Phase 1: Birmingham

UPDATE: Owing to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we are sorry to announce that our Women Conductors course on 14 and 15 April has been cancelled. Participants have been notified by email.

A two-day course aimed at encouraging female music students aged 16 and over, and individuals pursuing a career in music - as performers or educators - to take to the conductor's podium for the very first time.

Dates: Tuesday 14 April - Wednesday 15 April, 2020
Time: 10:00-17:30
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Rd, Birmingham B4 7XR
Course leader: Alice Farnham
Stagecraft and physicality coach: Alma Sheehan
Closing date
: midday, Monday 9 March 2020


Beethoven: Excerpts from Sonata No. 10 and No. 8 'Pathetique' for piano
Elgar: Serenade for Strings, 2nd movement
Gustav Holst: St Paul's Suite, Jig
Imogen Holst:
Suite in F for Strings, 1st movement
: Serenade for Strings, Elegie

Participants can choose to conduct all four string pieces. Or, they may choose one fast (Gustav Holst/Imogen Holst) and one slow piece (Tchaikovsky/Elgar).

Who is eligible to apply?

Phase 1 courses are tailored to women, aged 16 and over, completely new to conducting and interested in trying it, as well as those with very elemental conducting experience who would like to build on their skills. You may be a music student at A-Level, undergraduate or postgraduate level; you may be embarking on your career in music, or midway through a musical career and contemplating how to further your musical skills. All applicants should have a fundamental understanding of what conductors do, as well as – naturally – the ability to read music including a basic musical score.

How can I apply?

Applicants must complete a form online by the closing date. Places are subject to availability and applications are assessed before your place is confirmed.

Applications for this course are now closed. If you play a stringed instrument at Grade 7-8 standard and would like to volunteer to play in the workshop ensemble on 15 April, please contact YeYe Xu, Assistant Administrator to express your interest.

How much does it cost?

For participants, Phase 1 is £200, covering two complete days of specialist coaching and practical sessions with performing musicians. Basic refreshments are also provided. Payment is only requested on confirmation of your place on the workshop. Candidates facing financial difficulties may indicate in their application that they would like to be considered for a bursary: a limited number of these can be granted to those most in need, constituting a discount on the full fee.

Friends and family of the participants are welcome to attend the final afternoon session at no cost. Please let us know by email or phone +44 (0)20 7287 0019 if you would like to reserve a place.

We are very grateful to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire for hosting this course for free.

'It was a fantastic, inspiring weekend, and has definitely confirmed my ambition to be a conductor.'
Ella Ingram, Phase 1 participant