Meet our Head of Brass, Amos Miller

Amos Miller is Head of the Brass Department at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Find out more about Amos' responsibilities and what he considers the greatest challenges facing new music students.

Amos Miller primary

What is your ethos for the department?

That the best learning environment is one where people are happy and feel mutually supported. People take differing amounts of time to reach their potential, and our department aims to make that process as smooth, informed and mindful as possible!

What do you look for in musicians auditioning to join your department?

A love of music, first and foremost, in addition to potential on their instrument and an enthusiastic willingness to learn.

Do you perform outside of teaching?

Yes, I am a founder member of Onyx Brass, a regular guest with most of the UK's main orchestras, and am lucky enough to work in the studio fairly frequently. 

What are your main responsibilities as Head of Department?

There are lots! For example, I'm responsible for organising all the brass classes (both from a teaching and student personnel perspective), conducting repertoire sessions and concerts, bringing guest artists, looking after our amazing Visiting Tutors, and, (the most important to me), thinking about the wellbeing and pastoral care of our students. 

What have been your career highlights so far?

I have been amazingly lucky to have had an incredibly varied career so far, but if I had to pick a few: my first prom (doing Gurrelieder with the NYO/Boulez and Jessye Norman), a four week education trip to the reformed settlements in South Africa, Brahms 2nd symphony with Carlo Maria Giulini, playing with Jason Rebello and colleagues at the Vortex with Onyx Brass, and playing Xenakis with a drum and bass outfit at the Shepherd's Bush Empire! And a Star Wars soundtrack.

How did you come to your current role, what have you done before Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (RBC)?

I have spent the last 23 years basically freelancing, alongside being the principal trombone of the Royal Ballet Sinfonia (orchestra for Birmingham Royal Ballet), playing with Onyx Brass, and a huge amount of teaching, most recently at the Royal College of Music.

How would you describe your team in the department?

Wonderful! They all are not only brilliant performers, but seriously committed teachers.

What is your favourite thing about working at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire?

I haven't been here long, but the sheer friendliness of the place, allied to the amazing staff and world-class building are pretty hard to beat!

What do you think sets RBC apart from other conservatoires?

Approachability, location, quality of engagement, and integration with Birmingham City University.

What do you think are the greatest challenges facing new music students?

To be able to master the millennial concept of a "portfolio career", but concurrently rather than consecutively!

What do you think makes a successful musician in your field?

The ability to play well, allied to organisation, enthusiasm, and open-mindedness to all the new opportunities that we need to embrace as 21st century musicians. 

What can prospective students look forward to the most when they join your department/Royal Birmingham Conservatoire?

To be part of a department with a sense of community and mutual support, whilst receiving world-class tuition in one of the UK's finest buildings!

Find out more about our Brass Department