We are still accepting applications for the BMus (Hons) Music (for the vocal, instrumental & composition pathways) and BMus (Hons) Jazz courses. Places are subject to availability. Please get in touch with our Admissions Team before submitting an application.
Gain unparalleled training experience, alongside performance and collaboration opportunities with your fellow students and some of the world’s best brass musicians.
Why study brass at RWCMD?
- You’ll challenge yourself by broadening your view of the brass world. Take part in unlimited rehearsal and performance opportunities – concerts ranging from renaissance dance music played on sackbuts and cornetts to avant-garde compositions using contemporary techniques.
- You’ll get the chance to experience anything and everything – whether it be jazz, early music, music therapy, outreach, arranging, conducting and many more. We’re here to help you make informed decisions and prepare you for a musical career after you graduate.
- You’ll be taught by leading musicians who are primarily drawn from Cardiff’s two professional orchestras, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Welsh National Opera
- You’ll have the opportunity to audition for placement schemes – at BMus and MMus level – for those two professional orchestras (with some of our students called upon to play when their regular players are unavailable, something we wholeheartedly support)
- Immerse yourself in an active programme of masterclasses given by leading international performers and ensembles. In the past, we’ve welcomed Ben Goldscheider and Katy Woolley on French horn, Peter Moore on trombone, Reginald Chapman on bass trombone, Ben Thomson and Sergio Carolino on tuba and Bones Apart, the all-female trombone quartet.
- Collaboration is key to your training and a distinctive aspect of all our programmes. You’ll have countless opportunities to work with other musicians on your course, throughout the music department and across the College too. So you can showcase your work in our busy public series of opera, orchestral concerts, musical theatre and award-winning drama.
Solid understanding in a variety of areas
To prepare you for a rich and varied career, you’ll have endless opportunities to gain experience in a broad selection of areas, including:
- solo performance
- chamber music
- orchestral playing
- historical performance
- brass band
- performing in commercial contexts
- Placement programmes with national orchestras
You’ll also have the chance to audition for a placement with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera.
You’ll work alongside principal players in two of the UK’s leading professional orchestras and receive coaching on essential orchestral repertoire. In recent years, a number of RWCMD students have gained professional freelance work and orchestral trials during their studies here.
Acclaimed teachers and performing musicians
Our team of 24 brass teachers specialise on the trumpet, french horn, tenor trombone, bass trombone and tuba – and many of them have worked for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera.
Euphonium virtuoso David Childs is our international visiting tutor, attracting students from around the world, while his father, Dr Robert Childs, co-ordinates all our brass band activities.
Led by trombonist with decades of professional experience
Roger Argente, Head of Brass Performance, is a brass trombonist. He has spent most of his career living and working in London, where he was a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for 27 years. Prior to that, he spent nearly a decade as a member of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
He’s toured all over the globe, playing the greatest orchestral works at the finest concert halls, alongside the world’s best conductors and soloists.
He’s also worked extensively for the recording industry – performing for composers such as John Williams, Hans Zimmer and John Barry – on films such as Gladiator, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Inception and the 007 franchise.
In 2005, he formed a brass group and education project called Superbrass. The group has gone on to work with Music for Youth, The BBC Proms, The Southbank Centre, The Royal Albert Hall, as well as music centres, schools, colleges and brass bands throughout the UK.
Find out more about RWCMD
- Our thriving, multicultural institution welcomes 800 students from more than 40 countries. You’ll train side-by-side with other instrumentalists, actors, singers, composers and performance designers and will work with them on projects throughout the year.
- Collaboration forms a huge part of what we do, allowing you to immerse yourself in new experiences with a broad range of disciplines and skills from across the college. Our unique student-led company REPCo, encourages students to work together to be bold, imaginative and entrepreneurial.
- Our industry partnerships provide real-world, enhanced learning experiences with leading arts organisations and professional musicians, also offering you opportunities to build your future professional networks.
- RWCMD is a vibrant arts centre staging 500 performances a year (many of which are free) which are a combination of world-leading artists and student work, often side by side. Regular major events at RWCMD include BBC Young Musician of the Year, and BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and standalone events such as the World Harp Congress in July 2022.
- The College is the first UK conservatoire to achieve a gold standard level of quality assurance across Music, Drama and Under 18s in the recent international MusiQuE, Music Quality Enhancement review. Reviewers were particularly impressed with the College's approach to the individual student experience, multidisciplinary collaboration, and overall ambition, citing RWCMD as a shining example of best practice across European conservatoires, and reflecting the College's exceptional people and unique community.
- As the world’s only Steinway-exclusive conservatoire the College now has a world-leading fleet of pianos, and every acoustic piano at the College is a Steinway.
- We fundamentally believe in the power of music to transform and enrich society, developing skills in teaching, coaching and co-creating projects to create musicians of the future who will make an impact as performers, teachers and enablers within the broader community. Fundamental questions - ‘How can we shape the industry of the future’, ‘How can we use art to make a difference’ - help us to produce musicians who are truly relevant to a 21st Century world.
- You’ll practice, study and perform in a beautiful, inspiring setting, bordering Bute Park, one of the largest green spaces in the city. We have a chamber music hall with extraordinary acoustics, a glass-lined foyer and performance space, the Richard Burton Theatre, as well as state-of-the-art studios and rehearsal spaces.
- Our campus is right in the centre of Cardiff, the UK’s first Music City, and the thriving, compact capital of Wales, which is only two hours by train to central London.
- Cardiff was named as the most cost-effective city in the UK for students, according to the NatWest Student Living Index 2022.
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