Alan Cumming to Lead Scotland Week Celebrations for the RSAMD in New York

PRESS RELEASE

Issue Date – 1 April 2010

 Alan Cumming to Lead Scotland Week Celebrations

for the RSAMD in New York

 The internationally acclaimed actor Alan Cumming OBE will lead the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama celebrations for the twelfth annual Scotland Week festival in New York.

 The award-winning actor, producer, director and author will work with senior Academy staff and students during the weeklong tour to promote all things Scottish and to highlight the work of the Academy in the USA.

 During Scotland Week, Cumming will spend time mentoring masters student, Dawn Parylo, as well as chairing the inaugural meeting of the RSAMD’s American Foundation and hosting a VIP lunch for the Academy’s supporters and alumni in the USA.

 Mr Cumming will also meet with Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture and External Affairs,  during this event hosted by the Academy on Monday 5th April.

Commenting on the Academy’s activities in America, Mr Cumming said: “I'm really excited that the American Foundation of the RSAMD is making its presence felt this Scotland Week and I look forward to these events being the first of many I'll be a part of to promote the Academy and all it has to offer in the States.”

 And Principal of the Academy, Professor John Wallace OBE said:  “Alan Cumming plays a very important role in the life of the Academy and we are delighted that he is part of our big family.  This is an important time in the Academy’s history and for us to have Alan’s involvement and commitment at this level is a huge benefit.  Having him as President of our American Foundation means that we are ahead of the game in showcasing what world class talent we have and endorses the reputation that Scotland has as a creative and cultural nation.”

 Ms Hyslop added: “The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama is an important resource for Scotland and its involvement during Scotland Week promotes the diversity and wealth of creativity that our nation has to offer.  Students from the Academy will showcase Scotland’s talent, performing at events across the US and Canada, with the pipers premiering a new composition specially created for Scotland Week to thousands of New Yorkers at the Scotland Run on Saturday.

 “The Academy has produced many alumni who are now performing on the international stage, showcasing our nation’s creative talent to the world.  Acclaimed Scottish actor Alan Cumming is one of those former students.  His success is an inspiration to all students and I look forward to working with him to promote our creative nation during Scotland Week.”

 Two pipers, Jonathan Graham from Bishopbriggs and Hazen Metro from Vermont, join singer Kirsty Netta MacKinnon from Tobermory and clarsach player, Angelica Jenkins from California, as they take part in the Scotland Week celebrations The four students, all currently on the BA Scottish Music course at the Academy, will perform at numerous events including VIP receptions for Scots in Toronto and New York and debuting a specially composed piece at the Scotland Run in Central Park.

 Jonathan Graham, 19, shares his excitement about the trip: “I am very proud to be asked to take part in Scotland Week this year. We are all excited about the opportunity to represent the Academy and participate in this week-long celebration of Scottish culture in New York and Toronto.”

 For more information contact:

Katie Bell

Direct Line:  0141 270 8387

Mobile : 07929 205950

Email : k.bell@rsamd.ac.uk                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Notes to Editor

 RSAMD Background Notes

  • We are 3rd in the UK for music and 2nd in the UK for Drama education

(Guardian League Tables of Specialist Institutions 2010)

  • We are 2nd in UK for Graduate prospects

(Times University Guide 2010)

  • We are 3rd for music research in the UK, with 40% classified as world

Leading, 45% classified as of international significance

(Times Higher Education International League of Excellence based on RAE for single subject Institutions)

  • Students from a total of 45 countries attend the RSAMD

 There are currently 717 students, 581 undergraduate and 136 postgraduate, 11% of them are International students

 

  • Our Junior Academy has 275 students who attend each Saturday travelling from all corners of Scotland to be taught by some of the finest teachers in the UK

 

  • We reach 1,600 young people weekly in our centres across Scotland through the RSAMD Musicworks programme

 

  • We are the biggest cultural employer in Scotland with around 800 full/part time staff

 

  • Regular collaborations with the national companies including the National Theatre for Scotland, Scottish Ballet, RSNO and Scottish Opera as well as strong partnerships with the BBC, The Globe Theatre, York Theatre Royal  and RSC

 

  • Offers a wider curriculum than any other UK conservatoire – Music, Drama Dance  – and the first one with degree awarding powers

 

  • Stages over 300 events each year attracting audiences of 50,000 – tours opera, theatre and music performances to professional venues across the UK and beyond (Rostov, China, Norway, USA etc)

 

  • Provide the world’s leading orchestras, ensembles and theatre and opera companies  – as well as Scotland’s classrooms – with our graduates

 

  • Internationally renowned conductors such a Vladimir Askenazy and Ilan Volkov have graced the RSAMD stage with our Symphony Orchestra

 

  • Our BA Acting graduates are regularly seen in national theatre productions (Incl Black Watch),  and national and international film and TV companies

 

  • Some programmes in the School of Drama have 800 applicants for just 24 places

 

  • Amongst our students we have also had one Olivier winner, an Olivier nomination, a Fringe First, two Scottish BAFTA awards (BAFTA Scotland Best New Screenplay 2006 &  BAFTA Scotland Best New Work 2007) a UK BAFTA nomination, four Royal Television Society awards, six Scottish Student on Screen awards and several performances selected for the National Review of Live Art

 

  • Regularly involve our alumni in our teaching, like David Tennant, James McAvoy, Tom Conti, Alan Cumming, Robert Carlyle, Billy Boyd

 

  • Scottish Traditional Music students performed with Professor Phil Cunningham and Paolo Nutini in front of a 65,000 strong crowd at T in the Park in July 2009

 

  • Scottish traditional musicians the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Emily Smith, Jennifer Port, Cheyenne Brown are all graduates of the Academy

 

  • The Academy – An important resource for Scotland – raising the international profile and committed to promoting Scottish culture at home and abroad

 

 

 

Ends

Contact: Katie Bell
Phone: 0141 270 8387
Email: k.bell@rsamd.ac.uk
Website: http://www.rsamd.ac.uk