Since May 1997, Rob has been Director of Saxophone at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. He is joined by Carl Raven and Andy Scott in the regular RNCM teaching programme, with Tim McAllister as visiting International Tutor, and a stellar roster of visiting Saxophonists giving masterclasses throughout the academic year. Over that time, the Saxophone department has established a worldwide reputation as one of the destination choices for young saxophonists at the start of their careers. The programme at the RNCM allows each individual student to develop their own sense of musical identity, developing skills in classical, jazz and beyond. We also focus on the entrepreneurial side of life as a freelance musician, working as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral and session player, improviser, composer, arranger, project leader, educator, doubler. The skillset of the modern saxophonist expands each year as the music business itself evolves. Our students over the years have joined us not just from the UK but from as far aﬁeld as Japan, Australia, Lithuania, South Africa, Portugal, Luxembourg, Norway, Canada, Germany, the US, the Netherlands and Russia, and each one brings a new energy and personality to the ever growing RNCM Saxophone family. The RNCM Saxophone Ensemble regularly performs at the RNCM, at World and European Saxophone Congresses and our students also feature as soloists and chamber ensembles at these events, leading their own projects. Attending these international events, enables our students to connect with the global saxophone community that will be a vital part of their futures as performers and teachers in the years to come. The JuniorRNCM also boasts a dynamic department of school-age saxophonists, lead by RNCM saxophone alumni Ruth Bourn, Gilly Blair and Carl Raven.
In 2001 Rob and Andy established the RNCM Saxophone Day, the UK’s largest annual saxophone gathering, which has run every November since that time, bringing the world’s leading exponents of the saxophone in all genres to the RNCM to work with saxophonists of all ages, levels of experience and backgrounds, in a day of concerts, workshops and classes. Special guest saxophonists over the years have included Bob Mintzer, Chris Potter, Marius Neset, Tim Garland, Eric Marienthal, John Helliwell, Julian Arguelles, Iain Ballamy, Group S, Artvark Quartet, Iain Dixon, Andy Sheppard, Trish Clowes, Karen Sharp, Claude Delangle, Vincent David, Tim McAllister, Arno Bornkamp, Otis Murphy, Niels Bijl, Johan van der Linden, Leo van Oostrem, Habanera Quartet, Apollo Quartet, Carlama Orkest, and Delta Quartet.
Info can be found at www.rncm.ac.uk/saxophoneday
In addition to his work with the saxophone students, Rob is also Deputy Head of Chamber Music, steering the wind chamber programme, and is director of the RNCM ArkEnsemble, a creative and unconventional wind ensemble that takes a modern and dynamic look at wind music performance. Inspired by the RNCM’s professional platform association with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, which Rob oversees, this group brings wind playing kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
Harrogate Saxophone Summer School
Rob is director of the Harrogate Saxophone Summer School along with fellow tutors Carl Raven, Sally MacTaggart and Gilly Blair. One of the UK’s most popular and successful summer schools, working with players from Grade 4 standard up to those considering applying for conservatoire. Info about the 2020 course can be found at saxsummerschool.com, as the course is running online during the Covid-19 restrictions. From next year we hope to be back in Harrogate, so please visit www.windstruments.co.uk for more info. Rob joins Andy Scott each March for a saxophone day at Shrewsbury School. Info via social media nearer the time.