Recent recipient of the Bell Music Award Jess Wood features in this month’s guest blog to tell us about her first term at the Royal College of Music:
“1st term at college was really great with lots of amazing opportunities. We had many masterclasses with professionals such as Mark Guiliana, Eliel Lazo, Rob Farrer and She e Wu along with amazing rep classes with Alex Neal.
As always, the Percussion department put on a brilliant Percussion Showcase at the end of last term where I joined PERCM (RCM's Percussion Quartet) in performing some of our repertoire that we have been working on throughout the term. PERCM then reappeared alongside Marimba Soloist She e Wu at the beginning of this term during our tour with her where we performed at College, Woking, Brighton and Manchester. This, like last year, was an amazing opportunity and experience to not only perform with the quartet but also give workshops to many different age groups and standards of playing.
On top of the PERCM tour I was also very privileged to be given Principal Percussion of an orchestral project at college where we played Firebird. I am also very excited for next week where we start rehearsing Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony where I am playing timpani. Along with orchestral projects, I have also been placed in a project alongside the London Sinfonietta where we will be workshopping Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians. I am really excited to be a part of this project!
Within this very busy term I was also very lucky to be keeping busy outside of college including some work on the UK Tour of Evita and having the Drums/Percussion chair on Wizard Of Oz at Chester Storyhouse over the Christmas period. I also played for 'The Best of the West End' at the Royal Albert Hall which is coming back in May. It is the most spectacular evening with some of the most astonishing west end singers which I am very proud to be a part of.”