Professor David Baker MA, MMus, MLS, PhD, MBA, FCILIP, FCMI, FRCO, FRSA
By the time that he was 16, David Baker was an ARCO, becoming FRCO 12 months later. He graduated after an Organ Scholarship at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, with a First Class Honours degree in Music. He has an MMus degree from Kings College, London. In 2011 he founded the Halifax Organ Academy, which aims to offer high quality tuition and support to organists of all ages and backgrounds within northern England.
He has remained active as musician and musicologist, with the first edition of his book The Organ (Shire Publications, 1991) selling over 10,000 copies. A second edition was published in 2003 and a second revised edition in 2010. He has undertaken recital tours to Germany, Italy and Scandinavia and has performed the entire organ works of J S Bach in 26 recitals.
Darius Battiwalla MusM FRCO
Darius has taught organ, continuo and improvisation for 15 years at the Royal Northern College of Music at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as privately teaching students of all ages.
Darius has given organ recitals at cathedrals and concert halls throughout the country and abroad including Leeds Town Hall, Westminster Abbey, York Minster and Bath Abbey, and for the RCO and IAO. He has appeared as soloist with the Hallé Orchestra - most recently in Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with Sir Mark Elder - and London Philharmonic Orchestras, and is a regular orchestral organist and pianist for the BBC Philharmonic and Hallé orchestras. In September this year he became curator of the Leeds Town Hall organ, programming this very successful recital series and giving regular solo concerts. As a pianist, he gives regular chamber concerts with members of the Manchester orchestras, and on the harpsichord he has played continuo with many UK orchestras, and performed and broadcast harpsichord concertos: this autumn he will be soloist in Frank Martin’s Harpsichord Concerto for the Northern Ballet Theatre.
Tom Bell BMus(Hons)/GradRNCM PGDip(perf)
Tom enjoys a varied freelance solo career as an organist, based in London and active across the UK and abroad. Recent performances have taken him to mainland Europe and the USA; he undertook two tours to the latter in 2013. 2014 has seen Tom's debut at the Royal Festival Hall, where he appeared as a soloist twice during the Pull Out All The Stops festival, which celebrated the restoration of the epoch-making RFH organ. Both concerts were broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In addition to his work for the RCO Academy Organ School, Tom teaches the organ at the Royal Hospital School in Suffolk, is involved with the Eton Organworks outreach scheme and has given masterclasses at conservatories on both sides of the Atlantic.
Richard Brasier BMus(Hons), MMus (Orgelsolo), ARCO, LRAM, ATCL
Richard Brasier enjoys a busy and far-reaching international career as a soloist, chamber musician, accompanist, animateur and teacher. He is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied with David Titterington and Nicolas Kynaston. Aided by the Nicholas Danby Scholarship, he completed his studies with Johannes Geffert at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, Köln, graduating with the highest honors.
Richard is in demand as a soloist and teacher at major venues and festivals across the UK and Europe, and his work has been broadcast on numerous international radio stations worldwide. In addition to his solo work, he has formed an organ duo with fellow RCO teacher, Tom Bell. Their repertoire includes original compositions, arrangements, and specially commissioned works. They are also joint-founders of a nationwide interactive education initiative entitled Stops Away! Aimed primarily at school children, this project is tailored to inspire more young people to explore the pipe organ.
In addition to his performance and teaching work, Richard is Director of Music at St. Laurence Parish Church, Upminster.
Gerard Brooks FRCO, MA(Oxon.), PGCE.
Gerard first studied the organ with John Webster and then with Susi Jeans. In 1978 he won the Stephen Arlen Memorial Award enabling him to study with Daniel Roth at Strasbourg Conservatoire. He was the first recipient of the RCO Forsyth-Grant/Hurford Travelling Scholarship. Gerard is particularly associated with French repertoire and has contributed many articles to musical journals as well as writing the chapter on French and Belgian organ music for the Cambridge Companion to the Organ. His recordings on the Priory label include the complete works of Eugne Gigout played on historic organs in France on five CDs; the first voted an Editors Choice in Gramophone magazine. He has recently recorded the complete organ music of Saint-Sans and he presents and plays on the Fugue State Films DVD The Genius of Cavaill-Coll. Gerard is Director of the London Organ Improvisation Course and has been a regular examiner for the Associated Board and the RCO.
Jonathan Bunney BMus (Hons), MMus, FRCO
In 2000 Jonathan was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music. His teachers have included Anne Marsden Thomas, Nigel Stark, David Graham and Margaret Phillips. During his time at the RCM he won all the major prizes for organ. In 2004 Jonathan became Director of Music at St. Giles-in-the-Fields and in 2008 he returned to the RCM to study for a Masters in Advanced Performance, achieving a distinction. He was also awarded the Walford Davies Prize for his performance of Louis Vierne's Sixth Symphony. Since graduating, Jonathan has worked as a freelance musician as well as Head of Music at Cameron House School in Chelsea from 2011-2014. Jonathan has made several broadcasts on radio and part of his CD 'Let the Pealing Organ Blow' produced by Regents Records on the historic organ of St. Giles-in-the Fields was broadcast on BBC Radio 2
Drew Cantrill-Fenwick BA FRCO
Drew is the organist of the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, where he is responsible for the iconic Hill, Norman & Beard chapel organ of 1933. From 1992 to 2012, he worked in cathedral music, directing the choirs at Grimsby Minster, Wellington Cathedral of St Paul (NZ), St Paul’s Cathedral, Buffalo (USA), & Croydon Minster. He studied the organ at Durham University with James Lancelot, and privately with Susi Jeans, Peter Wright, & Gerre Hancock, and is a Fellow, prize-winner and former councillor of the RCO.
He has appeared at leading churches, cathedrals & concert halls in the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, America, & New Zealand, and has broadcast live on Radio 3, NPR, & Radio NZ. His repertoire ranges from the 14th century to the present day, and he is an accomplished improviser and experienced concerto soloist. In recent years, Drew has established a strong reputation as a freelance organist, broadcaster, writer and examiner.
He has over 20 years’ experience as a teacher, working with students of all ages & abilities, and is a frequent contributor to College classes, courses and iRCO content. He enjoys preparing students for RCO exams, including the paperwork elements.
Roger Carter FRCO (CHM), FTCL, ARCM, LRAM
Roger studied the organ initially with Christopher Scarf and Richard Popplewell, In 1984 he was awarded a Belgian Government Scholarship to study with Flor Peeters at the Mechelen International Summer School. Following participation in the Haarlem Summer Academy in 1988, he was invited by Harald Vogel to take part in a recital on the city's historic St Bavochurch organ. He has also participated in courses in France and Germany and with Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini in Italy to gain specialist knowledge of various sections of the organ repertoire.
Performing widely as a soloist and accompanist in this country and abroad has offered him experience of playing many different types of organs.
He is often invited to tutor on courses, including those run by the RCO and RSCM, and is Director of Music at St John's Church, Harpenden. Formerly a classroom teacher, he is now a visiting teacher at Queenswood School and The Haberdashers' Aske's Boys School.
Gabriele Damiani BMus (Hons), ARCO, QTS, Dip. Turin Conservatoire
Gabriele (Gabs) studied at the Turin Conservatoire and afterwards with Anne Marsden Thomas at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. As part of his BMus he attended classes with P. Hurford, A. Marcon, L. Lohmann and J. van Oortmerssen, among others, and several courses in counterpoint, conducting, continuo and accompaniment. During his final year he became Church Music Scholar at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, and was later appointed Organ Scholar at Westminster RC Cathedral.
An ARCO prize-winner, Gabs joined the RCO Academy in 2012 as a teacher for the Oxford area, and specialises in practice techniques and Baroque repertoire at all levels. A visiting tutor at the University of St Andrews and co-founder of the Accademia Organistica in Trieste, Italy, he continues to pursue a regular and successful performing career across the UK and abroad.
Dr Roland Dee BA Hons (Newcastle-upon-Tyne), M.Mus (Edinburgh), PhD (Hull), LTCL, LRSM, ARCO.
Roland is an experienced organist whose recitals have taken him to various cathedrals and churches in the UK. While researching the music of the English composer Patrick Hadley, Roland was also a music lecturer at Hull. In addition, he has written (and is currently preparing) introductory essays to a number of orchestral scores for Musikproduktion Höflich, Munich.
His organ studies were with Frederick Peacock, John Scott Whiteley, and Graham Barber, along with study residencies at RCO workshops. Studies in historically informed performance along with performance on historical instruments were undertaken at the Haarlem Summer International Organ Academy with L. Ghielmi, E. Kooiman, J. van der Kooy, and B. van Oosten.
Roland is currently the organist of Leeds St. Aidan's Church in addition to which he is a music tutor for Roundhay Music, Leeds. He is out-going President of the Leeds Organists' Association.
Catherine Ennis MA
Catherine Ennis is Director of Music at the City of London church of St. Lawrence Jewry, where the Klais organ is a wonderful teaching instrument. A noted recitalist, Catherine has long enjoyed teaching organists of all ages and abilities across a wide-ranging repertoire, and is frequently invited to examine for the major London music conservatoires, as well as the RCO.
In addition to church and teaching appointments, Catherines career as recitalist and recording artist has taken her to many prestigious venues in the UK and abroad. She has helped create four major new London organs (The Rieger at St. Marylebone, shared with the Royal Academy of Music, the Klais at St. Lawrence Jewry, the William Drake in the new Greenwich home of Trinity College of Music, and the Mansion House/ Westminster Abbey Queens organ, built by Mander). As apologist and enthusiast for music-making at the organ, she writes for music journals and in 1994 established the London Organ Concerts Guide. She is Past President of the RCO, Director of the John Hill memorial recitals, Chairman of the Sam Baker Trust (Shrewsbury), Trustee of the Nicholas Danby Trust, and Past President of the Incorporated Association of Organists.
Marilyn Harper MA, FRCO, GRSM, ARMCM, Cert Ed.
Following lessons in Bolton with William Morgan, Marilyn studied with Eric Chadwick at the Royal Manchester College of Music and with Dame Gillian Weir whilst Organ Scholar at Girton College, Cambridge. She gained her RCO Fellowship Diploma, gaining the Harding and Durrant Prizes in 1982. She occasionally attends Cambridge Academy of Organ Studies courses, and has also visited Leipzig to study with Ullrich Böhme.
Organist at Christ's Chapel Dulwich, London, since 2000, she demonstrates the restored 1760 George England organ annually during the Dulwich Festival and organises the chapel's Sunday evening organ recital series. She also led organ demonstrations for students at the Royal Festival Hall during the celebrations for the return of the pipe organ and also at Reading Town Hall.
An organ accompanist, Marilyn has accompanied visiting choirs in many cathedrals, and undertakes foreign tours with chamber choirs and choral societies. As a recitalist Marilyn has played in a number of UK cathedrals and London city churches, and has just completed her learning of the complete organ works of Buxtehude. She is well known for her holistic approach to studying the organ.
PhD BMus(Hons)/GradRNCM FNCM ARCO LTCL DipLCM PGCE(QTS)
Robin began lessons with Graham Eccles, gaining his Grade 8 in two years. At 15 he received a bursary towards masterclasses with David Titterington and Petr Eben at Dartington International Summer School. Regular teachers were Noel Rawsthorne, Margaret Phillips (RNCM) and Roger Fisher. His PhD is on The Late Style of Frank Bridge. He has recently played at Ripon and Durham Cathedrals and York Minster.
He taught Academic Studies to RNCM undergraduates and has been Director of Music at independent schools internationally. His pupils have won exam awards for 8 years.
His teaching is Kodaly-derived with activities to develop the inner hearing of contrapuntal music alongside finger gym exercises. His experience is broad having lived with tribes, performed as a jazz improviser, director of a Gospel-Rock-Pop choir, performed and coached in theatres for shows such as We Will Rock You. His composition commissions have taken him to the USA
Jeffrey Makinson BMus, FRCO
Jeffrey Makinson is Assistant Director of Music and Sub-Organist of Lincoln Cathedral. He trained at the Royal Northern College of Music and at Manchester University. He was Organ Scholar at York Minster from 1992-1994, Assistant Organist at Lincoln Cathedral, then Sub-Organist at Manchester Cathedral until 2015. He was Tutor in Organ Studies at the RNCM and at Manchester University. He is also a busy recitalist, accompanist, conductor, teacher and adjudicator in the city and throughout the country. He has performed at most of the major British venues and in numerous foreign countries including Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and the USA. Jeffrey has a keen interest in promoting new music and has given first performances of works by numerous leading composers. As an orchestral musician, he has worked alongside some of the country’s leading ensembles.
Simon Mercer BMus(Hons) ARCO
Chichester Cathedral was central in Simons’ formative years; studying organ with Alan Thurlow and trumpet with Crispian Steele-Perkins, he twice attended Susi Jeans Summer School. He took BMus(Hons) at the University of Sheffield continuing organ tuition with Graham Matthews, before a postgraduate year at the RNCM with David Francis, Eric Chadwick, Ronald Frost and Gillian Weir; then returning to Sheffield to research The Victorian Organ.
e taught in schools and colleges for 25 years, latterly as Director of Music at The Kings School in Macclesfield, Simon moved into freelance work in July 2014.
s Organ and Academic Tutor at Junior RNCM, a number of his students have been awarded scholarships at Oxford and Cambridge; he also conducts the highly regarded JRNCM Vocal Ensemble. He has been a National and International Examiner for ABRSM since 2002.
n September 2014 Simon launched the unique Hallé Choral Academy and became Visiting Conductor of the RNCM Symphony Chorus. He is currently Musical Director of Hayfield Singers and Prestbury Choral Society.
is colourful, versatile playing and accompanying is much enjoyed; he has given recitals from Dunkeld to Vienna with further trips planned to Singapore and Hong Kong.
James Parsons MA (Oxon), FRCO
Hails from Birmingham (where is now an organ tutor at the Conservatoire). He was organ scholar of Exeter College, Oxford and proceeded to periods of post-graduate study with Ralph Downes, Geraint Jones, Peter Hurford and Jacques van Oortmerssen.
During a long career on the staff of Oundle School, James founded and ran for 25 years Oundle for Organists, thus opening doors for hundreds of young organists through inspirational summer schoolscourses which he now delivers through RCO Academy. James is also known as an international concert organist and recording artist.
Engaged for his articulate appeal as a clinician, he recently fronted a new Organ Academy in Sydney, catering for all ages and levels, and of course often engages with students in classes run by RCO Academy Organ School.
James is an RCO examiner and sits on the Colleges Academic Board. He was the first Education Editor for Organists' Review and has long been a Vice-President of the Organ Club.
Martin G Penny MA(Oxon) FRCO MICM MISM
Martin has been a full-time freelance organist, choir director, teacher, examiner and lecturer since leaving the IT industry in 2002, holding posts in London and Hertfordshire. As well as his work at All Saints, he is Organist to the University of the Arts and has a long established teaching practice ‘HenPen Music’, run with his wife Mary in Letchworth since 1982.
He has taught professionals up to FRCO, ‘empty nesters’ reviving rusty skills as well as youthful starters. He teaches academic work either face-to-face or by distance learning.
Martin started organ lessons in his youth studying with Ronald Watson, Conrad Eden (Durham Cathedral) and John Webster and Walter Hillsman whilst at Exeter College, Oxford where he read Mathematics and acted as locum Organ Scholar. More recently Martin studied with Anne Marsden Thomas, Gerard Brooks and Kevin Bowyer at the then St Giles International Organ School (now RCO Academy) and at the Gothenburg International Organ Academy, winning Dixon and Richardson prizes at FRCO.
David Pipe MA (Cantab), MMus, FRCO, FRSA, LRAM
David is Director of the Organists’ Training Programme and Cathedral Organist in the Diocese of Leeds, previously having been Assistant Director of Music at York Minster. He read Music at Cambridge University as Organ Scholar of Downing College, later studying organ at the Royal Academy of Music. David enjoys teaching all ages and abilities: former pupils have been awarded Oxbridge organ scholarships and prizes in the RCO diplomas.
David appears regularly as an organ recitalist and accompanist, and has worked on television, radio and in recordings. Recent festival appearances have included the Bergen International Festival and the North York Moors Chamber Music Festival. His first solo recording, a disc of original works and transcriptions by Liszt and Brahms, was released in 2012 and voted ‘Recording of the Month’ by MusicWeb International. Also an experienced conductor, David is Principal Conductor of York Musical Society, one of the regions oldest and largest choral societies.
Jeremiah Stephenson MA (Cantab) MMus FRCO
Jeremiah Stephenson combines his Sunday duties at All Saints Margaret Street with a busy career as a freelance recitalist, accompanist and teacher. He has held the organ scholarships at Queens’ College, Cambridge, and Peterborough Cathedral before studying at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with multiple prizes.
From 2015 to 2017, Jeremiah received funding from the Nicholas Danby Trust to study in Toulouse with Michel Bouvard and Willem Jansen. He regularly appears as accompanist to La Maîtrise de Toulouse, France’s premier children’s choir, both in concerts and recordings.
Jeremiah won prizes in the Associateship and Fellowship diploma exams of the Royal College of Organists. He won first prize in the Eben International Organ Competition held in the Czech Republic, and second prize in the International Competition ‘Prix de J L Florentz’ organized by L’Académie des Beaux-Arts in Angers, France.
Frederick Stocken MA (Cantab), PhD, FRCO.
Frederick is Organist and Assistant Director of Music at St George’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Southwark. He was Organ Scholar of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge where he studied with Peter Hurford. He won five prizes at ARCO and three at FRCO. His PhD is from the University of Manchester on nineteenth-century harmonic theory. He teaches at Junior Academy and the Royal Academy of Music, but his teaching for the RCO is at present exclusively for the written papers of diploma exams, for which he has also examined. As well as face-to-face teaching, Frederick also offers lessons via Skype.
Frederick has had many commissions as a composer, and has had music published by OUP and Banks. His published work also includes musicological writing and keyboard tutors. For more details: www.frederickstocken.com
Anne Marsden Thomas MBE, FRCO, FRSCM, B. Mus, ARAM, Dip RAM, LRAM, ARCM.
Anne founded St. Giles International Organ School in 1992 and directed it until January 2012 when it became part of RCO Academy. She has over 40 years' experience of organ teaching and wide experience of examining grade examinations and organ diplomas. She teaches in both the Junior and Senior departments of the Royal Academy of Music. She is Director of Music at St. Giles Cripplegate Church in London's Barbican.
Anne's concert and teaching work has taken her to the USA, Japan, Europe and all over the UK and she has made several commercial recordings. She has written 22 books for the student organist, as well as many articles for organists and their teachers. www.annemarsdenthomas.com
Gerdi Troskie BMus, MMus
Gerdi Troskie completed her BMus and MMus degrees at the University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa and continued with post-graduate organ studies at the Amsterdam Conservatorium with Jacques van Oortmerssen. She was awarded the Conservatoriums Soloist's Diploma (organ) in 1996.
In 1996 Gerdi moved to the UK. She taught organ and musicianship at the Royal College of Music Junior Department from 1998-2005. Gerdi was Organist and Director of Music at St Anselm and St Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, Holborn, London from 1996-2002 and joined the Organ School team of professional teachers in 2000. Gerdi has taught on many courses, including the RCO Summer Course, and has directed courses for young organists at Oundle.
She has played recitals in the UK, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and South Africa. She has written articles for Organists Review magazine and adjudicated organ classes at Arts Festivals.
Robin Walker DipRAM, PPDip(Dist.), BMus(Perf.), LRAM.
obin Walker is Director of Music at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London, graduating in 2000. Before taking up his post in Cambridge Robin was Assistant Organist and Director of Music at St Georges Hanover Square, London. For two years he was Organist of Florence Abbey, where he led the restoration of the 1558 Zefferini organ. He was also instrumental in the restoration of the St Giles-in-the-Fields organ by William Drake.
Robin has made particular study of the early English and Italian repertoires, but performs and teaches the full range of the organ repertoire, with an emphasis on technique and interpretation. Robins passion for new music for the organ has led to giving many premiere performances and recording three CDs of new music. He has travelled Europe and the USA as recitalist, recording artist and teacher, giving master-classes on the early English and general repertoire in New Mexico, Norway and the UK. www.theorganist.co.uk
Simon Williams BA (Dunelm), FRCO, LRAM, PGCE
Simon studied at Durham University, where he was organ scholar of St Chad's College, and at the Royal College of Music. He has over 30 years' experience in organ teaching and has twice acted as a consultant for the ABRSM's organ exam syllabus. He is Organist & Director of Music at the Central London church of St George's Hanover Square W1 where he teaches on the acclaimed mechanical action organ by Richards, Fowkes & Co of 2012. He is also organ teacher at the Royal Masonic School Rickmansworth.
Simon has given organ recitals across the UK and in Europe and has given first performances of several pieces dedicated to him. As Music Director of Harrow Choral Society he has conducted many of the major choral works. He has had articles published in Choir & Organ Magazine, Organists' Review, and The American Organist; has recorded a number of CDs; and took part in the commissioning of new works for Faber Music's Unbeaten Tracks album for organ.