Woodwind

As a student of the woodwind department, you will immediately appreciate the supportive and collaborative attitude shared by our staff and students, making for an atmosphere that is motivational rather than competitive.

We offer a wide range of experiences for our students, as soloists, in orchestras and as chamber musicians. You would be part of a very busy department! We also devote much attention to pedagogy – an essential and extremely rewarding asset for future employment. We take the greatest care to nurture and develop every student's skills, to create individuals with a wealth of knowledge, who are fully prepared for the profession.

Recorder

Our lively and supportive recorder department provides tuition in all aspects of style, technique and repertoire.

Recorder

Saxophone

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is at the forefront of saxophone education.

Saxophone

Auditions

Find out more about the audition process and requirements for the department.

Our staff

Our expert teaching staff are renowned as leading performers and teachers in the UK and provide exceptional tuition.

Our staff

Our tutors

We also have a variety of tutors who provide specialist teaching and advice within the Woodwind department.

Our tutors

Performances

Come along to an RBC performance to see our current students in action, alongside some of the biggest names in classical and contemporary music.

Upcoming performances

Orchestras and Ensembles

Whilst studying at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, you will have many opportunities to play in the various ensembles and orchestras. These include:

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Repertoire Orchestra
  • Thallein Orchestra
  • Baroque Orchestra
  • Wind Ensemble
  • Opera Orchestra
  • Classical Big Band
  • Wind Orchestra

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra - Woodwind Training Scheme

Students are offered the opportunity to audition to sit in the CBSO for rehearsals. This is an enormously valuable and exciting project. Before the auditions take place, players from the CBSO hold audition preparation workshops. Successful students will be invited in for a selection of orchestral rehearsals and free tickets to concerts. An unbeatable experience!

Following on from the CBSO scheme opportunity, several of our students have been invited to play professionally with the CBSO.

BRB Student-in-Residence Scheme

Birmingham Royal Ballet has launched a new Student-in-Residence scheme. This exciting new scheme selects a student from across the Conservatoire for the opportunity to play in rehearsals with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the orchestra of Birmingham Royal Ballet, for one calendar year. Throughout this scheme the student will be mentored by members of the orchestra and Principal Conductor Paul Murphy.

Welsh National Opera Side-by-Side

Playing alongside members of the Welsh National Opera (WNO) orchestra as part of complete woodwind sections, and directed by WNO’s conductors and leaders, this scheme gives students valuable insight into the special flexibility that is required in opera repertoire.

Staff spotlight

Jenni Phillips studied at the Purcell School and the Royal College of Music with Michael Winfield. She then went on to win a Countess of Munster Scholarship to study at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies.

Jenni is currently Head of Woodwind at RBC.

Double Reed Room

The Double Reed Room is the hub of double reed life at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. The room is used for reed making and instrument repair lessons, and has a large selection of high-quality specialist oboe and bassoon machines for students to use.

The room also features shelving space for drying reeds and lockers for members of the double reed department. We have two student room monitors who keep a constant eye on the machines to ensure they are always working well.

Many students arrive having never made a reed before, and the vast majority graduate as completely independent reed makers. We have regular reed classes from Jenni Phillips (Head of Woodwind, oboe). The design of the room, with a large work bench in the centre, ensures that classes are sociable and everyone can exchange ideas.

Classes and workshops

As a department, we offer extensive orchestral training through our weekly wind repertoire classes, covering a wide range of orchestral repertoire. The rota is designed to ensure each student has the chance to experience different orchestral parts within their section.

We also give students the chance to play in extra repertoire sessions with the brass and percussion departments, broadening their understanding and experience.

Weekly performance classes give students the platform to practise their performance skills in front of fellow department students. Classes are led by woodwind staff members and visiting international tutors. Students always rehearse and play with our woodwind professional accompanist for these classes.

Music courses

We offer a wide range of music performance degree courses and programmes at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire at undergraduate, postgraduate and short course level.

Music courses

Open Days

When possible, the best way to explore what's on offer is to come and see us in person, and we host a number of Open Days throughout the year. Come and be taught by our trailblazing academics and study in our innovative facilities.

Open Days