RCO Events, Courses & Classes | Listings

Your RCO event details can be found below.

Please note that the 24-hour clock is used on all event listings, with all times being GMT/BST. To book courses and classes, please follow the Book Online link wherever you see it, and email or call 020 3865 6998 with any queries. Where events are free or not bookable online, please follow the instructions for that event.

Easter Course––Spring Festival in Oxford, part 1

Wednesday 9th April 2014 (10:30) – Friday 11th April 2014 (17:00)

Booking for this course closed on 28 March. However, if you wish to attend please email, tel 05600 767237, to discuss your requirements and to see if a place might be available.

Join us in historic Oxford for our much appreciated Easter Course. We shall be resident at Merton College, with use of the new organ by Dobson (USA), and will have access to many of the city’s finest organs for both tuition and for recitals from organists renowned worldwide for their teaching and playing. For on-line booking scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Tutors: Professor Graham Barber, Margaret Phillips,Thomas Trotter, and Dr David Maw, James Parsons, Dr Frederick Stocken, Simon Williams


Preparing for CertRCO

Preparing for ARCO

Preparing for FRCO

Repertoire & Skills

The exam strands (the first three listed above) provide both essential study for those entered for the July exam session and also an invaluable introduction to the exam requirements for those whose sights are set further ahead. We can devise special timetables for those working for sections rather than the entire syllabus. Repertoire & Skills is for those already of diploma standard (or equivalent) who would like some intensive further study (details below).

WHAT TO PREPARE - Exam strands

Bring the pieces you are working on from the Exam Regulations lists (work in progress is acceptable)

Examples of your written work, especially harmony and counterpoint

A piece to play in the informal student concert on the last day of the course (this can be one of your exam pieces if you wish)

WHAT TO PREPARE - Repertoire & Skills

C P E Bach: 2014 is 300th anniversary of the birth of C P E Bach whose organ music is by turns energetic, expressive and quirky and utterly different from that of his father, J S Bach. Prepare two or more contrasting pieces. Be careful over your choice of edition to play from. We recommend Wiener Urtext volume 1 UT50148 (sonatas) and volume 2 UT50149 (free works). Packhard Humanities Institute (USA) has published the complete works in one volume. It is available for purchase on-line. Click here for details.

J S Bach: The music of J S Bach always provides stimulus whether one is returning to a familiar piece or embarking on something hitherto unknown. Prepare at least one free piece and two contrasting chorale preludes.

Parry & Stanford: Sir Hubert Parry was twice President of the RCO. It is fitting that we look at his music in 2014, the 150th anniversary year of the founding of the College for Organists. We pair him with his contemporary Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. Prepare at least one piece by each composer.

You too are invited to play in the informal student concert on the last day of the course so have something ready either from the list above or something with which to surprise us!


(Tutors will teach across all strands of the course as far as time allows)

Birmingham City Organist Thomas Trotter has recorded the complete works of C P E Bach. He will teach this repertoire. He will also play a recital at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on the afternoon of Wednesday 9 April. Course members will be taken by coach to and from this recital, leaving after lunch and returning for dinner and evening tuition.

Margaret Phillips is Professor of Organ at the Royal College of Music. She has recently recorded the complete works of J S Bach to great acclaim and will teach this repertoire and play a Bach recital on the Frobenius organ at The Queen’s College on Thursday evening, 10 April

Graham Barber, until recently Professor of Performance Studies at the University of Leeds, is renowned for his interpretations of the Romantic repertoire. He will teach the music of Parry and Stanford and include it in his lunchtime recital on the still-new Tickell organ at Keble College on Saturday 12 April. (This is part of the RCO’s separate one-day conference ‘The College for Organists examined: the foundation and early history of the RCO’. We hope that you will be able to stay on for this. Visit the webpage to find out more and to book.)

Alongside these tutors we have Dr David Maw (Christ Church and Oriel Colleges, Oxford), Dr Frederick Stocken (RCO Academy Organ School), James Parsons (RCO Head of Student Development), and Simon Williams (Director, RCO Academy).


We are resident at Merton College set in one of Oxford’s most beautiful and tranquil streets. Accommodation is available in either comfortable standard rooms (with wash basin but with shared WC and bathrooms) or in en-suite rooms. All meals, from lunch on 9th to lunch on 11th, are included in the course fee, as are morning and afternoon refreshments. You have the option to book extra Bed and Breakfast accommodation for Tuesday 8 April and/or Friday 11 April. You can also attend on a non-resident basis, in which case all meals except for breakfast are included in the cost.

We regret that, owing to the terms and conditions of Merton College, where we shall be resident, we cannot accept residential bookings from those aged under 18 on 9 April 2014. We will also need written consent from a parent/guardian for attendance where somebody under 18 wishes to attend on a non-resident basis. Click here to email to enquire.

RCO SPRING FESTIVAL IN OXFORD – parts 2 & 3. Brief details follow. Each event has its own web page and on-line booking facility.

Saturday 12 April, 10:00–17:45: ‘The College for Organists examined: the foundation and early history of the RCO’, a one-day conference at Somerville and Keble College’s including a recital by Graham Barber.

Those also attending the Easter Course enjoy a discounted attendance fee.

Saturday 12 April, 09:30–18:30: ‘Set Your Sights! a taste of the organ scholar experience’. For ambitious teenage organists who are preparing for or considering organ scholarships in universities, cathedrals or churches. Tuition on repertoire and keyboard skills in the morning; sing, accompany and conduct choral evensong in the afternoon. Easter Course members are warmly invited to stay on and sing in the choir.

BURSARIES (Easter Course)

Bursaries are available to help with the cost of the fees detailed below. Click here for information and to download an application form. The deadline for applications in support of Easter Course fees has been extended to 14 March.


(fees include accommodation plus meals from lunch on Wednesday 9 April to lunch on Friday 11 April plus morning and afternoon refreshments)

RCO Member (standard room) £675

RCO Member (en-suite room) £705

RCO Member (non-resident) £540

Non-Member (standard room) £705

Non-Member (en-suite room) £735

Non-Member (non-resident) £560

You can also book extra nights Bed & Breakfast (B&B) for Tuesday 8 April and/or Friday 11 April at a cost of £67 (standard room)/£86 (en-suite room) per night.

Until 9 February you can pay a £50 deposit, the balance of fees becoming due immediately after this date. If booking after 9 February the full fees are due immediately.

If you have a problem with the on-line booking system please call RCO Bookings on 05603 488231.

Book online


For RCO courses and classes, the following key is used as a guide to level and suitability:
Beginner (Grades 1-4)
Intermediate (Grades 4-6)
(Grades 6-8 / CRCO)
Diploma 1
Diploma 2

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