Spotlight on External Engagements

Tsvetelina Likova

While studying with us, you can request to be put forward for performances outside of Birmingham Conservatoire, known as ‘External Engagements’. Whether it’s a solo performance, or as part of a larger ensemble, participating in external engagements is a great way to gain valuable professional experience and earn at the same time.

Birmingham Conservatoire

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Our clients require an exceptionally high standard of performance, so students are normally selected by Heads of Department. Performances may be corporate, public, or private, depending on the client's needs and in the past we have provided a great variety of musicians for external engagements, including:

  •  Instrumental Soloists (Violin, Viola, Cello, Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, Organ)
  •  Vocalists (Solo Singers, Vocal Ensembles)
  •  Chamber Groups (String Quartets, Wind Trios, Brass Quintets)
  •  Jazz Bands & Small Ensembles
  •  Early Music Performers
  •  Classical Guitarists
  • …and many more!

One of the many advantages of taking part in the programme is that you have the opportunity to perform to a wider range of audiences and in a variety of performance spaces. For example, Birmingham Conservatoire students Arthur Bocaneanu and Tsvetelina Likova have been able to perform at weddings, corporate events and orchestra concerts across the West Midlands through the scheme.

For Tsvetelina (pictured), a highlight was performing at ‘An Enchanting Evening’, a Pre-Raphaelite exhibition that took place at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery:

You are able to request to take part in External Engagements from the start of your time at Birmingham Conservatoire, and graduates working as professional performers can also benefit from the programme. The straightforward application process ensures the External Engagement team find the most suitable performances opportunities and take care of the bookings once the specifics of the events have been agreed with you.

External engagement fees are in line with the Musicians Union rates and as the External Engagements team handle contracts with clients it makes payment reliable and hassle free. In Tsvetelina’s case the extra income has been useful for helping to cover some of her living expenses and supporting her university projects. Arthur commented:

In addition to being a source of income whilst studying, the programme offers you the chance to network with clients and other musicians. Not only is this invaluable for professional development, but it can also lead to even more work opportunities- essential for up-and-coming musicians. 

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