Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Round-up #2

There's been a lot going on at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire this month, from honorary doctorate announcements to festive fun!

1. George Lewis awarded honorary doctorate

American composer, musician and scholar George Lewis, a global figure in improvised and experimental music, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by BCU for his outstanding achievements in the field. 

The acclaimed academic is also an electronic performer and installation artist, and was awarded the top honour prior to the premiere of a new commission for Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG), performed at Bradshaw Hall.

Lewis said: "I greatly appreciated the extraordinary and sensitive performance of my work Breaking by BCMG and Stephan Meier, as well as the warm welcome the Ensemble accorded me at rehearsals and was very gratified to meet and have conversations with some of the many people who supported my commission, where I could thank them personally for their love of new music and for the community you all have created in Birmingham."

2. Student makes BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year final

Second-year BMus Jazz pianist Nick Manz appeared on BBC Four after battling through two rigorous auditions and beating tough competition to reach the Grand Final, which took place at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. 

BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year celebrates the best emerging jazz talent in the country, and Nick was one of two pianists to reach the finals this year. All five finalists were tasked with performing their interpretation of a well-known piece as well as their own composition, alongside one of the UK’s celebrated jazz trios, Nikki Yeoh’s Infinitum.

3. Music students entertain patients at Birmingham Children's Hospital

Music students recently entertained patients, parents and staff at Birmingham Children’s Hospital last week as part of their Music, Community and Wellbeing module.

The session at Birmingham Children's Hospital was thoroughly enjoyed by service users and staff who felt that the music was “a pleasant surprise” which “brightened their day”, “lifted the mood” and “put a smile on children's faces”.


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4. BCU hosts annual Christmas Carol service

Birmingham Cathedral was alive with the sound of the BCU community and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire's Camerata at the University’s annual Carol Service last week.

The service was raising funds for Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, and featured traditional readings and carols led by musicians from Royal Birmingham Conservatoires Camerata, helping to get all into the festive spirit.

You can watch the service here.

5. Stage Management graduates work on Christmas productions

We're proud of our RBC students working hard over the Christmas period to assist with the ongoing festive productions.

Some of the students include Jessica Kendall, Josh Howes and Zoe Matthews who are all working at Birmingham Hippodrome as Stage Crew on The Nutcracker performance. At Alexandra Theatre, graduate Arran Pallin is Company Manager for the national tour of Dreamgirls the Musical, and at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, graduate Myra Long is Deputy Stage Manager for their Winter Festival, with graduate Ryker Young working on Nativity! The Musical as a Caption Operator and Sara Jayne-Symth as Lighting Operator.

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