Something to Crowe about!
Hudson Crowe begins his journey at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Photo courtesy of Hudson Crowe
RADFORD – Hudson Crowe has landed overseas in the middle of a dream.
The 2023 Radford University graduate in Music is still a bit stunned—and thankful—to have been chosen for one of the most prestigious and selective degree programs in the world. Over the next year, Crowe will pursue a Master’s in Musical Theater at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a focus on Music Directing.
So just how selective is the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland?
It is considered a top five school in the world for performing arts and may only accept a few students each year for the musical theater directing program.
“I knew sending in an application was a little bit of a long shot,” Crowe said. “I didn’t have any perspective of where any of my abilities ranked against other musicians and directors around the world, so anything could have happened.”
Then, he got a call back for an in-person audition in Glasgow just a few days before graduation last spring. He spent the first part of his summer in intense preparation for this once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I made sure to be as overprepared as possible,” Crowe said, wanting to present the most competitive audition they had ever seen.
“I think going into the audition with the mindset of achieving a level of excellence that you haven’t achieved before can truly yield excellent results.”
Crowe said he had great support from the faculty and had experiences during his college education that gave him confidence in his ability.
In addition to class work, Crowe participated in ensembles, took advantage of research opportunities, worked in the Roanoke area as a church music director, and got experience regionally as a musical theater pianist. He even apprenticed as a conductor with Opera Roanoke.
Dr. Matt Cataldi, Assistant Professor in the Radford Music Department, is not particularly surprised that Crowe made the cut. The two worked together to prepare Crowe for his application and audition, and Crowe says Dr. Cataldi helped him in many ways, especially conceptually.
In turn, Cataldi describes his former student as a person with the enviable problem of being incredibly good at several things.
“He is not only a talented pianist and percussionist,” Cataldi noted. “He is also an accomplished conductor, a published composer, a seasoned researcher and a brilliant scholar and teacher.”
Department Chair Dr. Wayne Gallops concurred.
“Hudson is an extremely versatile musician,” he explained. “We’re sure his career as a musical theater director will bloom with this opportunity to study at the Royal Conservatoire.”
Crowe says he expects challenges, but has always wanted to study abroad, and will feel at home studying the art form that is closest to his heart.
“Although I have been gathering real-world experience in directing musical theater, I still feel that I have much to learn,” he said.
“One of the great things about this program at RCS is that they throw you into the deep end with non-stop directing projects all year.”
Crowe’s first term began on Sept. 25. The master’s is granted after successfully completing four consecutive terms over the course of one calendar year with only a week or two between each.
He’ll work with students, faculty, and community members at the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow, London and elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
Crowe says that after he completes his program, he’d like to work as a director in London’s West End musical theater scene and eventually move to New York City.
“But who knows – my mind could completely change on the first day of classes,” he notes.
“In short, I’m not quite sure what I will do after I complete the degree, but I’m okay with that for now.”
Sean Kotz for Radford University