Head of Woodwind, Heather Nicoll DRSAMD MA
The Woodwind department has an international reputation for developing leading musicians. Our team of dedicated staff includes many of Britain’s finest woodwind players, with world-class reputations as soloists, orchestral, and chamber musicians. The department delivers an intensive and dynamic training and provides a supportive and collaborative environment to talented musicians from all over the world. Through our extensive one-to-one specialist care and invaluable performance exposure, the department ensures a challenging and inspiring environment to promote excellence.
Unparalleled one-to-one tuition
Students receive a 90 min principal study lesson each week with their tutor
Performance collaborations with international artists
Weekly tuition is enhanced by regular visits from distinguished guest artists from across the globe. Students benefit from creative collaborations with those artists in addition to the masterclass programme.
Diverse performance opportunities
All woodwind students benefit from the enormous range of performance opportunities. Symphony, chamber and wind orchestra performances, opera productions, wind ensembles and chamber experience are also central to the training of each student. We encourage you to form your own ensembles and offer professional coaching to support your work.
Side-by-side concert series
All woodwind students will have the opportunity from Year 1 to perform alongside professional musicians in our Monday @ 1 concert series.RCS staff members and visiting artists perform in chamber ensembles with our students throughout their training.
The department’s elite ensemble, Stevenson Winds, provides students with intensive coaching from professional players and offers extensive performing experience alongside those professionals in prestigious events across the country.
Students are given the best possible start to their performing careers, participating in public performances, TV broadcasts, and worldwide tours with Scotland’s major orchestras and ensembles. We currently run schemes with the BBCSSO, RSNO, Orchestra of Scottish Opera and Red Note Ensemble.
Fantastic concerto opportunities
Annual professional concerto performances with both the BBC SSO and the RSNO are available to students. Further concerto opportunities with the RCS Symphony and Wind Orchestras are available & offer performing experience throughout the country in prestigious venues.
Professional accompanist provision
A professional accompanist is provided for students throughout their training. Weekly rehearsal sessions with Scott Mitchell are available in preparation for performance classes, competitions and examinations.
A dedicated reed-making room provides superb equipment and facilities for regular classes in this specialist art and the David Nicholson Room provides flautists with a devoted rehearsal and practice space.