Summer of Inspiration « #RWCMD
Well, you didn’t expect us to stop being creative just because it was the summer holidays!?
Here at RWCMD it’s a year-round passion so we’re catching up with a few of the many highlights that have been happening while our students and staff are ‘off’ for the summer.
Recent acting grads’ London theatre debut
Brand new acting grad Isobel Thom has been busy blowing everyone away with their portrayal of Joan of Arc in Charlie Josephine’s I Joan.
LOVED Charlie Josephine’s #IJoan @The_Globe – the joy, the power, the heart. Stunning design, brilliant choreography, fantastic music, amazing cast, beautifully directed. And @isobel_thom holds the heart beautifully. Thank you all. ❤️ (Sneaky pic to share joy, sorry Globe!) pic.twitter.com/MbIpRrDBhw
— Stella Duffy (@stellduffy) September 1, 2022
Izzy has played to top star reviews from the Times to the Stage: ‘a visceral, courageous performance,’ raves the Guardian, ‘in the freshly graduated Isobel Thom, they’ve got as good as they can get.’
But for us one of the finest reviews was left on our instagram by graduate and RWCMD Fellow Rakie Ayola:
‘I saw this joyous theatrical celebration last week. I promise I knew nothing at all about @isobelthom at the time, but Izzy’s physical and linguistic ease, breezy charm, magnetic effervescence and emotional courage lead me to lean forward and think, ‘That’s a Royal Welsh performance. That’s got to be a Royal Welsh performance.’ I kid you not I actually did a little victory dance when I learned I was right. Take a bow @rwcmd and bravo Izzy. Beautiful work.’
Huge congratulations and love to Izzy, and Charlie Josephine, who wrote Moon Licks, for our NEW season, performed here at RWCMD earlier this year, and all the cast and creatives in this magnificent production.
Another recent grad about to take the theatre world by storm: BAFTA nominee Callum Scott Howells is set to take over the mic at the Kit Kat Club, following in the footsteps of Eddie Redmayne.
He was featured in the Observer this week, talking about his new role:
It’s a Sin’s Callum Scott Howells: ‘Cabaret’s the most playful thing I’ve done’ https://t.co/cTseQZhZ0J
— Guardian culture (@guardianculture) September 4, 2022
And we haven’t been quiet here at RWCMD either – in July the College was alive with the sound of harpists from over 42 countires, as we welcomed the 14th World Harp Congress, bringing its concerts, workshops and seminars to Europe, with 30 international harpists flying to Cardiff from around the world.
Harp student Cerys Rees gives us a whistle stop tour:
And there was no stopping our harp students this summer. Llongyfs to Huw and Mared, and diolch o galon to all our harpists who helped to make World Harp Congress such a very special event.
There’s no stopping #RWCMD harps!🎶🎉
Mared placed sixth & Huw came second, also winning the prize for best performance in the Final Round Concerto. pic.twitter.com/KreGNaZi0D
— Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (@RWCMD) July 13, 2022
We were delighted to announce our new partnership with National Open Youth Orchestra and BBC NOW to launch the Cardiff NOYO centre, offering the first progression route for talented young disabled musician in the region.
Bringing talented young disabled and non-disabled musicians to rehearse and perform together, and laying the foundations for a more diverse orchestral sector and inspiring exciting new musical possibilities, this great news was picked up by everyone from Classical Music magazine to the Stage.
— Classical Music (@ClassicalMusic_) July 13, 2022
And of course, as always, we were part of the Eisteddfod, the annual celebration of the Welsh arts.
Shwmae @eisteddfod – we’ve arrived! ✨🎶
Take a look at what’s going on below… we’ll see you there! 👇 pic.twitter.com/sSd0cF5gZL
— Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (@RWCMD) August 3, 2022
And Pride, celebrating it’s 50th anniversary…
#PrideMonth may be over but our celebrations have only just begun!🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pride & the LGBTQIA+ community, #RWCMDDesign department has repurposed hearts used in our recent opera production.
Check out this time-lapse of the heart being installed! pic.twitter.com/fxle8FAqA1
— Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (@RWCMD) July 1, 2022
A Royal performance for a future king
Some of our students and grads were lucky enough to perform at our President, King Charles III, then the Prince of Wales, at the annual event at his Welsh home in July. Celebrating Welsh culture, they performed for the future King, The Duchess of Cornwall, now Queen Consort, and their guests.
Last week, we were honoured to present an evening of music & drama for our President, The Prince of Wales & The Duchess of Cornwall in their Welsh home, Llwynywermod.
Celebrating Welsh culture, #RWCMD students & grads performed for the royal couple & guests.
Diolch @ClarenceHouse pic.twitter.com/a5uYeeBVSF
— Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (@RWCMD) July 16, 2022
The photo shows Opera grad and previous winner of the RWCMD Sir Ian Stoutzker Prize, Elena Zamudio, performing for HRH The Prince of Wales, now King Charles III.
RWCMD music news
And we’re delighted to congratulate this year’s Sir Ian Stoutzker prize winner, woodwind student Isabelle Harris.
llongyfarchiadau to #RWCMDWoodwind student Isabelle Harris, who won the prestigious Sir Ian Stoutzker Prize last month! ✨🎶
— Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (@RWCMD) July 27, 2022
And more great news for woodwind: Llongyfarchiadau to woodwind grad Sarah Jenkins whose piece Music and Meditation was performed at BBC Proms by the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Thrilled to share that a piece of mine is being performed at @bbcproms as part of
Prom 60: The Dream Prom! This Prom will transform the @RoyalAlbertHall with dreamscape projections and live music. Huge thanks @bbcproms, @BBCCO @BBCRadio3 https://t.co/8S5bFyQ1qR @RWCMD @RCMLondon
— Sarah Frances Jenkins (@S_F_Jenkins) August 9, 2022
The evening was co-created by 30 BBC Open Music artists across the UK as part of the BBC’s 100th anniversary.
And of course we were delighted to welcome BBC Proms and Radio 3 to the College:
What an afternoon @RWCMD! 👏
Thank you to all who came and those who tuned in on @BBCRadio3! Special thanks to @carionquintetwas, it was a lunchtime filled with playful musicality and drama!
— BBC Proms (@bbcproms) August 15, 2022
Well done to brass grad Jason Lewis, who’s moved from his role as associate Principal Trumpet with Royal Scottish National Orchestra to Section Leader Trumpet at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra…
— Royal Scottish National Orchestra (@RSNO) July 25, 2022
Head of Percussion, Patrick King chatted to Music Teacher about training for a modern career in percussion: ‘RWCMD is firmly putting itself on the map as somewhere students grow, flourish and achieve,’ they said.
‘A forward-thinking community with diversity & employability at the core.’
Diolch @MusicTeacherMag – a great article with #RWCMD Head of Percussion Patrick King highlighting ‘the vibrant, multidisciplinary College’s ethos of creative excellence.’ #RWCMDCreative https://t.co/zylH3vZYHl
— Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (@RWCMD) June 29, 2022
Showcasing the RWCMD collaborative ethos, Theatr na nOg’s Operation Julie brought together RWCMD students and grads from across the board, from design to writing and directing, from arts and stage management to stage combat coaching.
Design grad TK Hay has been nominated for The Stage Debut awards. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for the awards ceremony on 18th September!
— Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (@RWCMD) August 25, 2022
Making dreams come true
Musical Theatre’s Shira Kravitz, who only graduated this summer but is already making her dreams come true, joining The Band’s Visit for its European tour…
‘If someone told me a year ago that you’ll graduate & make your professional debut with friends from home, I would’ve said, what an incredible dream!’
— Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (@RWCMD) August 31, 2022
Stage management grad Jamie Platt has gone from working with Sir Ian McKellen on his recent ground-breaking Hamlet to the lighting designer on the new musical Ride, the story of the first woman to cycle around the world.
Fellow stage management grad Anna Sheard is at the National Theatre – more dreams coming true for our grads!
One of my earliest memories of theatre is sitting in the Olivier with my great Aunt, my sister and my Dad, watching Ian McKellen and Daniel Evans create magic in Peter Pan. I’m full of childlike glee that I can now work in the building that first put a spell on me 25 years ago. https://t.co/wv6S17bVpu
— Anna Sheard (@Anna_Sheard) May 10, 2022
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Before we know it, summer’s over and it’s back to College. Look out for more highlights over the autumn term.