Throughout 2014 the Royal College of Organists will be celebrating its 150th anniversary with a series of special events and activities.
With these events we hope to share our celebrations with everyone with an interest in organ and choral music, whether through playing the organ, directing or singing in a choir, or through simple enjoyment of the music.
We also hope that all of those who share this passion will come together to support our 150th Anniversary Appeal fund, and help us build the strongest platform for the future.
So please do look out for an event near you, join us in our celebrations and, whether through a retiring collection, online donation or becoming a Friend of the RCO, support our work in whatever way you can.
|All year||150 for 150 Challenge||A programme of recitals taking place throughout the UK and abroad. Click here to find out how to take part, or here to find a recital in your area.|
|January 17th||RCO Student Composition Competition||The closing date for RCO Student Members to compose and submit a chorale prelude; the winner to be performed before the 150th Anniversary Choral Evensong in March. Read more.|
|February||Sing 150!||Join composer and conductor John Rutter at St Michael's, Cornhill, to practice and perform music by (among others) former RCO Presidents Parry, Stainer & Howells. A great opportunity to raise your voice in celebration of the College's 150th anniversary at the church which is so intimately linked with our early history. Read more.|
Conferment of Diplomas,
|The College will award Diplomas and Certificates successful examination candidates, and award the Medal of the Royal College of Organists to distinguished practitioners and scholars from the fields of organ and choral music.|
|March 8th||Anniversary Evensong,
|Choral Evensong to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Royal College of Organists, at which the preacher will be former Archbishop of Canterbury Baron Williams of Oystermouth.|
|March 18th to June 7th||Pull Out All The Stops||A series of 10 educational events in collaboration with the Southbank Centre’s Pull Out All The Stops festival, marking the reopening of the RFH organ after a six-year restoration. Click for details.|
|April 9-11th||RCO Easter Course||A residential course in Oxford for organists of all ages.|
|April 12th||The College for Organists examined: the foundation and early history of the RCO||A one-day conference in Oxford which will examine the environment which led to the foundation of the College of Organists in 1864, and investigate the preoccupations of the College's founding fathers and early members as they established a professional body for British organists, which eventually earned a Royal Charter in 1893.|
|May||RCO Journal||A special edition of the College's annual research publication, featuring material relating to the College's 150th anniversary and history.|
|August||Three Choirs Festival||Recitals by young ARCO organists will feature in the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester between 26th July and 2nd August|
|August||RCO Academy Summer Course||Our popular week-long course in the City of London.|
|August||The Organ Scholar Experience||The ultimate residential course for any young musician considering a future as an organ scholar.|
|August 2nd||Organ Symposium||The College collaborates with Southbank Centre and the British Institute of Organ Studies to present an in-depth symposium examining the design, craftmanship and music which have made the RFH organ such a special feature of musical life since 1954. An international cast of performers and experts, including the RCO's Andrew McCrea, will give presentations about the organ; with a recital at the end of the day by Margaret Phillips. Details to follow.|
|September 27th||OrganFest 2014||The RCO joins forces with the Birmingham Organists' Association, British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS) and Incorporated Association of Organists (IAO) in Birmingham to celebrate the organ. Presentations, lectures and exhibitions will explore the work of these institutions, all of which celebrate anniveraries: while the RCO celebrates 150 years, the Incorporated Association of Organists has been celebrating its centenary, Birmingham Organists' Association reaches its 90th birthday and the British Organ Archive marks its 40th anniversary. The day will feature a recital by Thomas Trotter at Birmingham Town Hall, and a Choral Mass at St Chad’s Cathedral featuring the organ department of Birmingham Conservatoire. Click for details.|
|November 1st||RCO London Organ Forum||Looking at the music of three composers, Reger, Karg-Elert and Widor, all granted Honorary Membership of the College shortly before the outbreak of World War I in 1914. The day will include concerts, illustrated lectures, discussion and an evening recital, with the option to attend the second anniversary recital at 19:00 of the highly acclaimed Richards, Fowkes & Co organ at St George's, Hanover Square, in which David Briggs will improvise an organ sound track to the 1925 silent film 'Phantom of the Opera' starring Lon Chaney. Click for details.|
Royal Festival Hall
|A special anniversary recital featuring Martin Baker, Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, playing the Royal Festival Hall’s recently restored Harrison & Harrison organ. Drawing our year-long 150 for 150 Recital Challenge to a spectacular close, the recital will feature repertoire by composers connected to the College, as well as a new Simon Holt work co-commissioned by the RCO and Southbank Centre. A pre-concert talk featuring Simon Holt and Martin Baker in conversation with the RCO's Andrew McCrea will explore the inspiration for the work as well as the challenges and pleasures of writing for voice and organ. Click for details.|