The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) has announced a Hollywood composer as the new patron of the junior conservatoire. 

Patrick Doyle is one of the world’s most successful composers who has scored Hollywood films, and will now offer his expertise and serve as an inspiration to junior students at the RCS.

The appointment is a full circle moment for the composer, who was trained for his stellar 50-year career at RCS where he joined as a junior. 

He would go on to compose the soundtracks to blockbusters including Disney’s Brave, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Sense and Sensibility. 

After celebrating his 70th birthday in April this year, he was commissioned to compose The Coronation March for the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla in May at Westminster Abbey which was broadcast to an audience of almost one billion viewers worldwide. 

Mr Doyle used to take the bus into Glasgow City Centre from Birkenshaw in North Lanarkshire every Saturday to be tutored at RCS, which he credits for opening his eyes to the wider world of music

“I became a member of the Juniors course in my late teens. It was one of the most inspiring and exciting experiences of my life. I jumped out of bed every Saturday morning full of joy. I met young like-minded people from all over Scotland, and the social and musical bonds which were forged between us have been the foundation of my life in music and the arts,” he said. 

It was an “honour” to be asked to be a patron, the musician added. 

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Before joining the RCS, Mr Doyle spent his early days learning his craft at Lanarkshire Youth Orchestra and playing with his school’s brass band. 

“I believe peripatetic teaching and access to music from a young age is vital. A younger person can thrive through music. It encourages creative thinking, healthy expression, and self-discipline.
“Youth orchestras, such as the RCS Juniors, are a fantastic social experience. They offer an opportunity to make new friends, forge important bonds through music and gain exceptional life experience. For me, music was always a source of great joy in my childhood, and I am passionate about supporting this nation’s next generation of musical talent, helping young people be afforded the same opportunities I was,” he says.

The Herald:

Mr Doyle has just finished spending a week with both the junior and senior schools at the RCS, which began with a session for both students and guests on Monday 11 December in which he discussed his life and work.

The week closed with Mr Doyle as the guest of honour at the Junior Symphony Orchestra concert who performed a selection of their honourees best work. 

“It has been inspiring to spend time with people at the start of their journey in music and composition. The Juniors concert was world class. I found it very emotional hearing my music played by such a talented group of young people who clearly have worked so hard this term. 

“They all have such a bright future ahead of them. I never dreamt that one day I would be invited back to where it all began,” he said. 

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Since graduating in 1975, Mr Doyle has maintained a close relationship with his alma mater, where he was made an honorary fellow in 2001. He also met his wife Lesley at the institution, who went on to become a costume designer. 

Before beginning his career in soundtracks which would win him BAFTA, Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, Mr Doyle spent ten years as an actor on stage and film. 

His talents have proven not limited to music, with his acting credits including a role as Jimmie in the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire in 1981. 

Francis Cummings, Head of the Junior Conservatoire of Music, said: “Patrick is one of the world’s leading film composers who began his journey in the Junior Conservatoire, and it was a thrill to welcome him back to his roots. Patrick has been extremely generous with his time, resources and expertise and we feel enormously privileged to have this opportunity to work so closely with him.”