New head for Junior department at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Leading musician and teacher, Francis Cummings, has been appointed as Head of Junior Conservatoire (Music) for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS).
A violinist who has performed with prestigious conductors and orchestras across Europe and internationally, Cummings is currently Director of Music for Sistema Scotland, the social transformation charity which immerses young people in music in communities across the country.
As a musician, Francis Cummings was a founder member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, working with eminent conductors and musicians throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the US. He has also performed with orchestras across the UK including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camarata, The Hallé and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Francis has also held a number of teaching roles in music education across the UK including those in Chetham’s School of Music and the Universities of Huddersfield and Lancaster. He is also a former Director of Music at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh before joining Sistema Scotland in 2011.
Recognised as a national centre of excellence for educating young people in performing arts, the Junior Conservatoire reflects the RCS’s undergraduate curriculum. Its patrons, violinist, Nicola Benedetti and actor, James McAvoy, are both passionate advocates for the performing arts who believe in the positive impact they can have on young people’s lives. One of the world’s first specialist Confucius Classrooms, a hub for sharing Chinese language, arts and culture, operates through the Junior Conservatoire.
Francis Cummings will take up his new position at the end of July 2018.
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said:
‘I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Francis to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. As well as being an excellent musician in his own right, he brings with him a great passion for excellent teaching and extensive experience of engaging and inspiring children and young people to fulfil their potential through music.
‘Francis will play a leadership role in educating the next generation of musicians in and for Scotland as well as advocating for the importance of access to arts education for young people. We all look forward to having him as part of the national conservatoire team.’
Francis Cummings said:
‘It’s a real pleasure to be joining the Junior Conservatoire and I look forward very much to working with young people and teachers across Scotland. Naturally, I’m very sad to be leaving Sistema Scotland. The past seven years with the organisation and its Big Noise programme, as Director of Music, have been remarkable and inspirational. High-quality music education and music itself empowers and inspires young people in so many ways and the Junior Conservatoire has a vital role to play in developing further the pathways to both excellence and access.’

Header photo: Students at the Junior Conservatoire, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland © Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

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