Music for reflection – Alexia Sloane on the BBC Proms Inspire Competition and Aurora Orchestra

Young composer Alexia Sloane was one of five winners in this year’s BBC Proms Inspire Competition with her piece Elegy for Aylan.  It was first commissioned by the RPS and Classic FM for Classic FM’s 25th Birthday celebrations in 2017 and was inspired by the refugee crisis, Aylan being the 3-year-old Syrian child who was found washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015. 

In this summer postcard Alexia tells us about the piece, the Competition and how it felt to work with Aurora Orchestra.

We’re in the car on our way to Cambridge Station at 7.00 am as usual on Saturday for my weekly lessons at the Royal College of Music Junior Department. It’s pleasantly warm; the May swelter hasn’t quite kicked in yet.
‘The deadline for the Inspire competition is coming up’, my mum tells me. ‘You could enter it with your piece Elegy for Aylan?’
‘I wrote that piece nearly a year ago!’ I replied.
‘It’s the only relatively recent piece you’ve done that fits the duration requirements,’ she points out.
‘OK’, I sighed. ‘But don’t say I didn’t tell you when I don’t get anywhere with it.’

Continue reading “Music for reflection – Alexia Sloane on the BBC Proms Inspire Competition and Aurora Orchestra”


Purple Mist

Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 10.53.17

Birmingham-based composer and educator Kirsty Devaney writes about how conducting gave her new musical inspiration and helped her to rediscover her musical voice. 

The RPS Women Conductors Phase 1.5 Workshop came at a time when I was starting to question my career path. I was completing my PhD,  working as a composer and music educator alongside. After a long period of writing my thesis, my own musical confidence had been waivering and I was needing a fresh musical experience. I had been researching education for the last 4-5 years; my identity as a musician was becoming more ambiguous. Was I more an academic than a performing musician? Or was I an educator more than a composer? Continue reading “Purple Mist”

Nevis Ensemble – an orchestra reaching new heights

In July our Assistant Administrator, YeYe Xu took off her RPS hat to lead Nevis Ensemble, Scotland’s first and only street orchestra, on its landmark inaugural tour of over 70 performances.

On a rainy day at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, 40 orchestral musicians alighted a bus and began to question their sanity. ‘Who wants a black bin liner for their instrument case?’ a cellist called out, who’d one tied round the waist of his own. Sealed in anoraks and walking books, we walked across the parking lot, slowly; sleepily. (Some of us had been up since 7am making sandwiches.) Ben Nevis took no notice of us under her silvery white blanket; born of mother Earth; an eternal monument luring in explorers from around the world.

Ben Nevis Cellos

Continue reading “Nevis Ensemble – an orchestra reaching new heights”