Media Release: Five-star training for the next generation of performing artists and hospitality professionals

RCS and Gleneagles Gala Concert. L-R Lewis Hunter, Colin McKee, Clara Lafuente García, Callum Rees and Cameron Baxter. Pic by Julie Howden

ONE of the largest and most ambitious symphony orchestra performances from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland musicians and singers is taking place in Glasgow this month in partnership with the iconic Gleneagles hotel.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Gleneagles Gala Concert on March 17 in the City Halls plays a key role in the 170th anniversary celebrations of Scotland’s national conservatoire.

More than 200 performers will take to the stage in what promises to be a magnificent evening of music, held as part of a city-wide focus on Scotland’s most eminent composer, Sir James MacMillan.

The programme presents MacMillan’s The Death of Oscar and The World’s Ransoming, featuring oboist Clara Lafuente García, winner of the first Royal Conservatoire of Scotland MacMillan Concerto Competition in 2016.

The concert also features Royal Conservatoire alumni, soprano Kate Valentine, mezzo-soprano Penelope Cousland and tenor Jamie MacDougall.

They are joined by the Royal Conservatoire’s Symphony Orchestra and Chorus as well as young people from the Junior Conservatoire Music programme, led by Sir James MacMillan, a Royal Conservatoire Honorary Visiting Professor, and Royal Conservatoire Artistic Director of Conducting, Garry Walker.

To highlight the ground-breaking partnership which promotes excellence in Scotland’s performing arts and hospitality – and to celebrate Scotland’s Apprenticeship Week – young musicians from Scotland’s national conservatoire joined forces with some of the Gleneagles apprentices who are also set to play vital roles in this month’s glittering occasion.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland students Clara Lafuente García and Colin McKee will perform at the concert and are pictured at the world-renowned Perthshire property alongside Gleneagles’ hospitality apprentices Lewis Hunter, Cameron Baxter and Callum Rees, part of the front-of-house team who will ensure sparkling service on the night.

Concierge Callum, guest services co-ordinator Cameron and head waiter at Gleneagles’ Strathearn restaurant Lewis, are undertaking the three-year Scottish Apprenticeship in Hospitality, a prestigious, industry-led programme led by Gleneagles and other Scottish hotel groups. Gleneagles has 35 apprentices who work across all areas of the hotel including guest relations, housekeeping, professional cookery and greenkeeping.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Gleneagles partnership was launched in 2016 to provide opportunities to celebrate, showcase and support the next generation of world-class performing artists trained at the national conservatoire.

A scholarship has been designed to support an exceptional performance student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Gleneagles also supports the work of the Royal Conservatoire through the sponsorship of a range of gala performances at high-profile locations, including the City Halls concert venue and the famous Gleneagles ballroom, which hosted a gala dinner in November last year.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to work in partnership with Gleneagles who share our passion and commitment to be excellent and inspiring in what they do.

“We look forward very much to our inaugural gala concert in Glasgow’s beautiful City Halls where our emerging artists and their apprentices will help showcase the exceptional next generation of talent that’s being nurtured here in Scotland.”

Bernard Murphy, Gleneagles’ managing director, said: “The partnership between Gleneagles and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is a celebration of our shared values – both organisations believe in developing outstanding talent and delivering excellence in the guest and student experience.”

Tickets for The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Gleneagles Gala Concert are available from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland box office or 0141 332 5057.

Pictured from left: Lewis Hunter, Colin McKee, Clara Lafuente García, Callum Rees and Cameron Baxter. Photo by Julie Howden.

About The Gleneagles Hotel

An iconic country estate set beneath the beautiful Ochil Hills, Gleneagles has been a luxury destination for nearly a century. Located just one hour from Glasgow and Edinburgh airports and with its own railway station, Gleneagles offers the perfect retreat for those looking for relaxation, fun and adventure. Three championship courses have established Gleneagles’ reputation as a golfer’s paradise but the hotel offers so much more than golf.

The 850-acre estate epitomises the rugged natural beauty for which Scotland is famed and offers guests a glorious playground of country pursuits and activities.

Whether you come to fly a Harris’ Hawk, ride horses, play tennis, go off-roading, train gundogs, shoot game, fish, enjoy Michelin-starred dining, or relax in an award-winning spa, Gleneagles offers a world of unforgettable experiences.

About the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

  • The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is ranked sixth in the world for performing arts education and is ranked number one in Scotland for graduate employability, endorsing its status as a national and international centre of excellence for the performing arts.
  • In 2017, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is celebrating its 170th birthday. During its existence, it has built on its roots as a national academy of music to become one of Europe’s most multi-disciplinary performing arts higher education centres, offering specialised teaching across music, drama, dance, production and film. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is encouraging trans-disciplinary learning throughout its innovative curriculum.
  • Around 1,100 students are currently pursuing degrees at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland across its specialisms. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland works in partnership with the national companies, including the National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Opera and BBC Scotland, to provide students with the very best learning experiences the Scottish landscape has to offer.
  • Based in the heart of Glasgow, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is also a busy performing arts venue; it hosts more than 500 public performances each year and issues around 64,000 tickets from its box office annually. Additionally, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland teaches over 3,000 part-time learners every year through its Junior Conservatoire and Lifelong Learning departments.

Media contact:

Linda Robertson – communications officer

Tel: +44 (0)141 270 8291



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Contact: Linda Robertson
Phone: 07753805824