A message from our Principal

Stephen Maddock

Principal Stephen Maddock marks the halfway point of the academic year, reflecting on the royal visit and the Jazz fusion concert that took place earlier this term. He also looks forward to student performance activity and a piano-playing conference that starts this Sunday (4 February).


I am writing this piece on the first day of February, which means that we are roughly halfway through the academic year. While our staff are busy with our recruitment activities for next year’s students – alongside everything else – our students are working hard preparing for concerts, end-of-year recitals and for fourth-year BMus students, their final-year projects. These offer an amazing variety of creative activities, and I look forward to seeing and hearing a number of them over the coming weeks.

We have also had a lot of concert and performance activity since the start of term, including a memorable performance by Jazz students alongside our visiting artist Ustad Johar Ali, Chair of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

We were also delighted to welcome RBC’s Royal Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, on a visit during which he met some students, listened to a large Jazz ensemble in the Eastside Jazz Club, and was an engaged chair of a round table discussion with students, staff – including Birmingham City University Vice-Chancellor Professor David Mba – and representatives of five other music organisations of which he is Patron. It was a very useful conversation about the challenges faced by young people when accessing musical opportunities in the UK.

This month there are a great many exciting things to look forward to, including a festival starting this Sunday (4 February) focusing on Piano-Playing Styles of the 19th Century, three productions from our third-year Acting students, an appearance at Symphony Hall by our Symphony Orchestra, and our Spring Opera – Massenet’s Cinderella. I hope you will be able to join us for some of these or the dozens of other events at RBC venues.

Principal Stephen Maddock

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