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Timpani & Percussion


www.ram.ac.uk/percussion Barnaby Archer


‘I chose to come to the Academy because of the quality of the teachers and their track record as well as the great atmosphere when I came for the Open Day. So many orchestral and solo performers have studied here and the list of department prize-winners indicates how successful the training is.


We’re expected to work at a high level, whether it’s transposing figured bass exercises or in the Latin big band, but at the end of the day we can shape our studies as we want, working on what we think is important.


Everything has a strong practical application — for example the marimba exercises based round the chords of jazz standards teach harmony and improvisation at the same time as technique. The weekly orchestral repertoire and opera classes are very valuable, and there are also solo performance, masterclasses, section playing and jazz classes for improvisation skills.


I’ve done so many different things here — a concerto with Symphonic Brass, The Soldier’s Tale at Wigmore Hall, playing for Sir Elton John at the Albert Hall, Messiaen with the Symphony Orchestra at Westminster Cathedral, Royal Academy Soloists at Kings Place, the Bach Cantatas series and musical theatre productions. As I start to get work with professional orchestras I can really appreciate everything the Academy has done for me.’


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