As I come to the end of my year at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, this is to note my weakness as a blogger – there never seems to be time to write about what’s going on! So this is catch-up time and I expect there will be a number of posts to cover the ground since my last post at the beginning of the year.

So, starting in January the year began with the realisation that I was nearly half-way through my assignment as Interim Principal and there would be a lot to do ahead. I had undertaken to review Hilary Boulding’s Five-Year Plan for the  College which ended in July 2017, the College needed to complete the process of appointing a permanent Principal, the Murphy Review remained unpublished and the financial future of the College remained an enigma. In addition, there were all the regular things to keep an eye on – courses to review, league tables to be concerned about and the overall well-being of students and staff.

But don’t let me give the impression that all these things have been solitary responsibilities. We have been lucky to have appointed John Derrick as Chair of the Board. John has made a huge difference to the College since his appointment in the summer and by January it was clear that he was leading very strongly on the appointment of the new Principal with the great help of Jennifer Barnes of Saxton Bampfylde. John has shown interest in and also been involved in a full range of responsibilities and activities at and for the College.

John Derrick, Chair of Royal Welsh College of Welsh and Drama

John Derrick, Chair, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

In addition, I have throughout the year been helped enormously by a great team of colleagues not least the six people who comprise the Senior Management Team with me: Scott Allin, Sean Crowley, John Cranmer, Brian Weir, Lucy Stout and Executive Admnistrator, Amanda Townsend. This is a team that runs the College with efficiency but also sets the tone: creative, friendly, caring about all people and all matters.

The early months of 2018, therefore, were taken up with a lot of ground work – commissioning departmental strategic reviews, drafting the Strategic Review itself, shortlisting candidates for the the post of Principal and working on the financial and organsational  future fo the College.

But there were some marvellous artistic experiences too: a beautful concert bt the WNO orchestra in the Dora Stoutzker Hall with Angus West playing Mozart’s 4th Horn Concerto most eloquently, the RWCMD Symphonic Brass in a concert entitled Crossing Borders, the opening night of WNO’s La Forza del Destino at the Millennium Centre, the semi-finals of the Stoutzker Prize for instrumental soloists featuring some brilliant performances from our students and other student performances from the Richard Burton Company  in The Night Watch, In the Next Room and Between Riverside and Crazy.

All this set the scene for the appointment of the new Principal at the end of February and a March to remember…… this space!

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