The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama is delighted to announce Kate Stokes Davies, current Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations at Qualifications Wales, as the College’s new Director of External Affairs, and Robert Plane, Principal Clarinet of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as the new Head of Woodwind Performance.
The appointments come as the College commits to its new strategy, strengthening its pioneering, immersive professional education with a vision to inspire and change lives, connect, and transform communities through the arts.
Kate Stokes Davies – Director of External Affairs
Kate Stokes Davies will have over-arching responsibility for Marketing, Public Relations, Student Recruitment, Communications, Creative Programming, Partnerships and Outreach and will lead the development of these areas in the context of the new vision and five-year strategy for the College. She will take up the post in early September.
Kate’s career has included 17 years in the media industry at BBC Cymru Wales, including six as Head of Communications and External Affairs, where she was responsible for the strategic direction and delivery of external PR campaigns and corporate communications, including public affairs, external partnerships and diversity. She was also Head of Communications, Policy and Strategy at Sport Wales as it shaped a new vision and supported the successful Gold Coast Commonwealth Games campaign.
“The creativity, energy and ambition of Wales’ world class conservatoire make the challenge ahead really exciting. The College has a clear and compelling vision and strategy and there’s real potential for External Affairs to make a difference. I’m very much looking forward to collaborating with a team of talented colleagues to achieve great things.”
Robert Plane – Head of Woodwind Performance
Robert, who has been a clarinet tutor at the College for the last 20 years, will join the College in his new position in September. Robert holds the principal clarinet position of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and formerly of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia. Alongside this new role he leads a distinguished international career as a solo, chamber, recording artist and festival director.
“It’s an honour to be able to continue and build on the superb work undertaken by my distinguished predecessors and to become such an integral part of the College’s dynamic leadership team,”
Robert’s post will focus on nurturing RWCMD’s presence on the international stage in tandem with deepening the College’s relevance to its local communities and its roots within Wales. He continued:
“Collaboration and innovation must be at the heart of everything we do, Covid-19 has highlighted just how creative, resourceful and adaptable the musicians of the future will need to be. Employability is everything, and I hope to instil a caring, supportive, and demanding work ethic in the department. We’ll strive for the very highest standards and to fulfil each student’s potential across the whole spectrum of what it means to be a musician.”
During the current Covid-19 lockdown Rob has performed socially distanced concerts to his street and on social media with his family and professional musician neighbours. The ‘Cardiff Street Orchestra’, which boasts four members of staff at RWCMD, has taken its message of hope through music worldwide, with appearances on Radio 4’s Today programme and the forthcoming BBC’s Ross Kemp: Britain’s Volunteer Army.