My time at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland was a truly amazing and inspiring experience, from which I not only developed as a musician but also as a person. I performed in a huge number of projects including Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, PLUG Contemporary Ensemble and Opera, and took part in masterclasses this year with Michael Cox, Michel Moragues, Ewan Robertson and Elzbieta Wolenska. I was also lucky enough to be Principal Piccolo for a special performance held at Buckingham Palace for the Prince’s Foundation at the end of June, which was a true honour, and another of the invaluable experiences that have been essential in my orchestral playing development.
In May I was very fortunate to have been offered a job with Scottish Opera, working part-time as Orchestra Co-ordinator. So far, I am really enjoying the role and am learning a lot of transferable skills. As the position is three days a week it allows me time to also focus on my playing and prepare for professional auditions. Over the past year I have been teaching at the Junior Conservatoire as well as privately and undertaken some work with Sistema Scotland. I am still committed to my work with Scottish Opera Memory Spinners, providing regular workshops for people with dementia and their carers. I still regularly perform with AMICUS Orchestra in Glasgow and performed as principal flute in the Gewandhaus Leipzig in November 2018 and recently with Tobias Ringborg and Robert Baxter playing Dvorak Symphony No. 8. As well as a performer I am also a member of the board, helping to organise future concerts and managing fundraising.
I plan to continue living in Glasgow for the next year to give myself some time to adapt to life outside of education, working and pushing my playing even further. I was awarded the David Nicholson Flute Award for Travel and Study, which is granted annually to a graduating MMus Flute student. I intend to use this award to continue having flute lessons in Glasgow next year and also piccolo lessons in Manchester and London. I also intend to continue working in Wales as a performer and also developing my education/outreach work, providing people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to experience and connect with music.
I will be forever truly grateful for the James Pantyfedwen Foundation’s support and encouragement in helping me complete my postgraduate studies.