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Students Talk About Palace Experience

Kristian Rhodes is in the final year of his BA Stage Management course, and is one of the College’s Prince of Wales scholars. He was an Assistant Stage Manager for Monday’s performance at Buckingham Palace. We asked him about the experience:

Bass baritone, Emyr Wyn Jones from Aberdare is in the second year of the in MA Opera Performance course.

“Having been lucky enough to receive scholarships from HRH The Prince of Wales and Dame Shirley Bassey during my time at the College, it was very special to be able stand there and perform for them both,” says Emyr.

“Bryn Terfel, who is a hero of mine, had only the best things to say about myself and colleagues. I was fortunate to perform for Bryn’s 50th celebrations which were held at college, and he was truly inspired by the standard of the college and where we’re going, something which is very important to us all I think.”

The programme opened with a fanfare performed the College’s brass musicians, composed by undergraduate Daniel Soley to mark the centenary of the Welsh Guards in 2015. Daniel also wrote the arrangement of James Brown’s I Feel Good, one of the many highlights of the evening’s programme.


“It was a great feeling to contribute to such an energetic cross collaboration of artists in College,” says Daniel. “And to have the fanfare performed at such an event has been quite exhilarating. I am very proud to represent the College, especially with a piece that has already become special to me.”

Emilia Stawicki from California, USA, recently completed the MA Musical Theatre course at RWCMD.

“The palace was incredible! I am so grateful to have had the opportunity,” says Emilia (pictured below right). “To be able to celebrate the arts with performers who are so established in their fields, along with those who have allowed us as individuals to pursue our passions through sponsorship and scholarship, was truly a gift.”


“Getting to meet Kate Burton, who I deeply admire as an actress, and getting to hear stories about her connection to Wales, the arts, and stories about her father, was incredible and inspiring. Being able to meet and speak on a personal level  with artists like her, Michael Sheen, Shirley Bassey, Ruth Jones, and Bryn Terfel (who greeted me with a high five…in Buckingham Palace!) was an amazing experience that will live on forever in my heart and mind.”

“To hear Prince Charles speak of his connection and love for Royal Welsh College moved me, and witnessing him connect with each performer was truly humbling and exciting not only for me as an artist, but for the future of RWCMD and its incredibly talented students and staff.”

Update: Emilia’s co-performer, Kyleigh Grim (pictured above centre with Michael Sheen) has been talking to the press in her native Gettysburg about her once-in-a-lifetime experience.