I was very happy to be asked by Josette Bushell-Mingo to attend the CUK conference this month and to catch up with some of my friends in the UK’s conservatoires. The conference itself was hosted by Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and featured presentations from Maria Delgado and Low Kee Hong on Ethics and Action as key note openers, encouraging a more far-sighted approach to leading our performing arts sectors across the world. I was impressed by the thoughtful contributions from Broderick Chow (RCSSD), Alistair Smith (The Stage) and Diana Salazar (Royal College of Music) on the challenges and opportunities facing our conservatoires where perceptions of what conservatoires stand for can be misunderstood. And it was good to see Vanessa Ewan leading on intimacy training at a time when this topic is so live.

Now that I have completed my time working for my fifth conservatoire over so many years (whilst continuing my teaching at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire), it is heartwarming to see how strong our leading institutions are depsite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Brexit and the economy. We have outstanding training in the UK which needs to be supported and celebrated continuously! CUK, chaired by Linda Merrick of the Royal Northern College of Music, does much to contribute to this.

Linda Merrick, Chair, Conservatoires UK
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