Organs, organ music and organists were celebrated around the world on International Organ Day on Saturday 23 April 2022.
Now in its third year, International Organ Day is promoted by The Royal College of Organists (RCO) to encourage people to explore and enjoy organ music, seek out performances, and support the development of new generations of musicians and enthusiasts.
To mark the occasion, the RCO premiered a brand-new edition of The Organ Show, the online magazine-style programme featuring a mix of interviews, chat, features and studio guests from around the world, first launched in 2021 in response to pandemic restrictions on physical events.
The Organ Show was broadcast live at www.youtube.com/RCOFilms on Saturday 23 April, 2022, and is still available to enjoy as catch-up viewing.
Andrew Parmley, Cheryl Enever, Anna Hallett and Carl Jackson presented a packed programme from St Paul’s Knightsbridge, London, including :
The College also encouraged organists around the world to organise local events – pandemic restrictions permitting – or take to social media or do whatever else they were able to celebrate our music, reach out to people, and help inspire a new generation to embrace the King of Instruments. Anyone organising events or activities for International Organ Day was encouraged to share details using the hashtag #internationalorganday.
A huge thank you to everyone who organised, took part in, or simply enjoyed, events and activities as a result. Judging by the sheer volume of social media posts, hundreds of organists around the world marked the occasion with recitals, come-and-play events, sponsored performances, and even a world record attempt! Many simply took the opportunity to share photographs, recordings, and ‘happy International Organ Day’ wishes online.
Of the hundreds of messages shared on the day, this one from @Troyvisitor on Twitter captures nicely the spirit of celebration sparked by this now-annual event:
My father was an organist so today is a good day on which to remember him, and to give thanks for all organists, organ builders and organ music, and the joy they’ve brought over the centuries. #internationalorganday
Plans are already underway for the next International Organ Day, which will take place on Saturday 22 April 2023. Details will be published here in the coming months.
In the meantime, don't forget that all episodes of The Organ Show 2021 as well as the 2022 programme are still available for catch up viewing on the RCO YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/RCOFilms
The Organ Show was first produced in 2021 inspire non-organists to engage with the organ, seek out organ music and events, to learn to play, and to support the work of the RCO in developing new generations of musicians and enthusiasts. The 2021 broacasts featured a mix of interviews, chat, features and studio guests, and explored different themes every evening.
In a message of support (below, right), HRH The Prince of Wales said: “As Patron of many church conservation charities, I have a great interest in this “Wondrous Machine”, as Henry Purcell described the organ so memorably in his “Hail! Bright Cecilia”. Its playing has been central to important national events for longer than any of us can remember. Therefore, I hope the forthcoming broadcasts will prove immensely enjoyable and that they may inspire some to consider taking lessons, as it is vital that we continue to produce the players who can ensure that the many splendid instruments with which this country is blessed can delight us in years to come."
For enquires and questions about International Organ Day, please contact internationalorganday.rco.org.uk