The RMA Student Committee liaises between the wider student body and the RMA, acting as a voice for students in the RMA and taking an active role in shaping and promoting student-related activities of the RMA.

Who we are

The RMA Student Committee is led by the two RMA Student Representatives. It also includes up to four Ordinary Student Members, the Membership Development Officer, the Student Liaison Officer and the Trustee.

Student members of the committee are elected at the RMA Research Students’ Conference. Members usually stand for two years.

What we do

Our work includes canvassing students for their opinions on RMA-related student matters, fielding issues raised by students, promoting the RMA in our departments and helping organise the annual Research Students’ Conference.

If you have an idea for something the RMA could do for students, or if you want to raise any other issues, please contact one of our student representatives.

Student Representatives

Phil Robinson (January 2017 – January 2019)

Chair of the Student Committee

Philip graduated from Royal Holloway in 2014 with a first-class honours degree in Music, with The Brian Dennis Memorial Prize in Composition. He was granted a Pocock Scholarship to complete a Master’s degree at Bristol University in Musicology with Russian. He is now studying part-time for a PhD in musicology at Manchester University, focussing on national music festivals in Moscow during the 1930s. He has research interests in Russian and Soviet music, twentieth-century music, music analysis, opera studies, and nationalism.

Beyond academia, Phil enjoys cooking, running, juggling, and real ale. He plays the piano, violin, viola and organ.


Will Finch (January 2018 – January 2020)

Will is a doctoral student at the University of Bristol under the supervision of Dr Guido Heldt in the music department and Dr Angela Piccini in the film/TV department. His PhD project explores music in the BBC documentary series Arena – on the means by which Arena constructs ideas about music, and on the uses the series itself makes of music. Will previously studied at Royal Holloway, University of London and at the University of Cambridge, where he completed a master’s thesis on jazz in la nouvelle vague with Dr Sam Barrett. He also play the trumpet in and around the South West and fails to successfully grow courgettes most summers. You can follow Will on twitter @WillLFinch.

Ordinary Student Members

Debbie Rodgers (January 2017 – January 2019)

Debbie Rodgers is a PhD student at Canterbury Christ Church University, investigating the potential application of community music as a means of tackling mental health-related stigma. She also works as a peripatetic music teacher for Surrey Arts. Her PhD research is focusing upon focusing upon topics such as musical identity development, social refurbishment and interactions within a tachytopian (a temporary form of utopian space) musical environment. Debbie completed her Master of Music degree (also at Canterbury Christ Church University) in the summer of 2016 with a Distinction and has a keen interest in topics relating to popular music analysis and music education.

Outside of academia Debbie volunteers as a Time to Change Champion, enjoys creative writing and competes in dog agility and obedience classes with her Golden Retriever.

You can follow Debbie on Twitter @debs_rodgers.

Giles Masters (January 2017 – January 2019)

Giles has been a PhD student at King’s College London since September 2016, where he holds a studentship from KCL’s Arts and Humanities Research Institute.  His research examines the festivals organised by the International Society for Contemporary Music in the 1920s and 30s.  Before coming to King’s, Giles graduated with a first-class BA and an MSt (distinction) in Music from the University of Oxford.

Outside of academia, Giles enjoys distance running, language learning and playing classical guitar.

Dominic Daula (January 2018 – January 2020)

Considered as one of South Africa’s leading young performing musicologists, Dominic Daula studied music at the University of Cape Town, where he was mentored by Francois du Toit and Franklin Larey (piano), Grant Brasler (harpsichord) and Emeritus Professor James May (musicology). He graduated from the university with distinction and has been employed by the same institution as tutor in music theory (2016), as well as teaching assistant and part time lecturer in piano and repertoire studies (2017).

Dominic is currently a Master’s student at the RNCM, where he was awarded a generous entrance scholarship, the Dorothy Smith piano scholarship, and study grants from the Pidem fund and the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust. At the RNCM, Dominic studies with Richard Ormrod (piano), Roger Hamilton (harpsichord), as well as Fabrice Fitch and David Horne (musicology).

Major projects which Dominic has undertaken include the performance of the Goldberg Variations (piano), music for two pianos by Messiaen and Stravinsky, and the southern hemisphere premieres of substantial works by Alan Bush, dating from the late period of his output.

Research interests include analysis, editions, the Second Viennese School, South African and British music of the twentieth century, particularly that of Alan Bush, Arnold van Wyk and Hubert du Plessis; English music of the sixteenth century, and French keyboard music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Dominic’s interests outside music include reading, baking, the cinema, art history, nature, and travel.

Membership Development Officer

Katy Hamilton

Dr. Katy Hamilton is a freelance researcher, writer and presenter on music. Her area of specialism is the music of Johannes Brahms and his contemporaries, and she has also been involved in projects covering subjects as diverse as the history of the Edinburgh Festival, the role of émigré musicians in post-1945 British musical life, and variety shows at the Wigmore Hall in the early twentieth century. She is a regular presenter at the National Gallery, and has also provided notes and concert introductions for the Victoria & Albert Museum, Royal College of Music, Wigmore Hall, University of Nottingham, and St George’s, Bristol.

Katy has taught at both the University of Nottingham and the Royal College of Music, where she also worked as part of the curatorial team for the College’s extensive collections of concert programmes, business paperwork and musicians’ personal archives. She is a contributor and co-editor for Brahms in the Home and the Concert Hall (Cambridge University Press), and was Graham Johnson’s research assistant for his Franz Schubert: The Songs and their Poets (Yale University Press). She has also written several prefaces to the Repertoire Explorer series issued by Musikproduktion Jürgen Höflich, Munich.

In addition, Katy is an active chamber accompanist and repetiteur, having worked with instrumentalists, singers and choirs in England, Ireland, Spain and Germany. From 2008-2013 she was the Course Organiser and Music Director of ISSMUS, a specialist summer school for singers, composers, conductors and pianists.

Further information, including media and contact details are available on Katy’s website.


Student Liaison Officer

Susan Bagust




Piers Hellawell