Iris van den Bos – Graduated with MMus in 2020

Iris van den Bos playing percussion instrument

  • Member of the Colin Currie Group
  • In-demand timpanist playing with several UK orchestras
  • Regular guest percussion with CBSO
  • Percussionist with EUYO 2018-21

“Studying at RBC literally changed my life. Since my first day in Birmingham I’ve had the support of all the amazing teachers and their mentoring has helped me enormously in both playing and life. Being part of the department means being part of a team. This taught me how to clearly communicate and help each other out which are all skills that are needed in the professional world. The department gave me so many opportunities to do what I wanted to do and get to where I belong."

Mathew Levy – Graduated with PGCert in 2019

Mat Levy playing percussion instrument

  • Appointed as Section Principal Percussion of the Orchestra Victoria in Melbourne in 2019 (whilst studying at RBC)
  • Graduated from Sydney Conservatorium with first class honours (studying under Daryl Pratt) (2011-2015)
  • Played with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, CBSO, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Australian World Orchestra

“My time in the RBC Percussion department was wonderful! The variety of teachers, disciplines and projects on offer in the department is genuinely unique. The large range of teachers as well my peers broadened my musical horizons, inspiring and equipping me with the skills required to be a modern-day percussionist. The opportunity to study with percussionists and timpanist from ballet, opera and symphony orchestras was also truly invaluable in preparing me for my current role as Section Principal Percussion in Orchestra Victoria: Melbourne.”

Tom Bennett – Graduated with BMus (Hons) in 2022

Tom Bennett playing the drums

  • Regular dep on West-End productions of The Lion King, Guys & Dolls and Next to Normal on percussion and drum kit chairs
  • Drummer for several off-West-End theatre productions

“RBC taught me the versatility that I now use on a day-to-day basis to enjoy a varied career. The network I was able to build whilst studying gave me my first steps on the ladder into major professional work.”

Shanice Hsuan Wu – Graduated with APD in 2022

Shanice Wu

  • Marimba One Artist
  • Member of World Percussion Group 2023/24
  • Solo Marimba Consultant at Xi'an Music School

“My experience at the RBC was truly enriching and enjoyable, marked by a diverse and inspiring journey through the world of percussion. The opportunity to study with multiple accomplished tutors, each a master in their specific field, allowed me to delve into various percussion disciplines such as Latin Percussion, solos, and contemporary studies. The presence of talented musicians from across the U.K. and Europe not only motivated me to enhance my skills but also fostered a peer-to-peer dynamic that transcended the traditional master-to-student relationship.

Throughout my time at RBC, I was fortunate to encounter numerous performance opportunities. Graduating from the program, I continue to receive invitations to various music festivals. This ongoing support has allowed me to shine on stages, and I am grateful for the platform RBC has provided to showcase my talents.

What stood out at RBC was the inclusive and welcoming atmosphere cultivated by the tutors, who made students feel like equals. This sense of camaraderie instilled confidence, enabling me to freely interact with other professional players. The positive and friendly nature of the percussion department added to the overall enjoyment of my studies, with unwavering support readily available whenever needed.

In essence, my studies at RBC not only equipped me with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the music industry but also provided a platform for holistic growth, marked by a vibrant and supportive community that celebrated the joy of musical exploration.”

Miriam Kitchener – Graduated with BMus in 2016 and MMus in 2018

Miriam Kitchener – Graduated with BMus in 2016 and MMus in 2018, black and white image of her playing the xylophone

  • Royal Shakespeare Company percussion extra and onstage percussionist
  • Outreach work for City of London Sinfonia, Children’s Musical Adventures, Britten Sinfonia Academy, In Harmony and Opera North
  • Percussion Tutor at RBC Juniors

“Being able to choose the path that was right for me was key to my progression throughout my studies at RBC and enabled me to develop my portfolio career as a professional musician. There were so many opportunities to get involved in such a diverse range of activities; from orchestral percussion to education projects; the music of Latin America to solo and ensemble performances, these all played a vital role in my continuing development. The positive and friendly nature of the percussion department made my studies even more enjoyable and help was always given whenever and however it was required.

My time at RBC was a perfect mixture of one to one lessons with some of the finest percussion players in the country; hands on performance opportunities in the professional world; trips to countries such as Taiwan, Spain and Germany to compete in competitions and learn about the music of different cultures; creating long lasting personal and professional relationships with fellow students and teachers and above all else being able to embark upon an unforgettable journey.”

Jose Daniel Martinez Martin – Graduated with MMus in 2017

  • Regular guest player with CBSO & Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • Co-founder of Insound Mallets

“I haven’t stop performing since I left RBC. My first years out have been incredible, with about 70-80 performances a year including concerts with Philharmonia, Britten Sinfonia, Aurora, CBSO European tour, BRB, Decibel Ensemble tour, LOKI and Persephassa with Millennial Percussion tour to Spain!”

Patrick Womack - Graduated with MMus in 2016

Patrick Womack

  • 2nd Percussion, Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra

"I really enjoyed getting to study with multiple percussion tutors, each being a master at their craft. Whether it was Latin Percussion, Timpani, or Orchestral studies, the wide range of players from around the U.K. and Europe was so inspiring, and their knowledge motivated me to become a better player. It was also great to have more of a peer to peer rather than a master to student relationship.

The tutors were obviously better and more experienced, but they made you feel like one of them. That feeling helped give me confidence to approach and interact more freely with other professional players. My biggest struggles going into my studies were ironed out by great teaching and helpful peers in the percussion department. It is safe to say that were it not for my time at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, I would not have made it into my first orchestra spot."

Maraca2 – Graduated with BMus in 2004 and APD in 2006

Maraca2 pose with drumsticks

  • Jason Huxtable and Tim Palmer formed Maraca2 whilst students at RBC
  • Both are now percussion teachers at RBC
  • Performances include festivals in Hong Kong, Shanghai and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis.
  • Concerto performances with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra
  • In 2016 Maraca2 formed the World Percussion Group