishing. We have an exceptionally strong relationship with Birmingham Jazz, the region’s main promoter, and our students enjoy free entry to their gigs for a nominal Birmingham Jazz membership fee. During the last academic year alone, our students have attended performances through this scheme by internationally acclaimed artists such as Dave Holland’s quintet, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron and Tom Rainey. In addition to the international circuit that Birmingham Jazz brings to the region, the city hosts numerous clubs and venues that support the local scene. Venues providing a platform for the wider jazz community include the Midlands Arts Centre (mac), Yardbird Jazz Club, The Rainbow, Symphony Hall Foyer, Fizzle, the Glee Club, The Drum, TL’s and the Jam House. Another welcome addition to the scene is the BBC Big Band, now resident at the Birmingham’s newly refurbished Town Hall. All this means you will be able to immerse yourself in a vibrant and energising music scene.
RECENT MASTERCLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
Jeff Ballard Joey Baron Jerry Bergonzi Dave Binney Randy Brecker Greg Cohen Jack De Johnette Dave Douglas Paul Dunmall George Garzone Dave Green Drew Gress John Hibert Dave Holland John Hollenbeck Lee Konitz Kirk Lightsey Bob Moses Paul Motian Bobby Previte Tom Rainey Adam Rodgers Mark Turner Gary Smulyan Stan Sulzmann John Surman Ken Vandermark
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: 150 154 156 118 BMus (Hons) Jazz GradDip Jazz PgCert/PgDip/MMus/AdvPgDip Jazz ensembles
TUTORIAL STAFF Joe Cutler studied music at Huddersfield and Durham Universities before studying at the Chopin Academy of Music (Warsaw) on a Polish Government Scholarship. His works have been performed in more than 30 countries by performers including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Scottish and Swedish Chamber Orchestras, Orkest de Volharding, Icebreaker, Netherlands Wind Ensemble, London Sinfonietta and Noszferatu (a collective he co-founded in 2000). His music is regularly broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and has been featured on BBC2 and Netherlands Television. Joe has also composed music for dance, film and for theatre productions in London’s West End and New York’s Off-Broadway. COMPOSITION Our esteemed Composition Department provides both composers and composer-performers with the technical skills and broad understanding of musical styles necessary to formulate and express a distinct musical voice. In the 21st century new music can, more than at any other time in history, celebrate the diversity of musical styles and idioms, and one of our greatest strengths is our tutorial staff, whose wide-ranging stylistic specialities cover everything from progressive classical composition to film and commercial skills. Through your individual tuition you will develop an understanding of differing compositional styles, particularly contemporary art music; pop, jazz and fusion; experimental and world music; film and theatre music; and electroacoustic and studio-based composition. You will also receive a thorough grounding in composition-related technologies, although composers wishing to specialise in this area should see Music Technology. Your training will cover techniques of instrumentation, conducting, orchestration and polyphonic studies. A programme of masterclasses and seminars by distinguished composers, critics and performers will also form an important part of your development and you will have the chance to share ideas and discuss topical issues with your colleagues in group activities such as Compositional Studies and Composers’ Workshop. From the outset, you will be encouraged to explore your ideas both within the context of genre, and using genre as a jumping-off point for the creation of new frameworks. The Conservatoire has long been recognised as the natural home of composers working across styles and throughout your development you will have the opportunity to experience a range of musical traditions and influences through a variety of performance electives covering classical music, jazz and world music. These electives will not only allow you to exercise your creativity, but also provide a vehicle for you to collaborate with performance students. Our composition students also regularly work with students from our partner faculty, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. We attach great importance to the performance of student compositions and original works, including those incorporating new technologies, are regularly rehearsed and performed by a number of ensembles, including the Conservatoire Composers’ Ensemble, the highly regarded Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and our own contemporary music group, the Thallein Ensemble. Public performance opportunities include various Conservatoire concert series, internal and external competitions, and our new music concert series, Frontiers and its associated Frontiers+ Festival.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Joe Cutler BA (Hons) PgDip (Chopin Academy, Warsaw) PhD DEPUTY HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Michael Wolters PhD VISITING COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE Errollyn Wallen MBE MEDIA MUSIC SPECIALIST Chris Gibbons COMMERCIAL MUSIC SPECIALIST Ian Wallman BA (Hons) Cert (Music Mgt)
COMPOSITION Ed Bennett PhD MMus BA (Hons) GSMD Joe Broughton BMus HonBC Richard Causton ARCM (PG) MA BA (Hons) Lamberto Coccioli (Diploma di Composizione, Conservatorio “G Verdi” Milan) Joe Cutler BA (Hons) PgDip(Chopin Academy Warsaw) PhD Andrew Glover PhD LGSM MTCL Robin Grant GMus (Hons) RNCM PgDip Simon Hall PhD MA BMus (Hons) LTCL Richard Leigh Harris MMus GBSM CertEd Liz Johnson PhD MA PGCE BA (Hons) Philip Martin ARAM LRAM FRAM Carolina Noguera-Palau BMus MMus Martin Riley Edwin Roxburgh MusB BA(Cantab) FRCM LRAM Howard Skempton Michael Wolters PhD
INSTRUMENTAL TECHNIQUES Clem Alford Sangeet Sudhakar (Calcutta) Sur Mani (Bombay) Fred T Baker ABSM GBSM Katherine Gittings DipRCM ARCM LRAM Richard Leigh Harris MMus GBSM CertEd Sally Harrop GBSM ABSM PgDip HonBC Ulrich Heinen* Dip (Julliard) (Principal, CBSO) Alonso Mendoza Moreno BMus (Univ of Mexico) MA (The Hague) Professor David Purser ARCM Christopher Redgate Sarwar Sabri Naomi Sullivan Rowland Sutherland Alan Thomas* BMus (Hons) PgDip HonBC (Co-Principal, CBSO) Mary Wiegold Christopher Yates CONDUCTING FOR COMPOSERS Edwin Roxburgh MusB BA (Cantab) FRCM LRAM
RECENT MASTERCLASSES AND WORKSHOPS Julian Anderson Louis Andriessen Gerald Barry David Bedford David Bintley Pierre Boulez Laurence Crane Tansy Davies Michael Finnissy Mike Gibbs
Geoff Hannan Bryn Harrison Simon Holt Oliver Knussen Marteen Altena Ensemble Darragh Morgan Dominic Muldowney Noszferatu Orkest de Ereprijs Eddie Parker Andrew Poppy Jonathan Powell Frederic Rzewski Johannes Maria Staud Richard Steinitz Mark-Anthony Turnage Jacob ter Veldhuis Judith Weir Peter Wiegold John Woolrich
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: 144 BMus (Hons) 156 PgCert/PgDip/MMus/AdvPgDip 122 Professional development
BMUS COMPOSITION The Composer All composers have the option of working with music technology as part of their study (please see page 98) BMUS MUSIC TECHNOLOGY The Creative Music Producer This area is appropriate for musicians who want to specialise in the creative musical applications of technology. BSC MUSIC TECHNOLOGY The Music Engineer This degree emphasises the technologies that underpin sound engineering for a variety of commercial applications
TUTORIAL STAFF Lamberto Coccioli studied composition with Edgar Alandia and then with Azio Corghi at Milan’s Conservatoire, later completing the Toscanini Academy’s Advanced Training Course for Young Composers. He collaborated with Luciano Berio for five years and in 1996 joined the team of Tempo Reale, the research centre for new technologies applied to music founded by Berio in Florence. Now a specialist in composition and performance with live electronics, his commissions include opera, chamber and solo pieces; his works have been performed around the world. In 2000 he was invited by AGON Acustica Informatica Musica, the Milan research and production centre directed by Luca Francesconi, to work on musical and educational projects. Lamberto is also Head of the Research Centre for Composition and Performance using Technology.
POSTGRADUATE MA DIGITAL ARTS IN PERFORMANCE RESEARCH Centre for composition and performance with technology MMUS MUSIC TECHNOLOGY
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Lamberto Coccioli (Diploma di Composizione, Conservatorio “G Verdi” Milan)
ASSISTANT HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Simon Hall PhD MA BMus (Hons) LTCL MUSIC TECHNOLOGIES MANAGER Richard Cornock STUDIO MANAGER AND AUDIO TECHNICIAN Matthew O’Malley TUTORS James Bullock BA (Hons) MPhil Tom Cahill-Jones Ben Markland MA BMus Matthew O’Malley Andrew Portas BA (Hons) John Wesley-Barker BA
Reflecting the Conservatoire’s expertise in the areas of composition and music technology, Music Technology is a first study area designed for musicians who want to specialise in creative uses of music technologies. Whether you are an undergraduate or a postgraduate, this area will allow you to develop your creativity and skills to professional level using our state-of-theart facilities. You will be offered tailored tuition throughout your study in your specific area of interest, as well as training in core skills such as studio and sound recording techniques, electroacoustic composition for fixed media, synthesis, sampling, production and music for the moving image. A programme of masterclasses with industry professionals will supplement your individual training and you will have the chance to share ideas and discuss topical issues with your colleagues in group activities. There is a strong focus on the real-time interaction between performers and computers and you will be encouraged to collaborate with performers in the creation of interactive works to be performed in our unique live electronics performance venue, the Recital Hall. The combination of our specialised performance venues and professional music technology facilities is truly unique amongst conservatoires and surpasses those available at most well-equipped universities as well. For a full list of our music technology facilities, please see page 42 or check our website.
RECENT MASTERCLASSES AND WORKSHOPS Matthew Barley (Cellist) Pierre Boulez (Composer) Mira Calix (Warp Records) Matt Dilley (Producer) Luca Francesconi (Composer) Jonathan Harvey (Composer) Richard Hodgson (Yamaha Pro Audio) Andrew Keener (Recording Producer) Garth Knox (Violinist) Bob McDowell (Senior Producer, BBC) David Mitson (Chief of Mastering, Sony)
Sarah Nicolls (Pianist) Stephan Östersjö (Guitarist) Jonathan Powell (Pianist) David Revill (Producer) Roger Reynolds (Composer) Hugh Robjohns (Technical Editor, Sound on Sound) Nitin Sawhney (Producer/Composer) John Taylor (D&B Audiotechnik) David Tobin (Film Music Producer) Paul White (Editor, Sound On Sound)
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: 144 180 156 182 122 BMus (Hons) BSc (Hons) Music Technology PgCert/PgDip/MMus/AdvPgDip MA Digital Arts in Performance Professional development
Research at Birmingham Conservatoire includes work recognised at an international level in musicology, composition and performance. In the 2008 RAE, the Conservatoire was rated third in its sector for research the highest ranked conservatoire outside London. The Research Department has undergone unprecedented growth in recent years, by substantially enlarging its academic staff and by substantial investment from the University. Research has been supported by funding bodies such as the European Culture Programme, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, and the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Our staff provide high-level supervisory support for students registered for MPhil and PhD research degrees, and their personal research also informs taught components of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses. As a research student, you will be encouraged to develop a project of personal interest that is also relevant to our mission. You will also be exposed to a wide range of musicological, critical and analytical perspectives by means of regular research seminars and study days, which provide opportunities for seminar presentation, as well as the discussion and critique of papers delivered by distinguished visiting speakers. Much of the research expertise of our staff concerns the practice of music in performance and composition, including the interrelationships between practice and its cultural, social and aesthetic contexts. Their work covers a wide range of study – from Western European music through jazz, popular music and film studies, to advanced technological applications in composition. Many of our full- and part-time staff are active as professional composers and performers, and some have significant research profiles as practitioners. Some of our part-time staff are employed specifically as supervisors of research students. Individual research specialisms of supervisory staff include: • Lamberto Coccioli: composition; composition and performance with live electronics; interactive systems for performance • Dr Joe Cutler: composition; interdisciplinary collaborative projects • Dr Christopher Dingle: Olivier Messiaen; French music from Berlioz to the present day; music criticism and aesthetics; performance practice issues arising from early recordings • Dr Janet Halfyard: film and television music; extended vocal technique; contemporary performance practice • Dr Simon Hall: composition; interaction of acoustic instruments with live electronics; electroacoustic composition for multi-channel fixed media • Professor Peter Johnson: the study of performance in the art-music tradition; music aesthetics, contemporary philosophy and critical theory; 20th century music, especially the Second Viennese School • Dr Shirley Thompson: French Baroque music, especially Marc-Antoine Charpentier; performance practice • Professor Ronald Woodley: late medieval and early Renaissance music and music theory, especially Johannes Tinctoris; notation and manuscript studies; minimalism and post-minimalism, especially the music of Steve Reich; performance studies (clarinet and piano); early recordings Continues...
TUTORIAL STAFF Peter Johnson has lectured on most areas of music history and musicianship, with specialisms in 20th century history and analysis, improvisation and the philosophy and aesthetics of music. Since 1993 he has been engaged in pioneering research on the practice and aesthetics of musical performance, drawing on his considerable earlier experience as keyboard player, choir training and conductor. He has published on several aspects of performance, including intonation in string quartet playing and the relationship between performer and listener. Peter is the designer of a comprehensive performance analysis tool named Span, in which processes of spectral and spectrographic analysis are integrated and combined with methods such as tapping in a user-friendly framework designed for musicians. A widely experienced examiner to PhD level, Peter is in the peer review college for the AHRC and reviews regularly for several journals.
HEAD OF RESEARCH Professor Peter Johnson MA MusB (CantabDPhil (Oxon) FRCO PROFESSOR OF MUSIC Professor Ronald Woodley MusB (Manchester) DPhil (Oxford) GRNCM ARNCM
FULL-TIME SUPERVISORY STAFF Carrie Churnside Lamberto Coccioli (Diploma di Composizione, Conservatorio “G Verdi” Milan) Joe Cutler BA (Hons) PgDip (Chopin Academy, Warsaw) PhD Christopher Dingle PhD (Sheffield) MPhil BMus (Hons) Janet K Halfyard PhD (Birmingham) MA BSc (Hons) Simon Hall PhD MA BMus (Hons) LTCL Professor Peter Johnson MA MusB (Cantab) DPhil (Oxon) FRCO Shirley Thompson PhD BMus (Hons) PGCE Professor Ronald Woodley MusB (Manchester) DPhil (Oxford) GRNCM ARNCM Michael Wolters PhD
PART-TIME RESEARCH SUPERVISORS Richard Causton ARCM MA BA (Hons) Robin Grant GMus RNCM (Hons) PgDip Mark Lockett MA PhD Edwin Roxburgh MusB BA(Cantab) FRCM LRAM Gerald Seaman Howard Skempton Ross Winters BA (Oxon) ARCM LTCL Diploma Muzieklyceum (Amsterdam) ADDITIONAL RESEARCH SUPERVISORS Michael Finnissy Sarah Leonard
RESEARCH CENTRE FOR COMPOSITION AND PERFORMANCE WITH TECHNOLOGY Director: Lamberto Coccioli This Research Centre uniquely draws together composers, performers, engineers and technicians in the exploration of the potential for the real-time interaction of musical performance and computer-based systems. The Centre is supported by state-of-the-art resources, including our 150-seat Recital Hall, which is hard-wired for interactive performance, electro-acoustic and mixed media events, and the latest in wireless technology (two Kroonde systems). Our software includes Forum IRCAM’s three packages (computer-aided composition, sound design and real-time interaction), Max/MSP/Jitter and Matlab. We directly challenge some traditional assumptions about the respective roles of performers and composers, encouraging performers to experiment interactively with event-generating systems triggered by their own sounds and gestures, and challenging composers to empower performers to take a more interactive role that has previously been possible in electroacoustic music. High among the Centre’s aims are creative collaborations with performers, composers and other research centres. We enjoy close links with La Kitchen in Paris and AGON in Milan and with individual composers including Julian Anderson, Luca Francesconi and Jonathan Harvey, with whom we have an ongoing project to modernise the live electronics technology in his works. The Centre is a lead partner in Integra – Fusing music and technology, a 3-year, £1.9M international project supported by the Culture programme of the European Union. Now in its second phase (2008-2012) Integra brings together five new music ensembles and six research centres across Europe and Canada to create a new open source software environment for composing and performing music with live electronics. Through software development commissions of new works, migrations of older repertoire using obsolete technology, educational and outreach activities involving students, performers and composers, Integra aims to become the standard platform for the promotion and dissemination of music with live electronics. Please see www.integralive.org for more information on the project.
Academic Tutorial Staff
For a full list of teaching staff or research supervisors, please refer to your department page. HEAD OF RESEARCH Prof Peter Johnson MA MusB (Cantab) DPhil (Oxon) FRCO PROFESSOR OF MUSIC Prof Ronald Woodley MusB (Manchester) DPhil (Oxford) GRNCM ARNCM DIRECTOR OF STUDIES (UNDERGRADUATE) Janet K Halfyard PhD (Birmingham) MA BSc (Hons) BMUS (HONS) JAZZ COURSE DIRECTOR Jeremy Price BA (Hons) ABSM LGSM HonBC GRAD DIP COURSE DIRECTOR Hans Koller MMus DIRECTOR OF STUDIES (POSTGRADUATE) Shirley Thompson PhD BMus (Hons) PGCE ADVANCED PG DIP COURSE DIRECTOR Michael Hill MA (Oxon) HEAD OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Chris Marshall BA MMus ACADEMIC LECTURING STAFF Ed Bennett PhD MMus BA (Hons) GSMD Carrie Churnside Lamberto Coccioli (Diploma di Composizione, Conservatorio “G Verdi” Milan) Lee Differ BA (Hons) Christopher Dingle PhD (Sheffield) MPhil BMus (Hons) Tony Dudley-Evans MA HonFBC Duncan Fielden BMus MA Mike Gibbs BMus Prof Dip HonFBC Janet K Halfyard PhD (Birmingham) MA BSc (Hons) Simon Hall PhD MA BMus (Hons) LTCL Prof Peter Johnson MA MusB (Cantab) DPhil (Oxon) FRCO Hans Koller MMus Trevor Lines BA (Comb Hons) PgDip MA Chris Marshall BA MMus Fumiko Miyachi PhD MMus BMus (Hons) Christopher Morley BMus AMus TCL HonFBC Liam Noble BA (Oxon) LGSM Karen O’Connor BSc (Hons) Psychol GRNCM PPRNCM ARCM University Fellow for Teaching and Learning Martin Perkins MA MPhil HonBC Jeremy Price BA (Hons) ABSM LGSM HonBC Prof Graham Sadler PhD (Hull) BMus (Hons) Prof David Saint BA BMus FRCO Julian Siegel BA (Hons) Robert Spearing BA (Hons) GRSM ARCM PGCert(RCM) Gareth Thomas PhD MA BMus (Hons) Shirley Thompson PhD BMus (Hons) PGCE Mike Williams GDJCM (Leeds College) Michael Wolters PhD Prof Ronald Woodley MusB (Manchester) DPhil (Oxford) GRNCM ARNCM
STRING DUO COACHING During your individual first study lessons, you will work on a range of issues critical to professional performance: the development of advanced instrumental technique, musicality, communication and interpretation. However, it is important that you get the chance to practise and reinforce these skills outside your lessons. If you are an undergraduate string student, you will receive 10 half-hour coaching sessions per year as part of your first study allocation. These sessions will enable you to concentrate on your overall development as a performer, including how you communicate with your audience, as well as how to form an effective partnership with your accompanist. VOCAL COACHING If you are a singer, the opportunity to rehearse and ‘sing in’ repertoire under the guidance of an experienced vocal coach will be integral to your study; for this reason, coaching is integrated into your first study allocation. Your specialised individual tuition will include 14 half-hour coaching sessions, where you will work primarily on nontechnical issues: presentation, communication with your audience and overall musicality. Normally you will work with a song/language coach during the first stages of your study, progressing, if appropriate, to an experienced operatic coach who might also provide additional input on technical issues. Over and above this basic allocation, you will receive additional coaching as negotiated. Among others, you will work extensively with our main vocal study accompanist, Jonathan French, who plays for most song classes and student exams. Our student accompanists occasionally play for song classes as well, providing you with the opportunity to work collaboratively and, in some cases, form lasting working partnerships with your colleagues. ACCOMPANISTS
We have an excellent team of professional staff accompanists who are available to play for performance classes and exams. To prepare for masterclasses or performance classes, you will also be allocated rehearsal time with an accompanist. ENSEMBLE COACHING If you are involved in a chamber or early music ensemble, you will be able to work with a specialist coach in your area. Jazz students working in small groups also receive intensive coaching from experienced jazz musicians.
STRING DUO COACHES Jonathan French BMus (Hons) DPS (MusPerf) HonBC Robert Markham DMA (Juilliard) Jo Sealey ABSM GBSM HonBC
VOCAL COACHES Stephen Barlow MA (Cantab) FRCO FGSM Robin Bowman MMus AKC ARCM FGSM FRCO Robert Markham DMA (Julliard) Simon Nicholls GRSM ARCM LRAM Jane Robinson GRSM ARCM LRAM Helen Yorke GRNCM LRAM ARAM
STAFF ACCOMPANISTS Jonathan French BMus (Hons) DPS (MusPerf) HonBC Ben Kennedy BMus (Hons) Robert Markham DMA (Juilliard) Jo Sealey ABSM GBSM HonBC Julian Wilkins
HEAD OF PROGRAMME John Todd AGSM Dip Kons Luz CHAMBER ENSEMBLE IN RESIDENCE Schubert Ensemble of London JUNIOR FELLOWS Boult Quartet
COACHES David Angel ARAM, Recital Diploma (RAM), (Maggini Quartet) Mark Bebbington Professor George Caird MA (Cantab) FRAM ARCM FRSA HonFLCM David Childs Margaret Cookhorn GMus RNCM (Hons) Anna Cooper GGSM (Hons) Peter Dyson AGSM Judith Hall BA (Melb) Prof Michael Harris ARCM FRCM Nicholas Hawke William Howard BA (Oxon) ARCO (Schubert Ensemble) John Humphreys ARAM ARCM Robin Ireland BA Mus, HonDMus Robert Markham DMA (Juilliard) Margaret Newman BA (Mus) LRAM FTCL (Perf) David le Page Professor David Purser ARCM David Quigley BMus HonBC Jonathan Rimmer ARCM Jane Salmon MA Cantab ARCM Hons (Schubert Ensemble) Christopher Steward LTCL Richard Weigall ARCM Professor Malcolm Wilson GBSM ARCM
EARLY CHAMBER MUSIC Gail Hennessy BMus (Hons) Annabel Knight MMus DipRCM GRSM (Hons) Andrew King BA (Hons) ARCM PGCE Martin Perkins MA MPhil HonBC Jeffrey Skidmore BA (Oxon) (Ex Cathedra) Andy Stone-Fewings GBSM ABSM Ross Winters BA (Oxon) ARCM LTCL Diploma Muzieklyceum (Amsterdam) For instrumental teaching staff, please see department pages. We regard Chamber Music as a vital part of all our instrumental and orchestral training. At the start of the academic year you and your fellow students will be encouraged to form your own chamber ensembles. Each ensemble is allocated coaching from a member of staff with particular experience in the relevant area, and advanced groups regularly take part in masterclasses with visiting professional ensembles. Early Music ensembles also receive specialist coaching from members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Fretwork. Each spring our week-long Chamber Music Festival offers intensive coaching and performance opportunities, including open masterclasses with featured artists such as the Allegri String Quartet (2004), the Maggini String Quartet (2005), the Alberni String Quartet (2006), the Coull Quartet (2008), the Chilingirian Quartet (2007 and 2009) and the Endellion Quartet (2010). The Festival normally features the works of one or more composers, with recent events focused on Brahms (2004), British composers (2005), Mozart and Shostakovich (2006), Stravinsky and Elgar (2007), Haydn and Mendelssohn (2009), and ‘The Three Bs’ (2010). More recently, the Festival has begun to include additional events such as lectures and films. Our series of formal and informal concerts provide many other performance opportunities, as does our experienced External Engagements team. The Conservatoire enjoys an excellent relationship with Birmingham Chamber Music Society (BCMS) whose annual concert series attracts professional chamber ensembles from around the world to Birmingham. The BCMS Series is hosted by our own Adrian Boult Hall, giving our students fantastic opportunities to enjoy the highest quality of chamber music performances. Additionally, our advanced students regularly participate in masterclasses with BCMS’s visiting ensembles and accomplished ensembles have had the opportunity to perform in the series itself. Supported by Druckers, the BCMS provides a Derek Young Memorial Award to the winners of the Conservatoire’s annual Sylvia Cleaver Chamber Music Prize. EARLY CHAMBER MUSIC Early Chamber Music is offered as part of our comprehensive Early Music programme (see page 110) and provides further opportunities for public performance once or twice each term. Coached by Early Chamber Music specialists, students perform on period instruments music from the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods. Recent programmes have included Gabrieli canzoni, Vivaldi violin concerti and Mozart piano trios.
EARLY MUSIC It is increasingly essential for all musicians to be aware of the issues surrounding historically informed performance as these are embraced by the classical music world at large. Since the early 1990s we have maintained a strong commitment to performance practice and Early Music through an innovative programme of cross-departmental activities. All of our students have the opportunity to study a period instrument or to have stylistic awareness lessons with specialist visiting tutors, and advanced performers can audition for Birmingham’s renowned Ex Cathedra Choir and Orchestra. Two Corton-Hyde Early Music Scholarships support talented students wishing to further their studies in Early Music at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Awards are available for continuo students (keyboards, bowed and plucked strings) and for instrumental/vocal students. WORKSHOPS AND MASTERCLASSES Regular workshops and rehearsals are taken by leading specialists in the field of period performance. Recent visits by Anneke Boeke, Trevor Pinnock, Dan Laurin, Andrew Parrott, Jeremy West, Piers Adams, Emily Van Evera and other leading musicians have enabled students to experience first-hand issues currently being explored by professional orchestras on both modern and period instruments. CAPELLE BAROQUE ORCHESTRA Our full period instrument Baroque orchestra performs on average once a term, exploring a rich variety of music, from large-scale works such as Charpentier’s Actéon and JS Bach’s Christmas Oratorio to smaller repertoire including Handel and Corelli concerti grossi, Purcell theatre music and Bach cantatas. Every two years Capelle joins forces with the Vocal & Operatic Department to produce one or two fully staged Baroque operas. Recent productions have included Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Fairy Queen and Cavalli’s La Calisto. BAROQUE OBOE BAND Run by Gail Hennessey, our oboe band is one of the only ‘all-student’ ensembles in the country. Repertoire stretches from the Baroque era to the 20th century and the band performs frequently within the Conservatoire and at external engagements. Members have the opportunity to perform on the different period instruments including oboe da caccia, tenor oboe, Baroque oboe and bassoon and Jingling Jonnys. EARLY MUSIC STUDIES Offered as a weekly elective to all students, Early Music Studies explores a wide range of music and performancepractice issues from Mediaeval to Classical periods, in practical and theoretical classes. Recent topics have included Baroque dance, keyboard temperament, rhetoric and Renaissance ornamentation. Visiting specialists have included Rebecca Austen-Brown, Andrew Parrott, Jeremy West and Oliver Webber.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF EARLY MUSIC AND CAPELLE BAROQUE ORCHESTRA Jeffrey Skidmore BA (Oxon) HonFBC (Ex Cathedra) PROGRAMME CO-ORDINATOR Martin Perkins MA MPhil HonBC BAROQUE VIOLIN CONSULTANT Margaret Faultless MA (Cantab) ARCM FTCL BAROQUE VIOLIN AND VIOLA Kate Fawcett BA HonBC Jane Rogers GRSM ARAM LRAM Diane Terry BAROQUE CELLO AND VIOLA DA GAMBA Imogen Seth Smith BA (Hons) ARCM VIOLONE/BAROQUE BASS Kate Aldridge Peter Buckoke HonARCM ATCL STAT RECORDER Grace Barton BMus (Hons) DPS PgCert QTS Annabel Knight GRSM (Hons) MMus DipRCM Christopher Orton BMus (Hons) AdvPgDip Ross Winters BA (Oxon) ARCM LTCL Diploma Muzieklyceum (Amsterdam)
BAROQUE AND CLASSICAL FLUTE Neil McLaren ARCM FTCL MBACP (accred) BAROQUE AND CLASSICAL OBOE Gail Hennessy BMus (Hons) CLASSICAL CLARINET Prof Michael Harris ARCM FRCM BAROQUE AND CLASSICAL BASSOON Alastair Mitchell BA (Hons) (York) Cert Adv Studies (GSMD) NATURAL TRUMPET David Blackadder Michael Laird HAND HORN Sue Dent SACKBUT AND CLASSICAL TROMBONE Susan Addison ARCM (Hons) HonARAM BAROQUE VOCAL CLASSES Andrew King BA ARCM PGCE
EARLY KEYBOARD CONSULTANT Gary Cooper HARPSICHORD AND CONTINUO Douglas Hollick BA (Hons) ARCM Martin Perkins MA MPhil HonBC FORTEPIANO Sharona Joshua BMus David Ward ARCM LRAM LUTE, THEORBO AND EARLY GUITAR Elizabeth Pallett BA (Hons) HonBC MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE STUDIES To be appointed VIOLA DA GAMBA Peter Wendland
CHAMBER CHOIR CONDUCTORS Jeffrey Skidmore BA (Oxon) (Ex Cathedra) HonFBC Paul Spicer BMus (Lond) ARCM ARCO FRSA HonFBC CONSERVATOIRE CHORUS CONDUCTOR Chi Hoe Mak MMus AdvPgDip GOSPEL CHOIR CONDUCTOR Peter Daley MA BMus (Hons)
Our large chorus, two chamber choirs and gospel choir provide a range of performance opportunities for students who wish to be involved in ensemble singing. CONSERVATOIRE CHORUS The Conservatoire Chorus performs a variety of large-scale choral works and gives opportunities to advanced students to participate as soloists. Recent repertoire has included Mozart’s Vesperae Solenne di Confessore, Rachmaninov’s The Bells, Britten’s War Requiem and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. The Chorus is open to all students and is compulsory for first year students. CHAMBER CHOIR Under the direction of Paul Spicer (Finzi Singers) and Jeffrey Skidmore (Ex Cathedra), Chamber Choir is a small specialist ensemble, selected by audition. The Choir presents concerts of repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day, both at the Conservatoire and further afield, including occasional trips abroad. Conducted by Paul Spicer, the Choir’s recently issued CD of 20th-century English choral repertoire and was warmly praised by the music press. A second CD is forthcoming. CAMERATA Open to students who want to gain further experience in small ensemble singing, Camerata is primarily directed by our postgraduate Choral Conducting students. The Choir rehearses varied repertoire and performs, on average, twice a year. GOSPEL CHOIR Directed by Peter Daley, this dynamic and eclectic choir performs traditional and newly composed gospel music and has been featured on BBC Radio 3.
Orchestras and large ensembles
To help you develop a working knowledge of the style and background of music from many periods, our range of orchestras and ensembles covers all of the major musical formats of the last five centuries and each year welcomes a number of eminent and inspiring guest conductors. SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA This advanced orchestra covers a wide range of symphonic repertoire, giving regular concerts in the Adrian Boult Hall, and periodic concerts in Birmingham’s magnificent Symphony Hall or Town Hall. Concerts have taken the Orchestra to other venues in the UK and abroad, notably to Lyon (France) for a joint project with the conservatoires of Lyon and Frankfurt. REPERTOIRE ORCHESTRA This ensemble provides orchestral repertoire and training experience for instrumentalists, including first- and secondyear undergraduate students. Public concerts or workshops are given on a regular basis. THALLEIN ENSEMBLE Created in 1992 the Thallein Ensemble is devoted to the performance of new music and 20th century repertoire. Its flexible performing resources (1 to 20 players, plus electronics) enable the ensemble to tackle a vast and exciting range of works. UK premiere performances include works by Ivan Fedele, Philippe Leroux and Fausto Romitelli. In recent years, the Ensemble has celebrated the works of featured composers such as Jonathan Harvey, Gerald Barry, Colin Matthews, Pierre Boulez and Louis Andriessen, often as part of our Frontiers Concert Series. SYMPHONIC WIND ORCHESTRA As well as exploring the traditional wind-band repertoire, this ensemble has given an impressive number of first performances under the direction of conductor Guy Woolfenden. In addition to regular concerts in the Adrian Boult Hall, the Orchestra has performed at several international wind festivals in England and abroad. WIND ENSEMBLE Exploring the larger forms of wind chamber music, this ensemble emphasises the importance of chamber music in the overall training of woodwind students. Projects include a CD recording of Dvorák and Strauss serenades and a CD of Mozart’s Gran’ Partita K361, together with the six Notturni for voices and bassett horns. BRASS BAND The Brass Band explores traditional repertoire as well as preparing contemporary test pieces and other demanding repertoire with Ian Porthouse and a range of distinguished guest conductors. Students often have the chance to appear as soloists, and the band often adds outside appearances to its regular Conservatoire concert schedule. BRASS ENSEMBLE The Brass Ensemble rehearses and performs a variety of large-scale works throughout the year. The Ensemble also plays for all of the University’s Graduation Ceremonies, which gives members an unrivalled opportunity to appear in the magnificent surroundings of Symphony Hall. GUITAR ORCHESTRA We have a healthy Guitar Orchestra, which takes on demanding works throughout the year by composers such as Roland Dyens and Leo Brouwer. Performances include the annual intercollegiate concert series as part of the Bolívar Hall (London) International Guitar Festival, as well as regular concerts in the Conservatoire’s venues and outside the college. CONSERVATOIRE FOLK ENSEMBLE Although run on an elective basis, the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble has become an enviable addition to our range of performing ensembles. Currently around 65 members strong, the Ensemble performs a mixture of original folkbased music and traditional tunes specially arranged for the group under the direction of Joe Broughton. The Ensemble undertakes a short UK tour every spring, occasionally working with guest artists. Recent appearances include The Lichfield Festival.
HEAD OF PROGRAMME Professor David Purser ARCM CURRENT CONDUCTOR IN RESIDENCE Lionel Friend LRAM ARCM RECENT GUEST CONDUCTORS Nicholas Cleobury Scott Ellaway Daniele Rosina Edwin Roxburgh SYMPHONIC WIND ORCHESTRA Guy Woolfenden OBE
WIND ENSEMBLE Professor Michael Harris ARCM FRCM BRASS BAND Ian Porthouse GBSM BRASS ENSEMBLE Professor David Purser ARCM
GUITAR ORCHESTRA Mark Eden ARAM GRSM (Hons) LRAM ProfCert (Hons) CONSERVATOIRE FOLK ENSEMBLE Joe Broughton BMus HonBC
JAZZ BIG BAND Jeremy Price BA (Hons) ABSM LGSM HonBC RECENT JAZZ ORCHESTRA GUEST CONDUCTORS Mike Gibbs Pete Hurt
JAZZ BIG BAND Specialising in traditional big band arrangements and the classic repertoire of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Thad Jones, the Conservatoire Big Band provides initial training in large jazz ensemble playing. The Band, which typically includes up to 20 players, rehearses once a week and performs once per term. Recent projects have included a performance of Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite and a concert with Elaine Delmar. JAZZ ORCHESTRA Comprised mostly of senior jazz students, our Jazz Orchestra tackles challenging music from the contemporary repertoire, featuring composers such as John Warren, Stan Sulzmann and Maria Schneider, and works with well known guest conductors. The size of the ensemble is flexible according to the demands of the repertoire and performances are given about once a term. In recent years, the Orchestra has appeared with Henry Lowther, Pete Hurt, Mike Gibbs and performed Dave Holland’s compositions in concert in the presence of the composer.
PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES If you are an instrumentalist or singer, performance will be integral to your course. In addition to solo performance, you will be expected to participate in a range of ensemble activities appropriate to your first study area. Your Head of Department will work with you to negotiate a suitable balance of activity, including participation in orchestras, bands, choirs, chamber music, etc. Our performance programme includes several orchestras and large ensembles, ranging from our Symphony Orchestra to our Thallein Ensemble for contemporary music; chamber music; early music, performance opportunities in large and chamber ensembles; and a well-developed folk and world music programme. Both undergraduate and postgraduate vocalists are given the opportunity to participate in our active and inclusive opera and stage performance programme (see page 90). Composers can take advantage of our dedicated Composers’ Ensemble when organising performances of new compositions. A number of ongoing and special concert series and festivals provide further opportunities to showcase particular areas of work (see page 124). In addition, there have been many special large-scale events in recent years, including: • Three Cities Orchestra – an orchestral project bringing together students from Birmingham, Lyon and Frankfurt under the baton of Prof Rolf Reuter for concerts in Lyon and Birmingham • Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite – performed by our Jazz Orchestra and acclaimed jazz pianist Liam Noble • Red Revolution – a Symphony Orchestra concert including Beethoven and Berlioz conducted by Lionel Friend in Symphony Hall • Messiaen Centenary concert in Town Hall including highly acclaimed performances of Oiseaux exotiques and L’ascension.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Your development as an individual musician is of vital importance. So, in addition to providing you with the best combination of one-to-one training, masterclasses and coaching, the professional development aspects embedded into each one of our courses are designed to offer you both personalised advice and significant scope to discover and develop your own artistic direction. Embedded into all core modules, Personal Development Planning (PDP) (see page 56) focuses on increasing your self-awareness as a musician. Not only will you cover topics relevant to all musicians, ranging from practical advice on tax to CV writing, but you will also explore issues specific to your own development, such as time management and your personal learning style. Professional development, however, encompasses a lot more than PDP. For instance, you will be offered the chance to perform and record at the highest level, using our professional-quality venues and studios (see pages 41 and 42). Furthermore, whatever your course and specialism, you’ll be able to tailor your study to suit your own musical and professional aspirations. You will have access to a wide range of musicianship electives to supplement your core study, as well as the opportunity to take advantage of study abroad and to pursue paid professional work through our external engagements programme. A variety of professional schemes is available to help you in the final stages of your transition from student to professional. Having the ability to follow your interests and nurture your talents will not only help you to develop your individual musical profile, but also ensure that your course remains interesting, relevant and enjoyable.
The Conservatoire is fantastic as it pushes you to succeed but, at the same time, is friendly and relaxed. This balanced environment generates a wonderfully creative atmosphere to study in and ensures you get the most out of each day, both musically and personally.
ALISON BACH French horn, BMus (Hons) (2007 Graduation) Tutors: Elspeth Dutch and Simon de Souza
‘Frontiers’ Contemporary Music Series
Featuring guest performers and composers, as well as student performers and composers, this series explores contemporary music, acoustic and electroacoustic. Certain concerts are normally held in collaboration with spnm and the BMIC’s Cutting Edge tours. More recently, Frontiers has enjoyed its own mini-festival, Frontiers Plus, which has celebrated the works of resident composers such as Gerald Barry and Colin Matthews. FESTIVALS Whether focused on a particular theme or not, festivals can uniquely provide much-needed chances to step back from the day-to-day rush of student life in order to focus solely on performance. Chamber Music Week Our annual week-long festival of chamber music normally takes place in the spring and includes staff and student performances, plus a celebrity recital and masterclass from a different visiting ensemble each year. More recently, the festival has included complementary films and lectures. See also page 109 for details of recent Chamber Music weeks. New Generation Arts (NGA) Reaching across all the University’s arts faculties, NGA celebrates emerging talent in music, creative writing, fine arts, design, moving image and drama. Designed to showcase Birmingham’s new talent to a national audience, NGA is built around our end-of-year events and other highprofile activities. www.newgenerationarts.co.uk
CONCERT SERIES We present over 300 events per year, including concerts, special events, open masterclasses and more. Although many of our concerts are individually organised events, there are also several series threading their way through the year, which give structure to our concert programme. Monday Showcase With its in appreciative audience of regular attendees, this series of free lunchtime concerts provides an excellent opportunity to give first performances of challenging repertoire. Tuesday Performance Platform Dedicated to our rising stars, this series acts as a platform for our most accomplished performers and is usually devoted to students on the Advanced Postgraduate Diploma course. Wednesday Jazz Series Showcasing students, alumni and guests, our series of Wednesday jazz concerts complements regular nights elsewhere in the city. Thursday Chamber & Small Ensemble Series This series provides a home not just for our chamber music concerts, but for many smaller performing groups, such as our Recorder, Saxophone and Guitar Ensembles. Friday Orchestral Series A series of large ensemble concerts, including performances from our Symphony Orchestra, Repertoire Orchestra, Brass Band and Wind Orchestra, Thallein Ensemble and Capelle Baroque Orchestra.
Most musicians will find themselves taking part in a recording at some point in their career, so we think it is essential for you to have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the recording process during your student years. Our Music Technology Department provides core support for all students (score-writing skills, recordings of concerts, demos and special projects), as well as a number of electives. Classes in Recording Techniques and Performing with Technology are open to all students, while those with previous experience can also access advanced classes covering topics like sound design, interactive installations and computer-aided composition. In particular, there is a studio module for jazz students, which provides tuition in basic digital recording techniques and production. Although it is not compulsory, almost all of our students gain some experience of recording – through studio or on site sessions, producing, engineering or editing – by the time they graduate. Nearly one in three create a CD of their own as a major project, using our state-of-the-art facilities (see page 42). A unique aspect of studying at the Conservatoire is that you will be able to collaborate on recordings and productions with the highly skilled students on our BSc (Hons) Music Technology course, taught jointly with the University’s faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment. Aside from a considerable number of excellent student projects, recent Conservatoire recording projects include: WIND ENSEMBLE • CD of Dvorák and Strauss serenades recorded in aid of the charity Music for Harry • CD of Mozart’s Gran’ Partita K361, together with the six Notturni for voices and bassett horns CHAMBER CHOIR • Conducted by Paul Spicer, the Choir’s first CD focuses on 20th century English choral repertoire. A second CD will be recorded in 2010. FOLK ENSEMBLE • A DVD, based on the Ensemble’s 2006 UK tour, features performances of traditional tunes, new arrangements and original compositions. The film (by Jonathan Day) includes singing, dancing and a good smattering of merriment. • The Ensemble’s latest CD ‘Sardines’ was released in 2009.
AFRICAN DRUMMING Alagi Sillah African Master Drummer ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE Alison Loram ARCM PAAT BSc (Hons) PhD Roy Thompson BMus LTCL CertAdvStudy (GSMD) PAAT Pauline Wetherell LRAM MSTAT
FOLK MUSIC Joe Broughton BMus HonBC GAMELAN ENSEMBLE Jonathan Roberts BA (Hons) GOSPEL CHOIR Peter Daley MA BMus (Hons) INSTRUMENTAL CONDUCTING Daniele Rosina KODÁLY MUSICIANSHIP Miranda Zwalf BA LRAM DipRCM CKME
PERFORMANCE COACHING Karen O’Connor BSc (Hons) Psychol GRNCM PPRNCM ARCM University Fellow in Teaching and Learning PHYSIO AND MOVEMENT Trudi Brass BSc (Hons) DC MMCA RAGA SANGEET - SITAR (SECOND STUDY AREA) Clem Alford Sangeet Sudhakar (Calcutta) Sur Mani (Bombay) SAMBA AND BRAZILIAN RHYTHM Louise Smart KLEZMER Sue Shortland-Webb
MUSICIANSHIP ELECTIVES Renowned for its diversity, our musicianship electives programme gives you the freedom to customise your course according to your own needs. Through them, you’ll have the chance to try out the widest possible variety of activities which might influence your career and to pursue at the highest level those which resonate with your core values as a musician. Elective modules cover everything outside your core study and fall roughly into three categories: • Those that offer essential support in progressing your first study work • Those that apply directly to your specialist area and give you the chance to enhance your employability and skills • Those that contribute to broadening your musical knowledge and your enjoyment of music Often, activities which are part of the core curriculum in one first study area will be available as electives to students in other first study areas (though, in some cases, participation is subject to audition). Your first study will determine which activities you are required to undertake, and your personal goals will suggest which categories the rest of our electives fall into for you.
KAREN O’CONNOR Performance Coach and University Fellow for Teaching and Learning Karen’s groundbreaking work at the Conservatoire has been turning heads all over the country. She has been profiled in national publications, invited to do numerous workshops and was recently appointed a University Fellow to continue her innovative work in performance coaching. Recently, Karen asked her students to sum up mental skills training for performance in one phrase, for those who don’t know what it is. Here are some of the responses: “The smallest mental changes can make the biggest performance differences.” “It can make you think about yourself in a new light and be more aware of the potential you can reach.” “Learn how to prevent anxiety from hiding your performance talent.” “There are solutions available.” “Do it even if you don’t think you have any big problems – it can really, really help.” “I found it so helpful to air my views and realise that others face the same worries.” “Learn how to get the best out of yourself in order to produce a successful performance.” “Even if you don’t suffer from performance nerves, you can learn how to expect the unexpected and develop strategies to deal with it.” “Everyone can benefit from it.” “Essential!”
ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE We are committed to supporting your progress in your first study through the Alexander Technique. It offers a practical means for change by bringing about an improvement in balance and co-ordination. Through a series of classes and individual lessons, you’ll be provided with an introduction to the Technique and an insight into its application in performance. Our sessions demonstrate how the Technique can improve vocal and instrumental skills and address the problems of performance. PHYSIO & MOVEMENT To support your general health as a musician, we also offer Physio & Movement, an active, practical class that covers all aspects of movement and mobility. Relevant to players, singers and even composers, the class provides training in how to use the whole body more efficiently. The content of the weekly sessions varies according to students’ needs; some come with a specific problem, while others attend as a preventative measure. As well as providing a basic introduction to anatomy for musicians, classes typically combine stretching, breathing techniques, Feldenkrais and practical massage techniques for problem areas such as the wrists and the neck. The class will encourage and help you to focus on how you move your body and occasionally incorporates work with instruments. Trained in chiropractic and Alexander techniques, tutor Trudi Brass began delivering Physio & Movement masterclasses at the Conservatoire over 10 years ago. The success of these masterclasses led to a scheduled session, which is now available to all students on a regular, occasional, drop-in or private basis. PERFORMANCE COACHING Sport psychology and the mental regimes it embraces have long been recognised as playing a crucial role in strengthening the performances of elite athletes when under pressure. Our innovative programme of coaching in performance skills applies these same trusted methodologies and strategies to the particular demands of music preparation and performance. Through workshops and individually tailored coaching sessions, you will be introduced to a range of mental techniques which can be used to enhance your musical skills. The programme relies on a collaborative approach between you – the performer, your first study teacher and our Performance Coach, CBSO oboist Karen O’Connor, herself an active professional performer: “Students are normally allocated up to five one-hour sessions with me, sufficient time for me to introduce them to ways of managing the mental element of the performing equation. My immediate task is to find out what the student has been experiencing during lessons, concerts, exams, auditions, competitions, etc. Performance issues presented range from mild performance anxiety, to full-blown ‘I ran off the stage’ panic episodes. Techniques we work with include setting realistic performance goals, mental rehearsal, pre- and during performance routines, breathing and relaxation, improving concentration and motivation, coping with injury, dealing with distractions, performance simulation, objective post performance evaluation... to name a few. My working style is totally collaborative and between-session homework tasks are a key component of the process. These tasks give students the opportunity to ‘plug in’ their burgeoning skills to their daily performing life, outside the consulting room. It’s wonderful to observe confidence and performance enjoyment returning, as an initially troubled young performer begins to bloom, and also to see the ways in which their increasing performance confidence impacts positively on the rest of their lives. My aim is that students leave confident, happy and well on the way to a successful professional career, with all the skills needed to make me redundant – my ideal scenario!” In 2007, Karen was appointed a University Fellow in Teaching in Learning to continue developing this area of innovative work.
Supporting your development
ENHANCING YOUR CORE SKILLS Composition Skills and Music Technology • Brass Band scoring and arranging • Composers’ Ensemble This ensemble brings together student composers with instrumentalists and singers who wish to rehearse and perform newly composed music on a regular basis. It gives performance students a realistic insight into what it is like to work with a composer and vice versa. We offer a wide range of activities in sound recording, video soundtrack work, and computer composition: • Max/MSP • Performing with Technology • Introduction to DJ • Recording Techniques Conducting Led by Daniele Rosina, these introductory and follow-on classes allow you to develop your instrumental conducting skills. • Conducting: Beginners • Conducting: Intermediate/Advanced Early Music • Capelle Baroque Orchestra (see page 111) • Early Music (see page 111) Ensemble Singing • Chamber Choirs and Camerata (see page 114) • Conservatoire Chorus (see page 114) • Gospel Choir (see page 114)
GENERAL SKILLS AND OTHER ELECTIVES Music in the Community • Music and Wellbeing in partnership with the pediatric unit at Heartlands Hospital • Nurturing creativity in Early Years in partnership with a local primary school/community centre Students from all courses are encouraged to investigate and develop links with a wide variety of community groups. Recent projects have taken place in local schools, hospitals and other community venues. Participating students gain experience in workshop and communication skills; and project planning, management and delivery, which serves as initial training for those who wish to undertake postgraduate work in Community Music and Music Therapy. Chamber Music coaching Journalism Led by freelance music journalist Chris Morley. Kodály Method Second Study Our second study provision allows you to develop your skills on a related or complementary instrument through individual specialist lessons (see page 63).
African Drumming Alongside East African amadinda xylophone music, students can take Djembe instruction from Gambian Master-drummer Jahman Sillah. Folk Music Run on an elective basis, the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble has become an enviable addition to our range of performing ensembles. Currently around 65 members strong, the Ensemble performs a mixture of original folk-based music and traditional tunes specially arranged for the group under the direction of Joe Broughton. The Ensemble undertakes a short UK tour every spring, occasionally working with guest artists. Recent appearances include The Lichfield Festival. Gamelan Ensemble One of the most co-operative musical systems in the world, gamelan is taught at the Conservatoire by Jonathan Roberts. The Conservatoire owns a very fine Central Javanese bronze gamelan with additional Balinese instruments. Gospel Choir Directed by Peter Daley, this dynamic and eclectic choir performs traditional and newly composed gospel music and has been featured on BBC Radio 3. Raga Sangeet Focusing on North Indian music, the Conservatoire’s excellent provision includes specialised instruction as a second study as well as in performing ragas on Western instruments. Samba and Brazilian Rhythm ESP (Escola de Samba Paradiso), a percussion bateria led by Louise Smart, rehearses every week, and has played at carnivals and street festivals all over the West Midlands.
Broadening your musical knowledge
CBSO ORCHESTRAL TRAINING SCHEME The CBSO has firmly established its name on the world stage. In recent years, under the leadership of Sir Simon Rattle, Sakari Oramo and now Andris Nelsons, the orchestra has maintained a growing relationship with the Conservatoire, which includes conductors and ensemble workshops, research and the CBSO Training Scheme. The Training Scheme provides the opportunity for selected students from the Strings, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Departments to gain first-hand professional experience by observing and playing in CBSO rehearsals. Students on the Scheme also have the opportunity to perform in CBSO masterclasses and receive orchestral audition training and mentoring from orchestra principals. Auditions for the Scheme reflect professional orchestral audition procedures. www.cbso.co.uk PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA PARTICIPATION SCHEME The celebrated Philharmonia Orchestra has been the resident orchestra at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall since 1997. The success of this innovative regional residency has provided the ideal foundation for a partnership between the orchestra and the Conservatoire: the Philharmonia Orchestra Participation Scheme. Enabling exceptional fourth year and postgraduate students to participate as observers during the final rehearsals for some of the Orchestra’s Leicester concerts, the Scheme provides valuable first-hand exposure to the professional orchestra setting and challenging repertoire, as well as renowned conductors and players. The Conservatoire recommends students for the Scheme. www.philharmonia.co.uk
BRB PIANISTS FOR DANCE SCHEME Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) is one of the jewels in the city’s cultural crown and the Pianists for Dance Scheme is part of BRB’s developing relationship with the Conservatoire. It allows piano students to attend BRB rehearsals and performances, and offers selected students the opportunity to train as rehearsal pianists with this internationally renowned company. Trainees undertake improvisation classes and challenging repertoire, working with the company and its Education Department. This successful scheme has already produced a number of professional ballet pianists. www.brb.org.uk PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR ORGANISTS In addition to the Whitlock Organ scholarship (see below), organ students can take advantage of scholarships offered by St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham Cathedral and other local churches (see pages 87 and 190 for application information). SYMPHONY HALL AND THE WHITLOCK ORGAN SCHOLARSHIP Acclaimed as one of the finest concert halls in the world, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall has maintained a long and varied partnership with the Conservatoire. Among its collaborations with the college is an organ scholarship funded by the Percy Whitlock Trust and established in celebration of the outstanding four-manual Klais organ inaugurated in Symphony Hall in 2001. The Scholar plays a significant role in Symphony Hall’s education programme, presenting the organ to school groups and members of the public, as well as giving recitals. www.thsh.co.uk BCMG WORKSHOPS AND READING SESSIONS Originally formed by players from within the CBSO, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) is now established as one of Europe’s leading ensembles. Its core work revolves around the commissioning and performance of new music and its partnership with our Composition Department represents a natural extension of that purpose. As well as running workshops for our composition students, BCMG players regularly undertake read-throughs of student works, giving young composers invaluable feedback and the benefit of experience within a professional context. Furthermore, our contemporary music group, the Thallein Ensemble (see page 117), receives ensemble coaching from BCMG’s visiting conductors and composers, as well as BCMG players. www.bcmg.org.uk
BIRMINGHAM JAZZ COLLABORATIONS Birmingham Jazz is the region’s foremost jazz organisation and a strong supporter of our jazz programme and students. Each year Artistic Director Tony Dudley-Evans reviews third- and fourth-year students’ performances in order to provide them with feedback from a professional promoter’s perspective and advise on possible performance opportunities. This valuable link has in the past led to the inclusion of several outstanding senior students in major jazz festivals, such as the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival, as well as gigs in and around Birmingham such as Symphony Hall Foyer, the Jam House and the mac. Birmingham Jazz also works with the Conservatoire to arrange regular masterclasses with visiting professional artists, as well as free access to many Birmingham Jazz gigs for our jazz students. Selected students are also invited to sit on Birmingham Jazz’s committee, where they experience programming and management decisions first-hand. www.birminghamjazz.co.uk NTI We have teamed up with Birmingham’s Apple Accredited Training Centre to offer students a reduction on all their certified pro application media courses, available at the New Technology Institute in Birmingham. To find out more, visit: www.ntibirmingham.co.uk
CHRIS MAPP Bass, BMus Jazz (2004 Graduation) PERCY PURSGLOVE Trumpet, BMus Jazz (2003 Graduation) Jazz alumni and co-directors of Harmonic, a three day jazz festival launched in Birmingham in 2010 The most useful thing about the Conservatoire was that it gave us both the opportunity to explore our creative sides and to develop our musicianship in a safe, fertile environment. The many artists who visited during our time there, as well as the regular tutors, inspired us to pursue careers as musicians and undoubtedly we wouldn’t have has those opportunities otherwise. Jazz is a short word that spans many idioms. Current festivals often only represent a handful of these genres, and we wanted to do something to change that. Harmonic is an opportunity for us to encourage musicians to create new music and to present it in a festival environment. Hopefully by doing this we can share the scene in Birmingham with the outside world and enrich it from within. There are many talented musicians in Birmingham who often go unrecognised. With the development of the Conservatoire’s jazz course, many musicians now remain in Birmingham after graduating, which makes the scene stronger. We felt Harmonic would be an excellent way to showcase this. Birmingham’s jazz scene is growing but focused, much like the city itself. There are many musicians to play with and a reasonable amount of opportunities to perform. The city is vibrant and has a good creative atmosphere, with organisations such as Birmingham Jazz helping to develop new talent as well as giving us opportunities to see world class gigs. There are many other musical communities in existence with musicians who are more than happy to work with members of Birmingham’s jazz community. Fresh music emerges on a regular basis, which makes the scene unique. We’re already looking forward to future Harmonic festivals! We plan to develop and expand the festival to include more artists, venues, collaborations and mixed-media projects. We’d love to make a Harmonic a world-class event which helps to put Birmingham on the map. www.harmonicfestival.co.uk
EXTERNAL ENGAGEMENTS Our External Engagements programme offers advanced students the chance to undertake paid professional engagements throughout the Midlands area. With advice available on programming, presentation, contracts and fees, these opportunities can constitute a vital part of your professional training. For Music Technology students, there is ample scope to be involved in recording live concert performances at the Conservatoire, and those wishing to learn about and be involved in concert management can join the team of Concert Stewards who work to ensure the smooth running of internal and external events. INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE Although there will be plenty to keep you busy here in the UK, we know study abroad brings enormous benefits to those who undertake it in terms of both musical and personal development. Therefore, we encourage our third-year undergraduate students to apply for a three-month exchange with our SOCRATES/ERASMUS and other partner institutions. These include prestigious and internationally renowned music colleges in Paris, Ferrara, Lyon, Brussels, Weimar, Vienna, Bucharest, Krakow, Odense, Oslo, Malmö, Prague and the USA. Many of our students have gone on to successful further study at other international conservatoires and, in particular, the Weingarten Scholarships (see page 195) present further opportunities for postgraduate study at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest or the Kodály Institute at Kecskemét in Hungary. On a less formal basis, we encourage and support our senior students to travel to international competitions and summer schools. We are also a committed member of the Association Européenne des Conservatoires (AEC), which fosters and supports staff exchanges and intensive projects and collaborations between member European conservatoires, such as the Three Cities Orchestra. For this project, our orchestral students joined forces with students from Lyon and Frankfurt to present concerts in Lyon’s Auditorium and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.
The mix of home and overseas students, incoming exchange students and visiting international professionals resulting from all these international activities makes the Conservatoire a musically and culturally stimulating environment in which to learn.
The most useful thing about the Conservatoire was that it gave us both the opportunity to explore our creative sides and to develop our musicianship in a safe, fertile environment.
144 150 154 156 158 160 166 170 174 BMus (HONS) BMus (HONS) JAZZ GRAD DIP JAZZ PgCert MUSIC PgCert MUSIC (SPECIALIST PERFORMANCE) PgDip/MMus MUSIC AdvPgDip PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE RESEARCH: MPhil/PhD JUNIOR CONSERVATOIRE
178 180 182 HND POPULAR MUSIC PRACTICE BSC (HONS) MUSIC TECHNOLOGY MA DIGITAL ARTS IN PERFORMANCE
APPLICATIONS DURATION : CUKAS - Institution code B34 | Course code 300F : 4 Years Full-Time / 5 years with PGCE
Designed to develop expertise, knowledge, creativity and versatility, our BMus (Hons) provides a challenging programme of practical study supported by academic work. The course concentrates on your development as a ‘performer-teacher’, that is, a professional performer or composer who also has the appropriate skills to impart their expert knowledge to the next generation of musicians. The recent development of a five-year route incorporating BMus (Hons) and PGCE qualifications is an important and unique step in this area. The five-year route allows you to take the final year of the BMus over two years and combine it with a parttime PGCE, taught through the University’s Faculty of Education. After five years, you would graduate with a BMus (Hons) degree and Qualified Teacher Status, allowing you to teach music in classrooms or to earn more working as a peripatetic teacher for a Music Service. Both courses are spread evenly over Years 4 and 5, which means you can maintain your instrumental or compositional skills at the highest level through individual specialist lessons, while studying education and pedagogy. Applications for this scheme are made at the beginning of the third year.
PRACTICAL WORK • Weekly individual specialist tuition • Masterclasses • Individual or ensemble coaching • Performance/composition workshops • Ensemble playing • Teaching techniques • Specialist activities in chosen area (please see departmental pages for details)
A distinguishing feature of our BMus(Hons) course has always been the number and diversity of electives available, through which you can tailor the course to your own interests and needs. Following revalidation in 2006, this substantial range of elective activities – including conducting, choral singing, community music, Indian music, folk, jazz, free improvisation, Kodály method, second study, music technology etc – has been segmented into three categories: first study support, first study activities and musicianship electives (see page 128). This will help to ensure you get the support you need in your first study area, as well as the related skills and broadly-based musical experience needed in the profession today. As you progress through the course, you will be encouraged to experiment and think imaginatively about your own musical growth, to articulate your professional aspirations and to develop a realistic career plan. The recent introduction of peer- and self-assessment will give you a chance to reflect on your progress and you will also benefit from the further embedding of Personal Development Planning (PDP – see page 56) into the course, and greater use of our virtual learning environment Moodle (see page 49). Opportunities for professional placements and external engagements (see page 140) are integrated into the course via Professional Development modules. PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES
• Option of two years additional second study tuition (see page 63) ACADEMIC WORK • Musicianship (Harmony, Aural, Improvisation, Composition) • Music History • Analysis • Performance Practice • Professional Development
Throughout the course, great emphasis is placed upon developing strong practical skills. Intensive individual tuition is complemented by an array of activities designed to develop individual artistry and musical fluency. Academic studies are delivered from a predominantly practical viewpoint. Musicianship skills are taught through workshops which relate theory to practice and involve student performances. Other contextual studies contribute to the broad framework of musical understanding required by both performers and composers.
AUDITION REQUIREMENTS • Instrumentalists (percussionists excepted) must perform two pieces (or movements) of different styles and periods of their own choice. Candidates may also be asked to play scales (ABSM Grade VIII standard) and sight-read. • Percussionists will be asked to play pieces on timpani, drum kit, snare drum and tuned percussion (xylophone, vibraphone or marimba). • Singers must perform two pieces (or movements) of different styles and periods of their own choice. At least one of the pieces must be an aria (with recitative, if available) from an opera or oratorio. Candidates may also be asked to sight-read. • Composers must send a portfolio of at least three compositions and a high-quality recording of at least one of these works. Official accompanists will be provided, but you may bring your own accompanist if you prefer. ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS IELTS: 6.0 or equivalent. See page 28 for further details FURTHER DETAILS Admissions Team T: +44 (0)121 331 5901 E: [email protected]
FEES See our website for up-to-date information on fees. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS For insurance purposes, you must be at least 18 years of age by 1 September in the year of enrolment. Normally, you should satisfy one of the following: • GCSE passes in 5 subjects (grade C or above) and 2 passes at A2 Level (each grade E/40 points minimum) • Scottish Certificate of Education/Scottish Qualifications Authority Intermediate/ Higher/Advanced Higher in 5 different subjects, of which 3 are at Higher level • Irish Leaving Certificate with 5 different subjects at grade C or above, 4 of which are Higher level • An International Baccalaureate with a minimum of 24 points • All other non-UK applicants should have completed a course of secondary education at a high school/college/conservatoire, including classes in music theory. You should normally possess a qualification which would be required for entry to a university in your home country. • A standard in First Study equivalent to that of the Associated Board’s Grade VIII (Distinction): this may be demonstrated at audition or on your audition recording. Candidates hoping to satisfy these requirements should note that successful performance at your audition is accepted as the equivalent of one A2 Level/SQA Higher/Advanced Higher/ILC Higher in Music.
BMus1 BMus2 BMus3 BMus4 Year 4 Year 5
FIrST STUDY PerFOrMaNCe/ COMPOSITION
First study performance/ composition 60 credits First study activities 15 credits
First study performance/ composition 60 credits First study activities 15 credits Integrated into course activities
First study performance/ composition 60 credits
Final recital/ Portfolio
Final recital/ Portfolio
Years 1 and 2 concentrate on providing a thorough grounding in technical and performance skills, plus contextual knowledge, including an emphasis on harmony and aural training. Professional development, embedded into your core modules, focuses on increasing your self-awareness, covering areas such as time management and analysis of your individual learning style. You will be encouraged to experiment through a variety of performance options.
Professional Portfolio 15 credits Major Project (student defined) 45 credits Professional Portfolio 15 credits Major Project (student defined) 45 credits Professional Portfolio 15 credits
Integrated into course activities
Year 3 offers the opportunity to begin specialising through the choice of advanced studies in each area, plus enhanced professional development activities. The Conservatoire participates in a number of international exchange schemes with both European and US conservatoires. Provided you have attained an appropriate level of skill, you will be encouraged to spend a term or semester abroad during Year 3, studying at one of our partner institutions.
20th century and contemporary music 15 credits Case Studies
Contextual studies specialisms
Contextual studies project
Contextual studies project
15 credits Performance Practice and Notation 15 credits
15 credits Performance Practice and Notation 15 credits
In Year 4 you will be assessed on performance or composition (as appropriate), two projects and some professional development tasks. From early on in the course, you will work towards a major project, which forms an important component of the final year. Allowing for the fact that your ambitions may change during the course of your studies, the major project offers a flexible platform for you to explore a specialism and format appropriate to your professional aspirations. Examples of projects include chamber music, accompaniment, recorded performance and dissertation. If you’re interested in teaching, it’s possible to split your fourth year of study to accommodate parttime study of a PGCE, achieving Qualified Teacher Status, as well as your BMus (Hons) by the end of the course.
Musicianship (Harmony and aural) 15 credits
Musicianship (Harmony and aural) 15 credits
BMus (HONS) JAZZ
APPLICATIONS DURATION : CUKAS - Institution code B34 | Course code 310F : 4 years Full-Time / 5 years with PGCE
COURSE OVERVIEW The BMus (Hons) Jazz is a highly specialised course specifically designed to meet the needs of the modern jazz performer. The course is heavily weighted toward practical work, with the majority of time dedicated to one-toone lessons, small group coaching and private practice. All academic classes support different aspects of jazz performance and include Jazz History, Transcription and Analysis, Contemporary Issues, and Composition.
The individual lesson is at the heart of a conservatoire education and your weekly individual tuition will cover several different areas of musicianship. In the early years of the course your tutor will concentrate on helping you to establish a productive practice regime and build a foundation of fundamental technical skills, with an emphasis on improvisatory processes. As you mature, your tutor’s role will increasingly become one of mentor and guide, overseeing your artistic and conceptual development and providing the space for you to find a personal voice. Small group coaching follows a similar pattern: in Years 1 and 2 you will be assigned to a small group, typically of two to three frontline instruments plus rhythm section, which will receive intensive weekly coaching on core repertoire. In Years 3 and 4, you will run your own small group, in which you will have you own choice of repertoire and personnel, and be able to apply for mentoring and coaching as you see necessary for the band’s development. Senior small groups receive coaching from Visiting Artist in Residence Dave Holland and other international guests. For jazz musicians, the relationship between improvisation and composition is central to developing an individual voice and personal approach, so a significant strand of composition modules runs through all four years of the course. All student compositions feed into performance, from being included in small group programming to being performed by our Jazz Composers‘ Ensemble. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT One of the central aims of the course is to launch jazz performers into the music profession. You will have a chance to document your work as a jazz musician through a studio project in the third year. You will also design a major project in the fourth year around an area of professional practice of your choice. As further professional development, you will look at contemporary role models in jazz performance, undertaking in-depth case studies of their careers. There are also classes providing advice on how to manage a freelance portfolio career in music, covering topics such as personal finance and tax, publicity and events promotion, applications to funding bodies, and bidding for commissions.
YEAR 1 YEAR 2 FIRST STUDY PERFORMANCE • Individual lessons • Group coaching • Repertoire class • Masterclasses VOCABULARY AND STUDIES • Transcription • Technical work YEAR 3 FIRST STUDY PERFORMANCE • Individual lessons • Own small group • Performance platform • Masterclasses VOCABULARY AND STUDIES • Transcription seminar • Technical work JAZZ MUSICIANSHIP 3 MAJOR PROJECT A project, created around your choice of specialism, which can be one of four types: • Studio project • Dissertation • Teaching • Student defined MAJOR PROJECT A project, created around your choice of specialism, which can be one of four types: • Studio project • Dissertation • Teaching • Student defined FINAL PERFORMANCE YEAR 4 FIRST STUDY PERFORMANCE • Individual lessons • Own small group • Performance platform • Masterclasses FINAL PERFORMANCE YEAR 4 FIRST STUDY PERFORMANCE • Individual lessons • Own small group • Performance platform • Masterclasses YEAR 5 FIRST STUDY PERFORMANCE • Individual lessons • Own small group • Performance platform • Masterclasses
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS For insurance purposes, you must be at least 18 years of age by 1 September in the year of enrolment. Normally, you should satisfy one of the following: • GCSE passes in 5 subjects (grade C or above) and 2 passes at A2 Level (each grade E/40 points minimum) • Scottish Certificate of Education/Scottish Qualifications Authority Intermediate/Higher/ Advanced Higher in 5 different subjects, of which 3 are at Higher level • An Irish Leaving Certificate with 5 subjects at grade C or above, 4 of which are at Higher level. • An International Baccalaureate with a minimum of 24 points • All other non-UK applicants should have completed a course of secondary education at a high school/ college/conservatoire, including classes in music theory. You should normally possess a qualification which would be required for entry to a university in your home country. • A standard in First Study equivalent to that of the Associated Board’s Grade VIII (Distinction): this may be demonstrated at audition or on your audition recording. Candidates hoping to satisfy these requirements should note that successful performance at your audition is accepted as the equivalent of one A2 Level/SQA Higher/Advanced Higher/ ILC Higher in Music.
AUDITION REQUIREMENTS • You will be required to perform two contrasting pieces with a rhythm section (provided), one of which must be chosen from a list of standards, and one of your own choice. You will also be asked to perform a short transcribed solo (drummers and vocalists excepted) and sight-read. • Pianists, bassists and drummers audition by taking their place in the rhythm trio. • Drummers and vocalists will be asked to play through the chord changes of any of the listed standards at the piano. • Drummers must also take part in an interactive test, joining in with various grooves indicated by the piano and bass. • All candidates will be interviewed at audition. Full details of our audition requirements are available from the Admissions Team. FURTHER DETAILS Admissions Team T: +44 (0)121 331 5901 E: [email protected]
FEES See our website for up to date information on fees. ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS IELTS: 6.0 or equivalent. See page 28 for further details
HISTORY • Jazz Panorama HISTORY • Case studies • Seminar JAZZ IN CONTEXT • Professional Development • Entrepreneurs CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN JAZZ • Professional Development CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN JAZZ COMPOSITION • Basic techniques COMPOSITION & ARRANGING • Big Band COMPOSITION • Extended techniques and concepts COMPOSITION & ARRANGING PORTFOLIO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMPOSITION & ARRANGING PORTFOLIO FIRST STUDY PERFORMANCE • Individual lessons • Group coaching • Repertoire class • Masterclasses VOCABULARY AND STUDIES • Transcription • Technical work
JAZZ MUSICIANSHIP 1
JAZZ MUSICIANSHIP 2
APPLICATIONS DURATION : CUKAS - Institution code B34 | Course code 410F/P : 1 year Full-Time / 2 years Part-Time
COURSE OVERVIEW This conversion course offers intensive training in practical jazz skills for graduates who have a strong interest in jazz but have not received specialist jazz musicianship training or one-to-one tuition in jazz performance. Alongside the development of solid generic musical and academic skills, you will typically have undertaken some academic modules in jazz as part of your previous study, and will have participated in ensemble activities as a jazz performer.
The course aims to help you develop skills useable at a professional level through a combination of weekly individual specialist tuition with a variety of tutors, small group coaching, performance workshops, repertoire building and jazz musicianship. These practical activities are underpinned by a programme of academic work designed to develop contextual knowledge and skills. Modules include composition, analysis, contemporary issues and professional development. You will also be encouraged to take part in the broad programme of practical elective activities offered by the Conservatoire. Large performing ensembles include the Conservatoire’s Big Band and Jazz Orchestra, and there are frequent performance opportunities for small groups in the Conservatoire’s lunchtime and evening concert series. In addition to acting as a useful stand-alone course for developing your professional skills, the Graduate Diploma in Jazz offers ideal preparation if you are looking to study jazz at postgraduate level (see page 162). A variety of assessment methods are used, including essays, seminars and performances. Please note that, although you normally need to be a graduate to apply for this course, the Graduate Diploma in Jazz does not qualify for support from postgraduate funding bodies, such as the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). FEES See our website for up to date information on fees.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS You should possess a good Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent. While it is not necessary to demonstrate advanced skills in jazz, you must demonstrate at audition/on your audition recording an appropriate level of musical fluency and technical proficiency in your chosen specialist area, as well as a basic grasp of jazz skills. ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. See page 28 for further details AUDITION REQUIREMENTS • You should perform two contrasting pieces with a rhythm section (provided), as well as a short transcribed solo (unaccompanied). • Pianists, bassists and drummers audition by taking their place in the rhythm trio. • Guitarists may choose to audition with just bass and drums, or the full rhythm trio. FURTHER DETAILS Admissions Team: T: +44 (0)121 331 5901 E: [email protected]
FINAL RECITAL FIRST STUDY • Individual lessons • Own small group coaching • Performance workshops JAZZ MUSICIANSHIP PERFORMANCE PLATFORM Series of peer-assessed performances, including feedback from established promoters (Birmingham Jazz) REPERTOIRE
CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN JAZZ VOCABULARY AND STUDIES • Transcription seminar
PERFORMING ENSEMBLES • Big Band • Jazz Orchestra
APPLICATIONS DURATION : CUKAS - Institution code B34 | Course code 500P : 1 year Part-Time
COURSE OVERVIEW The Postgraduate Certificate in Music is a flexible part-time programme offering advanced study in performance or jazz performance (see also page 162). For recent music graduates, the course offers an extra year of focused study in performance with our dedicated team of specialist tutors. Equally, if you’ve been working in music for a few years, it presents an excellent chance to refresh and refocus your performance skills in the light of your career development plans. Specialist tuition, normally undertaken on an individual basis, is available for 25 hours over the duration of the course.
AUDITION REQUIREMENTS Postgraduate audition requirements vary according to area of specialist study. A summary of the major audition elements is provided below; full details are available from the Admissions Team. • Performance candidates (excluding jazz performers and accompanists) will be asked to present a varied programme of about a 15 minutes’ duration. Depending on the area of study, candidates may be required to include orchestral excerpts, an extended piece and/or specified material. • Singers must include works in at least three European languages, including English. • Brass Quintet candidates must audition as an ensemble and individually. • Jazz performers should perform two contrasting pieces with a rhythm section (provided), as well as a short transcribed solo (unaccompanied). Pianists, bassists and drummers audition by taking their place in the rhythm trio. Guitarists may choose to audition with just bass and drums, or the full rhythm trio. • Piano Accompaniment candidates should bring a singer with whom they must perform three works (including a Lied); candidates must also perform an extended piece/movement for solo piano, and sight-read.
As with all our postgraduate programmes, alongside your individual tuition, you will undertake a Professional Portfolio module. This negotiated programme of activities will support your first study, help you to build a unique profile as a musician, and prepare you for professional life. Your activities may be drawn from our extensive musicianship electives programme (see pages 128-134), ensemble or specialist performance programmes. The PgCert can be studied as a freestanding course, or as a progression route into further postgraduate study, including our Postgraduate Diploma, Master of Music and Advanced Postgraduate Diploma courses (see pages 161 and 167). ENTRY REQUIREMENTS • You should normally possess at least a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours. • You will need to demonstrate at audition that you possess appropriate skills in your chosen specialist area. ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS IELTS 5.5 or equivalent. See page 28 for further details FURTHER DETAILS Admissions Team: T: +44 (0)121 331 5901 E: [email protected]
COURSE STRUCTURE PRELIMINARY PERFORMANCE / JAZZ PERFORMANCE 15 CREDITS PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO 15 CREDITS CERTIFICATE RECITAL / CERTIFICATE JAZZ PERFORMANCE 30 CREDITS
PgCert MUSIC (SPECIALIST PERFORMANCE)
APPLICATIONS DURATION : CUKAS - Institution code B34 | Course code 501F : 1 year Full-Time
COURSE OVERVIEW The Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) in Music (Specialist Performance) is an intensive course offering one year of focused study in performance or jazz performance only. Designed to sit between our successful part-time PgCert and PgDip courses, the PgCert (Specialist Performance) is a full-time course offering 40 hours of individual specialist tuition culminating in a substantial final performance, but without the academic content of the PgDip. The course is ideal for musicians performing at PgCert level who want to develop their repertoire, technique and stamina.
COURSE OUTLINE As with all our postgraduate programmes, alongside your individual tuition, you will undertake a Professional Portfolio module. This negotiated programme of activities will support your first study, help you to build a unique profile as a musician, and prepare you for professional life. Your activities may be drawn from our extensive musicianship electives programme (see pages 128-134), ensemble or specialist performance programmes. If you are an international student, your Professional Portfolio activities might include further tuition in English language for academic purposes. The PgCert (Specialist Performance) is suitable as a standalone course, or as preparation for further postgraduate study, including our PgDip, MMus and AdvPgDip courses. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS • You should possess a good Bachelor’s degree. • You will need to demonstrate at audition that you possess appropriate skills in your chosen specialist area.
COURSE STRUCTURE PRELIMINARY PERFORMANCE / PRELIMINARY JAZZ PERFORMANCE 15 CREDITS PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO 15 CREDITS FINAL RECITAL / FINAL JAZZ PERFORMANCE 60 CREDITS
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS IELTS 5.5 or equivalent. See page 28 for further details. AUDITION REQUIREMENTS The audition requirements for this course are the same as those for the part-time PgCert. See page 156 for further details. FURTHER DETAILS Admissions Team T: +44 (0)121 331 5901 E: [email protected]
APPLICATIONS DURATION : CUKAS - Institution code B34 | Course code PgDip 600F/600P / MMus: 800F/800P : 1 year Full-Time
COURSE OVERVIEW Designed for recent graduates and suitable mature students, our taught Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) and Master of Music (MMus) courses provide the opportunity for the further study of performance, composition, jazz, musicology or technology at an advanced level. Like the Postgraduate Certificate (see pages 156 and 158), they are suitable as stand-alone courses or as preparation for further study, such as our Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Music (Professional Performance) (see page 167) or research degrees (see page 171). The PgDip offers specialised study in four areas: Performance, Composition, Jazz and Music Technology. The MMus offers study in any of these four pathways, or in a fifth area of specialism, Musicology.
PRACTICAL WORK Both the PgDip and the MMus offer a total of 40 hours of specialist tuition, normally undertaken on an individual basis. On all pathways, your first study tuition will lead to a major assessment appropriate to your chosen pathway (a recital, portfolio or dissertation). Your first study tuition will be supported by a programme of group activities such as performance classes, masterclasses, composition or community music workshops. A specially devised programme for Vocal & Operatic students also includes languages and stage-craft. Our postgraduate courses are designed to be flexible, allowing you to develop a specialism or distinctive musical profile within your chosen area: for instance, in the performance of contemporary music or chamber music. Throughout your course, you will be able to take part in the broad programme of practical activities offered by the Conservatoire, and you may normally audition for places in our orchestras, choirs, bands and other groups alongside undergraduate students. A Professional Portfolio module will help you negotiate a suitable programme of activities within the context of your career aspirations. ACADEMIC STUDIES Whether you follow the PgDip or the MMus, your practical study will be complemented by relevant academic modules. The difference between the two courses is that the MMus provides much greater academic breadth.
This programme will be reviewed in 2011. Please visit our website for updates.
COURSE STRUCTURE PRELIMINARY STUDIES 15 CREDITS • Preliminary performance • Preliminary portfolio • Project proposal • Research proposal PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO 15 CREDITS ACADEMIC STUDIES 30 CREDITS • Performance practice • Analysis for composers • Techniques in musicology • Music technology contexts • Analysis and aesthetics of contemporary jazz.
PgDip/MMus SPECIALISED STUDY: Performance In addition to traditional western instrumental and vocal disciplines, this pathway includes specialised programmes for: • bass clarinet performance (page 74) • brass quintet performance (page 80) • choral conducting (page 93) • guitar ensemble performance (page 70) Composition
MMUS STUDY 15 CREDITS • Performance scholarship • Cultural studies • Advanced editorial techniques • Special composition project
FINAL RECITAL / PORTFOLIO / PROJECT 60 CREDITS MUSICAL PHILOSOPHIES 30 CREDITS RESEARCH SEMINARS 15 CREDITS
We welcome composers working in music technology and non-western idioms, as well as notated art music. Jazz This pathway offers the opportunity to specialise in either Jazz Performance or Jazz Composition (see opposite for details) Music Technology This new pathway makes use of the Conservatoire’s excellent facilities and equipment, and allows creative technologists to develop their skills and interests. Staff specialisms lie in electroacoustic composition, live electronics, programming, cross-disciplinary digital media and production, and we encourage study across all these areas. Musicology (MMus only) This pathway includes a significant element of individual research supported by studies in musicology. ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS PgDip: IELTS 6.0 or equivalent MMus: IELTS 6.5 or equivalent See page 28 for further details FEES For up to date fees see our website
This is the programme of modules on offer at the time of going to press but some changes are likely in time for Autumn 2011 entry.
FOCUS ON POSTGRADUATE JAZZ STUDIES Just as we offer a bespoke undergraduate jazz course (see page 150), any one of our flexible postgraduate programmes can be tailored to meet the unique needs of jazz musicians. There are two strands to postgraduate jazz study: Performance and Composition. You can study Jazz Performance at PgCert (see pages 156 and 158), PgDip or MMus level, while Jazz Composition can be pursued at PgDip or MMus level. As a PgDip Jazz Performer you will receive 40 hours of individual instrumental lessons, plus small group coaching, priority access to our guest masterclass sessions (including working with Dave Holland) and regular public performance opportunities, culminating in your final performance. As a PgDip Jazz Composer you will receive 40 hours of individual composition lessons, available from Mike Gibbs, Liam Noble and Hans Koller. You will also have access to the Jazz Composers’ Ensemble, which you will be asked to direct in rehearsals and to present public concerts of your own work. Jazz Composition students also have priority access to workshops with guest composers. For both postgraduate Jazz Performers and Composers, the PgDip includes a shared module in Analysis and Aesthetics of Contemporary Jazz, which not only acts as a forum for students of both disciplines to discuss their music, but also stimulates artistic growth and conceptual development. The MMus qualification is achieved by following an additional 60 credits’ worth of academic modules.
AUDITION REQUIREMENTS Postgraduate audition requirements vary according to area of specialist study. A summary of the major audition elements is provided below; full details are available from the Admissions Team. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: PGDIP • You should normally possess at least a Lower Second Class Honours Degree (preferably Music) with a minimum of 60 per cent in your first study area. • Non-UK candidates should normally possess at least a Bachelor’s Degree or a similar degree-equivalent Diploma from a conservatoire or equivalent institution. • You will need to demonstrate at audition/interview that you possess appropriate skills in your chosen specialist area. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: MMUS • You should normally possess at least an Upper Second Class Honours Degree (preferably in Music) or equivalent, with a minimum of 60 per cent in your first study area. • Non-UK candidates should normally possess a good Bachelor’s Degree, or a similar degree-equivalent Diploma from a conservatoire or equivalent institution. • You will need to demonstrate at audition/interview that you possess appropriate skills in your chosen specialist area. • Performance candidates (excluding Jazz performers and accompanists) will be asked to present a varied programme of about 15 minutes’ duration. Depending on the area of study, candidates may be required to include orchestral excerpts, an extended piece and/or specified material. • Singers must include works in at least three European languages, including English. • Brass Quintet candidates must audition as an ensemble and individually. • Jazz performers should perform two contrasting pieces with a rhythm section (provided), as well as a short transcribed solo (unaccompanied). Pianists, bassists and drummers audition by taking their place in the rhythm trio. Guitarists may choose to audition with just bass and drums, or the full rhythm trio. • Piano Accompaniment candidates should bring a singer with whom they must perform three works (including a Lied); candidates must also perform an extended piece/movement for solo piano, and sight-read. • Choral Conducting candidates may be asked to prepare a programme which will form the basis of their audition. Please contact the Admissions Team for details. • Composers (including jazz composers) should be prepared to discuss a portfolio of compositions, which they must previously have submitted, if possible with accompanying recordings. • Musicologists should send a summary of their proposed project and be prepared to discuss this at interview. • Music Technologists should be prepared to discuss a portfolio of creative work submitted in advance. This may comprise compositions, recordings, audiovisual work, code, etc.
FURTHER DETAILS Admissions Team T: +44 (0)121 331 5901 E: [email protected]
Advanced PgDip PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE
APPLICATIONS DURATION : CUKAS - Institution code B34 | Course code 602F/602P : 1 year Full-Time / 2 years Part-Time
COURSE OVERVIEW The AdvPgDip (Professional Performance) is the most intensive and demanding of our postgraduate performance courses and is intended for outstanding musicians already on the threshold of a professional career. The course aims to provide you with the opportunity to progress your existing musical skills to professional performance standard and to develop originality and artistry in the presentation of musical styles. As well as deepening your musical comprehension and interpretative skills, the course also offers the chance to enhance your presentation and communication skills.
The AdvPgDip is available in one of four divisions: • Instrumental Performance • Piano Accompaniment • Opera Repetiteur • Vocal Performance Specialist tuition is available for 45 hours over the duration of the course, and may include the study of related second instruments and lessons with more than one teacher, as appropriate. In common with PgDip/MMus students, you will undertake a support programme of Performance Practice lectures and a Professional Portfolio module. The latter consists of tutorials which help to guide the design of a programme of supporting activities in the context of your career aspirations. You will undertake three major assessments, normally in public performance conditions. Options include solo recital, chamber music and performance with orchestra. FEES For up to date fees see our website
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS • You should normally possess a postgraduate qualification in performance. However, applicants with substantial public performance experience at an appropriate level may be considered. • You will need to demonstrate at audition that you possess appropriate skills in your chosen specialist area. • All applicants (Repetiteurs excepted) must send a current repertoire list and two sample 50-minute recital programme proposals to the Conservatoire at the same time as applying through CUKAS. ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. See page 28 for further details
AUDITION REQUIREMENTS These vary according to area of specialist study. A summary of the major audition elements is provided below; full details are available from the Admissions Team. • Instrumental performers You should present a stylistically varied programme (25 minutes maximum) of at least three works, including one extended work/movement. • Vocal performers You should perform a programme (20 minutes maximum) including works in at least three European languages, including English. These may include arias from the operatic and/or oratorio repertoire. You will also be asked to read short texts in French, German and Italian. • Piano accompanists You should bring a singer with whom you must perform three works (including a Lied), and must also perform two contrasting solo piano works from the standard repertoire, including a substantial movement from the Classical or Romantic repertoire (total duration 10-15 minutes). You will also be asked to sight-read. • Opera repetiteurs You must play two contrasting solo piano works including a substantial movement from the Classical or Romantic repertoire (total duration 10-15 minutes). You must also play a substantial prepared extract from an operatic vocal score, give a short coaching session in a prepared operatic excerpt to a singer (without prior rehearsal) and sight-read.
PERFORMANCE 1 - 45 LEVEL 8 CREDITS PERFORMANCE 2 - 45 LEVEL 8 CREDITS PERFORMANCE 3 - 45 LEVEL 8 CREDITS PERFORMANCE PRACTICE - 30 LEVEL 7 CREDITS PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO - 15 LEVEL 7 CREDITS
FURTHER DETAILS Admissions Team T: +44 (0)121 331 5901 E: [email protected]
APPLICATIONS DURATION : Direct to Research Department : MPhil - Full-Time 2 years | Part-Time 3 years : PhD COURSE OVERVIEW We offer postgraduate courses leading to the degrees of MPhil and PhD. The Master of Philosophy is both a freestanding research degree involving about half the work of a PhD, and is a useful training-ground for the Doctor of Philosophy. The PhD can be accessed directly by applicants with a suitable Master’s qualification. Since our mission is to promote the highest standards of performance and composition, it follows that our Research Policy is sharply focused on these activities. Applications relating to the practice and philosophy of musical performance and composition and other areas of particular interest in the conservatoire context are therefore encouraged. - Full-Time 3 years | Part-Time 5 years including any time spent on MPhil
The following research areas are particularly suitable for our research environment: • Performance Studies • Performance plus Dissertation • Composition • Musical Aesthetics • Composition and Performance using Live Electronics • 20th-Century Music • Ethno-musicology including Jazz/Pop • 17th-Century Music, especially French and Italian • Late Medieval Music Projects are sometimes directly associated with either performance or composition or both, and often include the actual practice of these arts. Research in these areas can include: performance that is genuinely original, either in repertoire or interpretation; composition that is genuinely original, either in style or in ways of using existing styles; and musicological and related studies which directly or indirectly inform the practice of music. Cross-disciplinary projects where, for example, a performer and composer may be working closely together, or where the study of some ethnic tradition informs original composition, are also encouraged.
Research students enjoy exclusive use of a dedicated studio equipped with four computers, internet access and acousticanalysis software, as well as access to the Conservatoire’s state-of-the-art electronic music studios (see page 42). Students may also take part in the full range of practical activities and lectures available within the Conservatoire. The expected length of a PhD thesis is 80,000 words, but substantial musical text (e.g. an edition, performance or composition) can be included. Performers may include justified and integral performance (live or recorded) as up to 50 per cent of the thesis. Composers may submit a folio of compositions as their ‘thesis’, accompanied only by a short essay (6,000 words minimum for PhD). Research studies may, in principle, commence at any time of the year, but it is most convenient to enrol at the start of the academic year in September. For details of our research strategy, staff publications, PhD completions and other information about our research, please visit: www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk/research FEES Please see the website for current details.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS MPhil • You should normally hold a good MA or MMus degree. Applicants without Master’s degrees are occasionally allowed entry, providing they can demonstrate academic skills comparable to a good undergraduate degree. • You will normally be expected to apply for transfer to PhD after about one year (full-time) or two years (part-time). It is not necessary to complete the MPhil dissertation before transferring, but you should have submitted a couple of chapters or the equivalent. PhD • If you are applying directly to the PhD, you must have completed a good Master’s in an area relevant to your project, and convince an interview panel that you are ready to embark on study at this level.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS IELTS: 6.0 or equivalent. See page 28 for further details. INTERVIEW & AUDITION REQUIREMENTS Musicologists (including performance-related topics) At interview you will normally be asked to bring along a recent essay demonstrating your academic writing skills. Performers If you intend to use performance as an integral part of your project you will also need to audition. We would like to hear you perform for about 30 minutes, with a programme relevant to your project if possible. The standard should be equivalent to post-Masters‘ level at a UK conservatoire. Composers You will need to present two recent scores together with recordings if available. The expected standard, in each case, is equivalent to that of a completed Master’s from a UK conservatoire. Feel free to consult our Research Department for further guidance. PIERRE BOULEZ In May 2008, renowned conductor and composer Pierre Boulez visited Birmingham Conservatoire for a two-day festival promoted in conjunction with Park Lane Group, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the Paul Sacher Foundation. In addition to attending and giving feedback on performances of his works, M. Boulez gave a composition workshop and open masterclass, and participated in an In Conversation event with the BBC’s Roger Wright. The climax of ‘Boulez in Birmingham’ was a concert in Town Hall during which an Honorary Doctorate of Birminghan City University was conferred on M. Boulez.
Headed by Timothy English, the Junior Conservatoire provides specialist musical tuition for talented young musicians. Our tutors are of the highest calibre and include members of the CBSO, professional musicians and senior Conservatoire staff. The Junior Department operates on 10 Saturdays during each school term using the full facilities of the Conservatoire. Courses are available in classical music, jazz, chamber music, classical music from the north Indian subcontinent and A Level music, and students can, where possible, combine elements from different courses to suit their individual needs. A strong emphasis is put on performance through weekly platforms and termly chamber music recitals, as well as regular concerts for the larger ensembles in the Adrian Boult Hall. • The Classical Course offers an hour of first study tuition; additional studies if appropriate; supporting studies in aural, theory and harmony; and chamber music. Two choirs, String Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra are all incorporated into the timetable. There are also opportunities to study Early Music and Composition. • The Jazz Course is based on a core curriculum that includes jazz ensembles, improvisation classes, jazz aural, theory and history. Students can add individual tuition to their timetable as appropriate. • The Raga Sangeet Course involves group and individual tuition and follows the classical traditions of the Northern part of the Indian subcontinent. Sitar is available at intermediate level and tabla at foundation and intermediate levels. • The Chamber Music Course provides specialist ensemble training and includes regular workshops from visiting ensembles. • A/S and A2 Music are also available and are integrated into the Saturday timetable, or offered separately on Wednesday evenings. Young Strings Project • Beginners as young as three years old are encouraged to apply to join the Young Strings Project studying violin, viola, cello or mini-bass as part of a course which includes choir, Kodály training, a Dalcroze Eurhythmics lesson and participation in the Junior Conservatoire Orchestra alongside individual lessons. FURTHER DETAILS Lulu Lezama, Junior Conservatoire Secretary T: 0121 331 5905 E: [email protected]
In addition to our own courses, we also run several courses in collaboration with our partner faculties at the University and South Birmingham College.
HND POPULAR MUSIC PRACTICE*
* SUBJECT TO REVALIDATION
APPLICATIONS DURATION LOCATION
: Institution code S29 : Course code 043W : 2 years Full-Time : South Birmingham College
COURSE OVERVIEW Offered by South Birmingham College (SBC) in partnership with the Conservatoire, this largely practical course is designed to equip you with the technical and vocational skills required for employment in a wide variety of roles within the music industry. You’ll be taught in SBC’s purpose-built facility, which includes a 440-seat auditorium, five recording studios and four music technology suites. You’ll also get the chance to work with current music industry professionals and possibly undertake a relevant commercial placement.
Much of your work will be geared towards the development of professional products, such as performances, tours, CD production or radio shows. The course will help you to develop your own professional profile and explore your individual artistic identity. You’ll also collaborate with others and explore all aspects of the contemporary music industry. AREAS OF STUDY The programme enables performers, composers and producers to work collaboratively across four module pathways: Technique, Live, Production and Enterprise. These pathways culminate in a substantial Group Project in the final semester of the programme. The module structure allows you to develop your own areas of specialism and expertise at the same time as enabling you to understand other areas of popular music practice and to develop new skills. At the same time, it reflects the reality of the commercial music industry where practitioners work collaboratively and may undertake a variety of roles. Much of the work across the programme is self-directed and always takes place in professional-standard environments. FEES For up to date fees see our website.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS You must be at least 18 years old on entry and have one of the following relevant qualifications: • 80 UCAS tariff points • One A2 Level plus other appropriate qualification • GNVQ Advanced with Merit • BTEC National Diploma in a relevant subject • Scottish Certificate of Education at the Higher Grade with at least three passes at grade C • A professional qualification of an appropriate standard • A pass in a recognised access course • A portfolio of creative work • Equivalent qualifications or experience All applicants will be auditioned/interviewed. Where successful applicants demonstrate a lack of music academic skills, musicianship support classes will be offered. Skills equivalent to ABRSM Grade V will be required for progression to degree level study. Mature students lacking formal academic qualifications will be offered essay-writing/research support classes.
FURTHER DETAILS Maighread Hegarty South Birmingham College T: 0121 694 5052 E: [email protected]
BSC (HONS) MUSIC TECHNOLOGY
APPLICATIONS DURATION LOCATION COURSE OVERVIEW The BSc (Hons) Music Technology is the most technically oriented of the undergraduate courses available to students who wish to pursue music technology. For an explanation of the different music technology options, please see page 101. The BSc (Hons) Music Technology draws upon a wide range of academic disciplines including technology, sound recording, music studies and business. As a result, you will experience many different types of learning environments: laboratory experiments, practical workshops, computer sessions, studio work, seminar groups and project management. To prepare you to work in a dynamic creative industry sector, the course focuses on developing your creative abilities in tandem with your practical skills in music production, utilising professional hardware and software systems. : Institution code B25 : Course code W350 : 3 years Full-Time | 4 years Sandwich, including 1 year placement : Jointly delivered with the Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment
FEES For up to date fees see our website ENTRY REQUIREMENTS You should have one of the following: • GCE A Levels (typically 260-300 points), plus five GCSEs including Mathematics Grade C or higher.
Music technology is a growing field and the potential areas for employment are expanding all the time. Popular areas include: • Recording (mixing, production, programming; mastering and duplication) • Broadcast (mixing, post-production, sound editing) • Film (location recording, dubbing, foley, postproduction) • Live Sound (mixing, public address, audiovisual presentation) • Journalism (music/music technology journals) • Education (music technology teaching) • Manufacturing (product development, demonstration, sales and marketing) PLACEMENT As part of your studies, you will have the opportunity to complete an industry placement. In addition to helping you to determine where your talents and interests lie, your placement will develop your experience, confidence and adaptability – qualities that will contribute to achieving your career aspirations.
IN DEPTH The BSc (Hons) Music Technology is run jointly by the University’s Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment and the Conservatoire; you will study in both faculties. Located at Birmingham’s Millennium Point, the Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment offers state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities related to media and television technology. Within the Conservatoire, you will have access to extensive facilities including performance venues; well-equipped, purposebuilt recording studios; computer-based workstations; and networks for audio transfer. Apart from this, one of the real benefits of the course is the fact that you will be studying alongside and working with some of the nation’s most talented young performers. Though weighted in favour of appraisal through coursework, the course is assessed in a variety of ways: formal examinations, essays and business reports, laboratory reports and log books, practical exercises involving the use of studio equipment, case studies, investigatory reports, folios of recordings or other creative audio work and presentations.
• A BTEC National Certificate/Diploma in Music Technology with a significant proportion of subjects having been passed at distinction standard, plus GCSE Mathematics Grade C or higher. • A distinction in the GNVQ (Advanced) with eight mandatory modules, and 4 optional and core modules (IT, communication and Application of Number), plus GCSE Mathematics Grade C or higher. Applicants should demonstrate a strong technical aptitude together with a significant knowledge of music. Equivalent qualifications to those listed above (eg overseas equivalents) are welcome. Please contact the Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment for further details. ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS IELTS: 6.0 or equivalent. See page 28 for further details FURTHER DETAILS Technology, Engineering and the Environment Course Enquiries T: 0121 331 6400 E: [email protected]
MA DIGITAL ARTS IN PERFORMANCE
APPLICATIONS DURATION LOCATION : Direct to Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD). See page 189 : 1 year Full-Time / 2 years Part-Time : Jointly delivered with BIAD
You will be encouraged to take a research-based line throughout the programme and you may find that this takes you logically forward to MPhil/PhD study in our unique research environment. FEES For up to date fees see our website ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Honours degree or postgraduate diploma in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional qualification/experience. You should be able to demonstrate some knowledge of technological applications in your area of creative practice and some experience of creating work with digital technology. ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS IELTS: 6.5 or equivalent. See page 28 for further details FURTHER DETAILS Gregory Sporton Visualisation Research Unit BIAD T: 0121 331 5978 E: [email protected]
This programme aims to support students from art, music or performing arts backgrounds in enhancing their creative practice through digital technology and broadening their technical skills. Your study will be split between BIAD’s Visualisation Research Unit and the Conservatoire’s Centre for Composition and Performance using Technology, allowing you to access state-of-the-art facilities and expert tutors in a variety of new technologies such as motion capture, HD video, gesture control of sound and visuals, multi-touch interfaces and distributed computing. (For a complete listing of our facilities, see page 42 or visit www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk/about/facilities or www.biad.bcu.ac.uk/vru )
This course is situated at the intersection of the arts, science and technology. You will be encouraged to explore the resulting opportunities and experiment with new practices. This programme will prepare you to work in emerging areas of the cultural industries, including content generation, installation art, composition and technology-based art projects. It is oriented towards people preparing for freelance careers in digital arts and the creative application of digital technology, including research, professional performance and technology development. There are four main elements to your study: • Theory: how do digital technologies affect our concept and delivery of artistic works • Programming: how things work behind the scenes • Content management: how visual, audio and other elements can be included in your project • Interface: how the audience accesses your work There is an emphasis on giving you the skills to create works that can achieve a degree of persistence within the context of an ever-changing technological landscape.
The programme is strongly focused on practical work with digital technology, with an emphasis on experiences created in real time. To cater for students whose practice straddles the border of visual and sonic arts, and to encourage the combining of these practices through collaboration as well as individual work, it is envisaged that creative outcomes may be aural, visual, performance-oriented (in real or virtual spaces) or a combination of these. Emphasis is placed on producing live experiences through applying digital technologies and you will be involved in the development of interactive environments and time-based applications of technology for performance/installation. The early part of the programme focuses on developing collaborative projects and enhancing and expanding your technological skills. During the middle section of the programme you will begin work on your major project and experiment with different applications of technology in the arts, ranging from improvisation to installation practices, from the concert hall to the art gallery or dance studio. During the final stage of your study, you will complete your major project combining your expressive ideas with your understanding of technology through performance. There are also optional modules drawn from Art and the Conservatoire to augment your studies on the programme.
Applying & auditioning
APPLYING ONLINE AT WWW.CUKAS.AC.UK The Conservatoire is a member of CUKAS, an online admissions service for most UK conservatoires. Application for all of our courses (apart from research degrees and joint courses) should be made via www.cukas.ac.uk You must apply in English. Like UCAS, CUKAS uses an online application system called Apply. To use it, follow these steps:
1. REGISTER AT WWW.CUKAS.AC.UK Registration is a process of entering your personal details, for example name, date of birth, address. Once you have completed the registration, a username will be automatically generated, and you will be asked to create a password of your choosing. Be sure to make a note of your username and password as they will enable you to log into Apply later. 2. ACCESS THE ONLINE APPLICATION There are full instructions on the CUKAS website to help you fill in your application. You can work on it, save it and return to it later using your username and password. If you are stuck, remember to check the Help Text first. If you still need further information or advice, contact the CUKAS Customer Service Unit: +44 (0)871 468 0470, which is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am-6pm (UK time). 3. PROVIDE CONTACT DETAILS FOR TWO REFEREES One of your referees must be able to comment on your academic ability; the other must be able to comment on your musical ability. Your referees should know you well enough to write about you and your suitability for higher education. CUKAS will not accept references from family, other relatives or friends. The reference forms are available in Apply and you should email or post them to your referees.
4. FEES AND PAYMENTS There is a one-off application fee of £15, payable to UCAS. An additional non-refundable audition fee of £55 (£90 for a double audition) is payable to the Conservatoire; this is collected through the CUKAS system. You can make your payment online using a credit or debit card. The card doesn’t have to be in your name, but you do need to get the consent of the cardholder. If you can’t pay by card, you can choose to pay by an alternative method, such as cheque, postal order or bank transfer. 5. DEADLINES The closing date for on-time applications is on or around 1 October in the year prior to entry. You are advised to apply as early as possible. Late applications may be accepted until the end of August (annually) for instruments/areas in which we have unfilled places. If you have a disability, we would encourage you to apply as early as possible. Once we are aware of your disability we can try to support your individual needs. We have a range of services and equipment which can be made available to you to help you make the most of your time at the Conservatoire. If you have not made us aware of your disability or you feel you may have a disability, please contact our Admissions Team or our Disability Service. T: +44 (0)121 331 6495/7775 (text/voice) E: [email protected]
ADVICE FOR UK APPLICANTS All enquiries concerning UK undergraduate and postgraduate admissions should be addressed to: Admissions Team T: +44 (0)121 331 5901/5902 E: [email protected]
ADVICE FOR NON-UK APPLICANTS All applicants from outside the UK are strongly advised to contact us in the first instance for advice on submitting an application. All enquiries concerning non-UK admissions should be addressed to: Ruth Stanton, Assistant Registrar E: [email protected]
JOINT COURSE APPLICATIONS Applications for our joint courses cannot be accepted through CUKAS. Instead, please apply as follows:
RESEARCH APPLICATIONS (MPHIL/PHD) Research applications cannot be accepted through CUKAS. You are instead invited to contact the Head of Research, c/o Liz Reeve, Research Administrator, with a draft proposal of about 500 words, as well as brief notes covering your academic career, current activity and any relevant experience. We will provide advice and assistance in generating a viable project which can then be submitted with the formal application form. Promising candidates will be invited to an interview, which may include an audition if the project includes performance. The formal selection criteria are: quality of application judged against UK university standards; suitability of project vis-à-vis the Conservatoire’s research priorities; availability of supervisors; overall numbers and critical mass; and other matters, such as ethical considerations. T: +44 (0)121 331 5925 E: [email protected]
Research studies may, in principle, commence at any time of the year, but it is most convenient to enrol at the start of the academic year in September/October.
HND POPULAR MUSIC PRACTICE
Applications for the HND Popular Music Practice, run in collaboration with South Birmingham College, are received through UCAS: Institution Code S29 / Course Code 043W
BSC (HONS) MUSIC TECHNOLOGY
Applications for the BSc (Hons) Music Technology, run in partnership with the University’s Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment, are received through UCAS: Institution Code B25 / Course Code W350
MA DIGITAL ARTS IN PERFORMANCE
Applications for the MA Digital Arts in Performance, run in partnership with Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), are received directly by BIAD: Application: Direct to BIAD faculty office
Rosehill New Barn Lane Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL52 3LZ
T: +44 (0)871 468 0468 E: [email protected]
Rosehill New Barn Lane Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL52 3LZ
T: +44(0)871 468 0468 E: [email protected]
Gregory Sporton BIAD Visualisation Research Unit Department of Art T: +44 (0)121 331 5978 E: [email protected]
Faye Gelly BIAD Faculty Office Gosta Green Corporation Street Birmingham, B4 7DX T: +44(0)121 331 5800/01 E: [email protected]
MAIN AUDITIONS Our main auditions period for undergraduate and postgraduate places is in November. In order to be eligible, you must submit your CUKAS application before the on-time deadline (normally on or around 1 October in the year prior to entry). If you are an organist, please be aware that organ scholarship trials are held at the same time as auditions and places fill up very quickly. You are therefore strongly advised to apply by the on-time deadline. For a standard single instrument audition, a non-refundable audition fee of £55 is payable through CUKAS at the time of application. If you are choosing between two areas/ instruments, or you wish to apply for joint study (see page 63), you may request a double audition, for which there is a non-refundable fee of £90 payable through CUKAS at the time of application. For audition requirements, please see the appropriate course page. LATE AUDITIONS If you apply between 1 October and 4 January, you may be eligible for late auditions. However, late auditions are only held if a first study area still has vacancies after the main auditions, so you are encouraged to apply on time if at all possible. Late auditions are normally held in February and are open to both undergraduates and postgraduates. If we receive your application after 4 January, you may be given an audition if your first study area still has vacancies; this will be arranged through our Admissions Team.
INTERNATIONAL AUDITION CENTRES If you are applying from outside the UK, you may be able to attend an audition at one of our international audition centres in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore or Taiwan. You may also be able to receive advice about application procedures at the same time. Auditions for 2011 Entry will be held in Autumn 2010 (dates to be advised), and so on. For further information and application advice please contact Ruth Stanton, Assistant Registrar ([email protected]
) or our agent for your country/centre: CHINA [email protected]
HONG KONG [email protected]
MALAYSIA [email protected]
SINGAPORE [email protected]
TAIWAN [email protected]
AUDITION RECORDINGS If you are an international applicant already studying or living in the UK at the time of your application, you should request an audition in Birmingham rather than sending an audition recording. If you are an international applicant and you cannot attend an audition in Birmingham or at one of our international audition centres (see page 191), you must send a high quality recording on DVD (preferably) or CD in lieu of an audition. RECORDING GUIDELINES • At the start of the recording, you must: 1. state your name 2. say a few words in English about each of the pieces to be performed • Performance candidates must have their recordings validated by an appropriate school/college/university authority as their own unedited performance. PORTFOLIO GUIDELINES • Composers must have their portfolio validated by an appropriate school/college/university authority as their own work.
AUDITION RECORDING REQUIREMENTS The requirements for audition recordings are similar to our live audition requirements: BMUS (HONS) • Instrumentalists (percussionists excepted) should submit a recording of their own performance of at least two contrasting pieces. • Singers must perform two pieces (or movements) of different styles and periods of their own choice. At least one of the pieces must be an aria (with recitative, if available) from an opera or oratorio. • Percussionists should submit a recording of pieces on timpani, drum kit, snare drum and tuned percussion (xylophone or vibraphone or marimba). • Composers must send a portfolio of at least three compositions and a recording of at least one of these works. BMUS (HONS) JAZZ AND GRAD DIP JAZZ • You should provide a recording of two contrasting pieces including rhythm section, as well as a short transcribed solo (unaccompanied). One of the pieces performed must be chosen from a list of standards; the other one is your own choice. • Full details of our audition requirements are available from our Admissions Team).
PGCERT/PGDIP/MMUS • Performance candidates (excluding jazz performers and accompanists) must send a high-quality recording of their own performance of three or four contrasting works or movements (minimum 15 minutes). • Wind and brass players must also include two orchestral excerpts. • Singers must include works in at least three European languages, including English. • Brass Quintet candidates must include examples of ensemble and individual playing. • Jazz performers should provide a recording of two contrasting pieces including rhythm section, as well as a short transcribed solo (unaccompanied) • Piano Accompaniment candidates should send a recording of three works with a singer (including a lied), and an extended piece/movement for solopiano. • Composers must send a portfolio of at least three compositions and a high-quality recording of at least one of these works when requested. • Music Technologists should send a representative portfolio of 2-3 pieces of creative work, comprising compositions, recordings, sequencing work, production tracks, music or sound to picture, webbased development or any other work that showcases ability in this area. Scores, CD-audio, DVD-video or CD Rom should be sent as appropriate. • Choral Conducting candidates may be asked to send a DVD or VHS video recording of a suggested programme. Please contact Ruth Stanton (as on page 187) for details. • Musicologists should send a summary of their proposed project and be prepared to discuss this. • All PgDip & MMus candidates must send an essay/ piece of written work from their undergraduate course, or on a prescribed topic when requested.
ADV PGDIP • See requirements for PgCert/PgDip/MMus Performance candidates above. • To be considered for the Adv PgDip, you must send a DVD performance. • All Adv PgDip applicants (Repetiteurs excepted) must send a current repertoire list and two sample 50-minute recital programme proposals. • You must also send an essay/piece of written work from your undergraduate course, or on a prescribed topic.
Entrance Scholarships (UK/EU Candidates) A number of Entrance Scholarships are awarded each year to UK and European Union candidates on the recommendation of auditions panels. Tuition Fees Scholarships (Non-EU Candidates) A number of part-tuition fees scholarships are awarded each year to overseas candidates. These scholarships are normally renewed for each subsequent year of a student’s course. Beatrix Myatt Scholarship for Piano This scholarship is awarded once every three years to an undergraduate piano student on the recommendation of audition panels. The scholarship is worth £3,000. Corton Hyde Early Music Scholarships Two scholarships are normally available to support talented students wishing to further their studies in Early Music. The Corton Hyde Continuo Scholarship supports a keyboard, cello/viola da gamba, or lute/theorbo player specialising in continuo, while the Corton Hyde Performance Practice Scholarship is open to a variety of musicians, including period violinists, vocalists, early oboe or flute players, recorder players and cellists. Both scholarships are worth £1,000 and may be renewed after one year by negotiation. Denis Matthews Scholarships Established in 1989 in memory of the distinguished pianist and scholar, the Denis Matthews Trust offers scholarships through competition to pianists who are studying at Birmingham Conservatoire, as well as an additional entrance scholarship of £1,000. Ella Cheshire Scholarship (Soprano) A scholarship of approximately £1,500 is awarded annually to a nominated postgraduate soprano candidate. SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID In addition to the basic financial aid available to UK/EU undergraduates described on page 22, we offer a variety of scholarships at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. All candidates are automatically considered for financial assistance up to the value of full scholarships. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit (according to audition panel recommendation), with some specifically reserved to assist candidates in financial need or studying in specific areas. EMI Music Sound Foundation Bursaries UK students who would be unable to undertake study without financial assistance may apply to the Conservatoire for an EMI Music Sound Foundation bursary. Up to five bursaries are made available each year. Leverhulme Trust Scholarship (UK Candidates) As a result of a generous donation by the Leverhulme Trust, a number of scholarships are awarded each year to excellent UK candidates on the recommendation of audition panels. Symphony Hall Whitlock Organ Scholarship This scholarship, generously funded by the Percy Whitlock Trust, offers a talented organ student access to the outstanding four-manual Klais organ in Symphony Hall, acclaimed as one of the finest concert halls in the world. The Scholar plays a significant role in Symphony Hall’s education programme, presenting the organ to school groups and members of the public. The Scholarship also includes an annual recital. The successful candidate will be a highly competent player, with excellent presentational skills and the ability to capture the imagination of young people. The appointment is for one year initially, but may be renewed. The value of the Scholarship is £1,000 per annum. Weingarten Scholarships These prestigious scholarships, established through the generosity of Joseph and Lilian Weingarten, are available by competition to final year undergraduate or postgraduate Piano, Violin or Voice students at the Conservatoire. Successful students undertake up to a year of postgraduate study at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. Another scholarship is available to enable a student to study the Kodály Method at the Kodály Institute at Kecskemét in Hungary. Junior Department Scholarships Applicants to the Junior Conservatoire may be eligible for a DCSF Music and Dance Award, or bursary funding from the Leverhulme Trust or the Wolfson Foundation. The Junior Conservatoire can provide advice and guidance to suitable candidates.
STEPHEN WILLEY Composition, BMus (2010 graduation) Tutors: Ed Bennett, Michael Wolters & Joe Cutler I initially chose the Conservatoire because the composition tutors were positive about my music and very open to different approaches of writing. Since then, I’ve discovered many good things about studying here! All the teachers are great and really push you to your full potential. I’ve also had opportunities to benefit from a wide range of visiting composers and to write for ensembles such as BCMG and Decibel. Because many student and visiting performers are happy to discuss compositional ideas, I’ve been able to learn about writing for different instruments in great detail. Birmingham is a great place for the arts. The Conservatoire is just up the road from Birmingham School of Art (part of BIAD) and also very close to Symphony Hall and The Rep – these links lead on to exciting collaborative projects. Through the Composition Department, I have been given opportunities to work in theatre music and have since worked on two productions with The Young Rep (Birmingham) and Friction Theatre Company. In October 2008, I was awarded the Audience Prize in the Phillip Bates Prize for Composers and Songwriters, hosted by the Conservatoire. Birmingham’s great musicians and arts venues made it possible to establish the new independent music ensemble, Thumb, of which I’m co-artistic director. I’ve also co-founded a new company, ‘Findthatscore.com’, specialising in the promotion and distribution of the music of up-and-coming composers. This venture has been backed by the University’s Speed West Midlands programme for new businesses and received funding from the Conservatoire as well. I’d like to continue developing Thumb and ‘Findthatscore.com’ after I graduate, but I still feel there is a lot more I can gain from the teaching and opportunities that the Composition Department creates, so I’ll be returning here to study for my MMus in Composition.
OTHER FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE TO CONSERVATOIRE STUDENTS Access To Learning Fund Our Access to Learning Fund is provided by HEFCE, the Government funding body for higher education, and applications are assessed according to its guidelines. Awards are made to students with a financial need that remains once they have applied for all other funding options, provided they meet residency and other eligibility requirements. The fund cannot be used towards fees, only living expenses and course costs such as travel, materials, books and equipment. Full requirements and HEFCE guidelines are available on request. Birmingham Conservatoire Association BSM Centenary Appeal Fund The Trustees of these two charities consider requests for financial aid from Birmingham Conservatoire students. Modest awards are made for projects or needs related to students’ official studies. Student Awards Committee This Conservatoire Committee administers a number of funds on behalf of the University’s Trustee Committee. Applications from students are considered termly, and small grants are awarded towards the cost of Summer School fees and expenses, instrument repair and purchase, etc.
I initially chose the Conservatoire because the composition tutors were positive about my music and very open to different approaches of writing. Since then, I’ve discovered many good things about studying here! All the teachers are great and really push you to your full potential.
C o H n
Birmingham Conservatoire Birmingham City University Paradise Place, Birmingham B3 3HG
Tel: +44 (0)121 331 5901/5902 Email: [email protected]
To Jewellery Quarter
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Newhall Hill (to Jewellery Quarter)
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HOW TO FIND US Located at the heart of the UK’s road, rail and coach networks, the city enjoys direct connections with over 500 destinations. Air links from the city’s own international airport are also excellent. Locally, a network of bus, tram and train services provides easy access to all areas of the city. Detailed driving directions (including disabled access), and advice on travelling by rail and air are available at www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk BY CAR From Junction 6 of M6, take A38(M) to Birmingham. We regret that onsite parking is not available, but there are three NCP car parks located close to the Conservatoire: one on Cambridge Street, one on Brunel Street and one on Suffolk Street Queensway. BY TRAIN/COACH The Conservatoire is a 10-minute walk from both New Street and Snow Hill Stations, and a 15-minute walk from Digbeth Coach Station. Follow directions to the Town Hall and Central Library. BY AIR Birmingham International Airport (BHX) is well served by both bus and rail links, as well as by black cab taxis. The airport is approximately 30 minutes from the city centre by road, or 10 minutes by train.
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We are pleased to work in partnership with the following organisations:
We gratefully acknowledge support from :
To find out more about our development programme, or to support our work to the benefit of your business, please contact the Principal’s Office T: +44 (0)121 331 5910 E: [email protected]
Adrian Burrows (page 19) John Hall (page 135) Kirstie Hunt (page 28) Also our partner faculties at the University: Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham School of Acting, the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment.
Graeme Braidwood Allan (page 197) Christian Payne (pages 51, 57, 62, 82, 88, 100, 125, 160, 166, 173, 175) Mike Priddy (page 183) Nick Robinson (pages 16, 32) George Steele (page 29) Mark Thompson (pages 8, 31, 46, 52, 65, 69, 86, 95, 136, 156, 159, 164) Chris Webb (pages 23, 27, 37, 45, 48, 67, 73, 75, 79, 81, 90, 120, 184, 190)
Louise O’Callaghan (pages 60, 84, 92, 106, 132, 150, 155, 169, 170, 176, 188, 194)
LEGAL DISCLAIMER This information is intended as a general guide to the University’s courses and facilities at Birmingham Conservatoire and forms no part of any contract between you and the University. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the courses as described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility. Any course may be altered or withdrawn owing to circumstances beyond the University’s control. It is strongly recommended that prospective students contact the faculty to obtain the most up-to-date course information. For full terms and conditions please visit: www.bcu.ac.uk/about-us/policies-and-procedures DISABILITY POLICY Birmingham City University’s Disability Service aims to enable students with disabilities or learning support needs to make the most of their time at university, whether they have a physical, sensory or hidden disability, mental health difficulties or specific learning difficulties. In order to help you plan and prepare for university life, we have a range of services and equipment which can be made available to you. At Birmingham City University we think it is important that you feel you can tell us about any disability you may have. We regard disclosure of a disability as a positive step, because once we are aware of your disability we can then try to support your individual needs. If you have not made us aware of your disability or you feel you may have a disability please contact the Disability Service on 0121 331 6495/7775, or email [email protected]
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES Birmingham City University promotes equality of opportunity in respect of every aspect of its provision. University policy and practice will seek to provide an environment that is free from discrimination against students, staff and others. The University and its staff will ensure that all prospective students are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential. The University will seek to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religious belief, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family circumstances, citizenship, social and economic status, or any other irrelevant individual differences. For full details of the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy please visit: www.bcu.ac.uk/student-info/equality-and-diversity