This blog post reflects on the summer term at The Royal College of Music in London for 2016-2017, and is also my final post before the start of the next academic year.
This term has been yet again a busy one, a highlight being the RCM percussion day which was jam packed with classes and performances of the highest standard. I also thoroughly enjoyed performing Shostakovich's 10th Symphony under the baton of Rafael Payare. Payare's vivid descriptions of the historical context surrounding the symphony really brought the piece to life for the whole orchestra; the Scherzo, in particular, felt wild and untamed, a bit like getting caught in a tidal wave. I have played this symphony a few times but as I sit and reflect on the performance, I believe this was my favourite interpretation of the piece that I have performed in.
Outside of college, I have been fortunate to do some depping work on The Globe's production of Romeo and Juliet for Emma Rice's #2017SummerOfLove season, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Directed by Daniel Kramer, this vivid and bold (of course desperately sad at the end) production was like no Romeo and Juliet I had seen before. The percussion set up included the use of Dhol, Tabla, and Ghatam alongside the more 'standard' orchestral percussion, so it was fun to use a specialism of mine in a show context. This summer I am also depping on The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Queen Anne at The Haymarket, which uses more traditional percussion alongside Riq, Bendir, and Tamborello.
Although we are in the summer break, I have already received emails from RCM informing me of projects I am in next term, and what is coming up. So although I am enjoying my break, I am also very aware that next term is right around the corner and the pace will soon pick up again.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who have made my first year at the RCM such a wonderful experience, and to thank Mike and all the team at Bell Percussion once more for making such a difference each year to a percussion students studies by generously giving out this award.