Event details can be found below. Please book online whenever you see the Book Online link. If you have any enquiries relating to a booking, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3865 6998.
Note that the 24-hour clock is used on all event listings. All times are GMT/BST. For classes, the following key is used as a guide to level and suitability : Beginner (Grades 1-4); Intermediate (Grades 4-6); Advanced (Grades 6-8 / CRCO); Diploma 1 (CRCO–ARCO); Diploma 2 (ARCO–FRCO); All Standards. For more information on the different types of events organised by the College, click here.
We regret that this course has been cancelled. An online version will be offered in its place, the details for which will be posted as soon as they are known.
Spend a few Spring days amidst Oxford's dreaming spires on the RCO's highly regarded Easter Course, resident in 2021 at Merton College.
Should the situation with Covid-19 prevent this course from going ahead, we will offer an online alternative. For this reason, we ask you only to pay a deposit when booking before 1 March. The balance owing will be collected on 1 March. The deposit will be fully refundable if we have to cancel the course, or it can be used as part-payment for the online version.
The RCO Easter Course offers:
• in-depth tuition for those preparing to take CRCO, ARCO or FRCO in July 2021 or January 2022, and for those who are considering entering at a later date. Please note that the Diploma Regulations for 2021-2022 remain the same as those for 2020-2021 in both the playing and written paper sections (including set works and history periods).
• a Repertoire & Skills strand for those who already hold ARCO or FRCO or who play to an equivalent standard.
• attendance as a resident or non-resident
• special timetables for those preparing for specific sections of CRCO, ARCO or FRCO rather than the whole examination.
We regret that we cannot accept bookings from those under the age of 18 at the start of the course.
Comments after the last Easter Course:
• Thank you for a wonderful course last week—the first RCO one I’ve ever been on and it didn’t disappoint!
• Thank you for the varied schedule, focussed teaching, access to a range of instruments, and the relaxed but professional atmosphere throughout.
• I thoroughly enjoyed meeting fellow candidates preparing for their diplomas and also the teachers who were so supportive. A very uplifting experience and a wonderful opportunity for networking.
• Once again, an informing and affirming course, which helped me to see the areas I need to work on, whilst encouraging me on my journey to be a better organist.
Click here to send an email to discuss your requirements or scroll to the bottom of the page to book online. We welcome applications for bursaries in support of the tuition fees, which should be received by 1 February (see below). Scroll to the bottom of the page to book online.
Location, accommodation and teaching venues
We are resident at Merton College, where we will have extensive use of the 2013 Dobson organ. In addition, tuition will take place on several other of Oxford's varied collection of fine organs.
Accommodation is in single ensuite rooms and, for those who require it, will be available from Monday 12 April, on the afternoon of which day we hope there will be access to some organs for private practice. Accommodation (without breakfast) is likely to be available for the night of Thursday 15 April at a cost of £80.00. Click here to send an email expressing interest in this option.
• Andrew Arthur, Fellow and Director of Music at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge
• Margaret Phillips, Professor of Organ at the Royal College of Music and co-founder of the English Organ School
• Martin Schmeding, Chair of Artistic Organ Playing at the University of Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy", Leipzig and visiting professor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
• David Maw (diploma written papers), Associate Professor of Music, University of Oxford
• Simon Williams, Director RCO East, South and South West region and Director of Music, St George's, Hanover Square, London. Simon is Course Director and will in particular teach the aural and keyboard skills components of the Diplomas.
Recitals during the course (Included in the course fee. Please note that venues, dates times are subject to confirmation, as is access to the general public. This information on the programmes will be up-dated in due course.)
Margaret Phillips plays music by English composers 1730–1830, with introductions by Andrew McCrea. Jesus College Chapel, Turl Street, Oxford OX1 3DW. Wednesday 15 April, 12:00–13:00. Click here for the programme.
Andrew Arthur plays music by Dietrich Buxtehude. New College Chapel, Holywell Street, Oxford OX1 3BN. Wednesday 15 April, 20:00–21:00. Click here for the programme.
Martin Schmeding plays music by German composers 1870–1940. Chapel of Merton College, Merton Street, Oxford OX11 4JD, 20:00–21:00. Click here for the programme.
What to prepare
CRCO, ARCO and FRCO strands: pieces from the lists in the examination regulations (work in progress is acceptable).
You will also find it useful to bring any examples of your work in preparation for the written paper(s) as appropriate.
Repertoire and Skills strand (ARCO is the minimum playing level though you do not need to hold a Diploma to register for this strand):
• At least one free work and one chorale prelude by Buxtehude to play to Andrew Arthur whose CD 'The Buxtehude Influence' has been highly acclaimed.
• Two or more contrasting pieces by English composers of the period c.1730–c.1830 to play to Margaret Phillips whose recordings of this music, often on historic English organs, provide reference points for the repertoire.
• German Organ Music c.1870–c.1940: at least one piece by Brahms (chorale preludes only), Karg-Elert, Liszt (later works only), Reger, or Rheinberger AND at least one piece by one of the German Organ Reform movement composers such as Distler and Pepping (early works) to play to Martin Schmeding, a renowned interpreter of this repertoire in concert and on CD.
Click here for a detailed repertoire list.
We welcome applications for bursaries from organists of all ages towards the cost of the course fees from students of all ages. These should be received by the College by 1 February 2020.
Click here to go the Awards & Bursaries page.
Click here to download the Bursary application form.
Fees (all prices include VAT and remain at the 2020 rates)
RCO Member (ensuite room) £745
RCO Member (non-resident, included lunch and dinner) £520
Non-member (ensuite room) £795
Non-member (non-resident, including lunch and dinner) £570
You can also book Bed & Breakfast for Monday 12 April 3 at a cost of £95.00 and bed (without breakfast) for the night of Thursday 15 April at a cost of £80.00.
If you booked for the Easter Course 2020, which was cancelled, but asked us to retain your fees and would now like these used for the 2021 course, when booking please add a note to that effect in the General Comments box and close your browser window when taken to the payment page. Click here to send an email to check whether we are holding 2020 course fees for you.