Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Monday, 31 December 2012

NLS Burns Night Poetry Grand Slam

Burns Night

25 January 2013, 6-8 pm

National Library of Scotland

Okay, let's get some Royal Conservatoire of Scotland voices taking part in the poetry grand slam at the National Library of Scotland on 25th January 2013!  There surely must be Conservatoire people who'd enjoy this.

To compete in the slam, you need to contact  More details here on the NLS events page:-

Use the above link for booking a ticket to be in the audience, too.

New Year's Eve: Whittaker's Retrospective

Backwards ...

Whittaker's stats continue to rise, so we must be doing something right!  (We use StatCounter, by the way.)  We've brought you news and views, celebrated achievement, engaged with social media, recommended websites and commemorated great names.  

Thank you to everyone who has visited us, in person or online, and we look forward to continuing to provide an excellent service to our performing arts practitioners in 2013.

YearPage Loads Unique Visits First Time Visits Returning Visits
2012 11,217 8,087 7,174 913
2011 8,852 5,134 3,992 1,142

And forwards ...

8 January 2013, 11 am in Edinburgh's Usher Hall

There's nothing Whittaker likes more than seeing our alumni take wings and fly (professionally speaking, you understand - only pantomime leads should fly onstage!). So it is with pleasure that Whittaker notes a forthcoming concert of Sax Ecosse in the Usher Hall on 8 January 2013, as part of the Emerging Artists Series. It's at 11 am, so if you're in Edinburgh that day, why not take a bit of time out of your busy schedule to support our saxophone stars?

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Musica Scotica conference 27th April, Edinburgh

Musica Scotica - Eighth Annual Conference
Saturday 27th April 2013
The Open University in Scotland
10 Drumsheugh Gardens Edinburgh EH3 7QJ

Call for Papers
Papers, 20 minutes in length, are invited on any aspect of Scottish music.

Topics presented in previous years have included chant, Gaelic song, fiddle and bagpipe music, manuscript sources, music publishing, the Scottish diaspora, opera performance, cultural organisations, music education, sectarianism, George Thomson and Haydn, Marjory Kennedy-Fraser, Learmont Drysdale, Hamish MacCunn, James MacMillan and Sally Beamish.

Please submit an abstract (250 words) as a Word document or rtf file by February 18th, 2013, to Dr Karen McAulay

You will be notified in the first half of March if your abstract has been accepted.

A poster session may be included; delegates are invited to indicate whether they would be interested in availing themselves of this opportunity.

Proposed conference fees 
  • Full day to include lunch, morning and afternoon tea/coffee: £40 (£30 for students)
  • Morning and/or afternoon session to include tea/coffee, but not lunch: £15
The registration form will be available in due course on the Musica Scotica website.
Publication of proceedings

Musica Scotica will publish papers from this conference along with a selection of papers from previous conferences.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Carol Singing? Here are the words!

Courtesy of Aberdeenshire Library, on Twitter at 8.14 am, the last Sunday before Christmas ...

XmasCountdown Day 23 - Get in the Xmas spirit by singing carols. You'll find lyrics & some music to accompany at:-

  • Aberdeenshire Library tweets at @OnceUponaShire
  • The Whittaker Library tweets at @KarenMcA and @WhittakerLib 
(Off to church organist duties ... that takes care of most of the 4th Sunday in Advent!)

Friday, 21 December 2012

Whittaker Christmas Greetings!

The Whittaker Library at the 

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Christmas Closure

We close at 2 pm today, Friday 21 December 2012. 
Whittaker Be
The Library reopens on Thursday 3 January 2013.  

  • We shall be open 9-5 Thursday 3 and Friday 4 January.  
  • We're open on Saturday 5 January between the usual 10-4.
Helpful leaflet for late returners:- How to renew your library loans online.  (You'll need to login to your staff/student Moodle and Mahara account to access this leaflet.)

Cambridge Mathematics Scholar attends 1837 Birmingham Music Festival

Interesting blog about the Birmingham Triennial Festival in 1837, as recorded by a Victorian Mathematics scholar from Cambridge.  Read on ...

MusiCB3 Blog from the University of Cambridge - homepage.

Marketing Yourself as an Academic

Useful posting on - click here.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Mr Dickie and PGS Arts 

Expressive Arts at Paisley Grammar School

'Whittaker' attended an enjoyable concert at Paisley Abbey this evening.   Conducted by the irrepressible Mr Dickie and his colleagues in the music department, a whole variety of ensembles and bands strutted their stuff, to an appreciative audience of families and friends.

Mr Dickie was keen to remind the audience that the Expressive Arts have their own website.  Indeed, he repeated '' several times to ensure that we wouldn't forget.

'Whittaker' remembers when Mr Dickie was but a youth at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - well, it was the RSAMD in those days, of course.  But hasn't he done well?  He's quite a compere, too.

Because Mr Dickie thanked everyone else, 'Whittaker' is taking it upon 'himself' to thank Mr Dickie.  And to share that website.  Here it is again -

Whittaker doesn't indulge in favouritism.  If there are music teachers 'out there' who are alumni of RSAMD/the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and would like to share what they've been up to since leaving the college, please do get in touch!  We could even have a regular series of 'Where are they now?'

Storyteller and folklorist Sheila Douglas of Scone

Alumni of the BA Scottish Music course may remember Dr Douglas's classes.  Sheila is reportedly very ill now, but I thought you might like to see this website about her:-

Monday, 17 December 2012

Supporting the deaf and hearing impaired

Whittaker recently discovered that the Scottish Council on Deafness films the key SCoD news in BSL (British Sign Language), and uploads it to YouTube. Since the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland aims to work closely with deaf students, this link might be useful to the deaf and hearing impaired student community. 

Royal Conservatoire Archives in the News

The Royal Conservatoire Archives makes its BBC debut this week:

No One But Me, a CONNECTfilm documentary about Scottish jazz singer Annie Ross, is screening on BBC2 Scotland tomorrow, Tuesday 18th December, at 9pm.  Much of the historical material used in the film was drawn from the Jimmy Logan OBE papers which were bequeathed to our archives in 2001. 

Also watch out for an Andy Stewart Hogmanay special, featuring images from our photographic archives.

Further information: Archives Officer Stuart Harris-Logan will be pleased to answer queries.  

Tel: +44 (0)141 270 8299 (direct)

Zoltan Kodaly, Ethnomusicologist

An interesting posting about Kodaly's ethnomusicology work, blogged by Bibliolore.

Carillon for Christmas

Ever heard a proper carillon?

This is a recording that Whittaker picked up via social media, from the Irish Traditional Music Archive:-

Carol for the nativity: air 

Adrian Gebruers, carillon

Friday, 14 December 2012

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Start planning for the Edinburgh International Festival now!

9 August - 1 September 2013.  (Whittaker thought you'd like to be reminded that summer will come again!)

Edinburgh International Festival website

Musical Ear Syndrome (it's not what you think!)

Half the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland community believe themselves to have a musical ear.  But Musical Ear Syndrome is, confusingly, something quite different.

On the other hand, if you're a tinnitus sufferer, this might make a lot of sense to you.  Read the Mail Online article to find out more.

Bass Culture in Scottish Musical Traditions

The Bass Culture team is researching bass-lines and accompaniments in historic Scottish fiddle collections, not to mention bagpipe music.  One of our outputs is a blog, so we can keep people posted about our progress.

Take a look at the Bass Culture blog here.

Shared by Tommy - inspiration from Paraguay youth

This is a youth orchestra, playing instruments made from landfill rubbish.  Be prepared to be amazed.

Thanks to colleague Tommy Smith for sharing this YouTube link.

International Composition Prize: Isang Yun (Korea) 2013

Whittaker has just received notification of an international composition prize:-

Isang Yun International Composition Prize 2013

28 September 2013 - click on the link to find out more.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Winter Wonderland - Cardiff Castle

A propos of nothing in particular, we just had to share this image with you.  If it doesn't make you think of bards and mediaeval banquets, nothing will!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Conradh na Gaeilge = Gaelic League

Homepage for the Gaelic branch - here.

Support Gaelic culture - there's an events diary here.

Gaelic Song and Dance - Partick, tomorrow night

Dé Sathairn, 8ú Nollaig

An evening of music, song, story and dance!
Oíche le Ceol, Amhrán, Scéal agus damhsa!

Location: St Peters Hall, 46-60 Hyndland Street, Partick, G11 5PS
Time: 8pm / Cost: £3 /BYOB"

Don't panic, don't panic!!!

There are limits ...

Advice to registered readers at the Whittaker Library, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland:-

The Whittaker Library offers two sound-streaming services: Naxos and Alexander Street Press's Classical Music Library.  They're very popular, so don't forget to logout after your session.  This ensures maximum availability to subsequent users!

Seminar for aspiring authors: archives for research

Bah-humbug!  Tired of Christmas already?  Then look ahead to next year! The National Archives extends an invitation to aspiring authors:-

"Join our seminar for aspiring authors"

Writer of the month
"On 15 January 2013 we are launching our Writer of the Month with a special afternoon seminar, Mining the Archives: a beginner's guide to using historical records. Aimed at writers and aspiring writers, the masterclass aims to demystify the process of using archives for research and publishing...."  Read on.

American Folk Music Index

Today, Bibliolore blogs about Jane Keefer's American Folk Music Index.  Well worth a look!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Singing competition in Austria (9-16 April 2013)

'Whittaker' was sent details of the 19th International Singing Competition, 

'Ferruccio Tagliavini'


For opera singers aged up to 33, and voice students aged up to 24 years.

Noting the Tradition - a National Piping Centre project

Noting the Tradition

'Noting the Tradition' is a project interviewing people who have been involved with the Scottish piping tradition.  There are interviews to listen to, transcriptions, and photographs.

Scots Trad Music Awards

MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards

The Scotsman newspaper today has an article about this weekend's Scots Trad Music Awards. Read more...

The end of the article has the crucial info, which you'll need if you're planning on attending:-

"For further details, see The second half of the awards ceremony will be broadcast live on BBC Alba on Saturday night, from 9pm-11pm."

More Writing Competitions

Do you write?  (More than essays and assignments, I mean!)  

Then here are some holiday activities for you, from writer Morgen Bailey - lots of writing competitions.  Sharpen that pencil, plug in the laptop, settle down with a tablet in Costa ...

BBC National Short Story Award ('The Award is now open for submissions from publishers, agents and published authors from the UK. The closing date for entries is 11 March 2013 at 10am.')

Dave Brubeck dies

Alexander Street Press has shared this tribute to a great jazz musician.  Click here ...

  • Brubeck materials in the Whittaker Library - here.
  • Obituary in The Herald.

Monday, 3 December 2012

We have a new RLF Writing Fellow

The Royal Literary Fund sponsors published writers to work as Writing Fellows in academic institutions.  We had Sandy Hutchison working with us for a couple of years.  Now it is the turn of Ruth Thomas to coax our literary creativity out of us and onto the printed page!

Here's Ruth's page on the RLF website.

Writing competition: short story (unpublished writers)

The White Review Short Story Prize

Never had a publishing deal?  This competition is for you.  Read on ... (And don't tell me musos and actors don't write fiction. Some do!)

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Composition Marathon at the Scottish Music Centre


  1. Deadline is 1st February - mark your diary!
  2. Visit
  3. Apply for this amazing opportunity to spend a weekend composing with full support, food, performers, in fact all you could possibly need ...