Membership of the Royal College of Organists is open to anyone who takes an interest in organ and choral music and the related arts, whether you play the organ, direct a choir, or just enjoy the music.
Our members work with us to raise public awareness of the arts of organ playing and choral direction; encourage engagement with the repertoire, traditions and latest developments; and promote the highest standards of musicianship.
By becoming a member of the Royal College of Organists, you are joining a charity and membership organisation which has supported and represented organists and choral directors for more than 150 years. In return for your support we offer a wide package of benefits (see below).
As well as become a member of the College, there are a number of other ways to support our work. These include the RCO Friends scheme, donations to the President’s Fund and leaving a gift in your Will. Click here to read more about supporting the work of the RCO.
Full members of the College are eligible for the full range of benefits and services described below. Certain professional services such as mentoring are not available to Student members. Affiliate members have access to a bespoke package of services agreed with the affiliated organisation.
Existing College members looking for more details about accessing these benefits should sign in and visit the Member Benefits page in the Members' Area of this website.
As a charity, we depend on our members and other benefactors to support our work of promoting and advancing the highest possible standards in organ-playing and choral direction. With your help, for example, we can provide awards and bursary funding to students, deliver and expand our education and outreach work, and further enhance the College's contributions to music scholarship. In return, you may be able to claim tax relief on this charitable donation (see Tax Relief, below).
Full and Student members receive concessionary rates of up to 25% off many of our courses, classes and other events. Please see individual events for details, here on our Events Listing page.
The College library is available exclusively to Full and Student members, free of charge by appointment and through postal borrowing. The College Library has facilities in London and Birmingham, and contains organ and choral music, books on music, music journals, recordings (CDs, tapes, LPs and 78s), archival material, and much more. Visit the College Library page for details.
Full, Student and Affiliate members enjoy 100% free access to all content in iRCO. This learning content hub contains a vast array of learning, professional, archival, scholarly and more general information for organists and choral directors. Alongside the growing body of resources it contains, iRCO also features a comprehensive events and recitals calendar and its own online magazine, StopPress. Click here to explore iRCO
The RCO provides comprehensive support, information and signposting for organists and choral directors throughout their professional lives. Services for Full members include:
All members of the College receive free copies (print or digital) of our regular publications:
The RCO accreditation programme is open to members of the College. Members preparing for RCO qualifications are also able to benefit from various training courses, the Library and the learning resources in iRCO. Click here for details.
The College offers a wide range of grants and bursary awards which have been instituted as a result of the generosity of private individuals. These awards, many of which are available only to members of the College, are available to support student in serious organ study, and in particular study devoted to the attainment of the College's diplomas. Click here for details.
Full and Student members of the College are eligible for a number of discounts and concessions, such as:
Discounts are also negotiated on behalf of members for a variety of organ and choral concerts and festivals. Members are notified of these via the regular email newsletter, RCO e-News.
Full and Student members can book practice time free of charge on the organs at Freemasons’ Hall, London WC2, courtesy of The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE).
The Royal College of Organists is approved by HMRC as a professional organisation and learned society (see full list here). As such you may be able to reclaim tax on your annual College membership if it is helpful for your work. See HRMC guidance here
Alternatively, as The Royal College or Organists is a registered charity (No. 312847) your subscription and / or donations to the College may qualify for tax relief as a charitable donation. See HMRC guidance here.
Members are also reminded that if you are a tax payer, downloading and returning a Gift Aid declaration form (see Downloads here) may mean that the College can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give, including your annual subscription. It won't cost you any extra and will represent a valuable additional contribution to the work the College is able to do.
By joining the Royal College of Organists, you become a member of an organisation which has supported and represented organists for more than 150 years. As a Full or Student member you have the right to vote at the Annual General Meeting, to nominate and vote for Trustees, and to submit nomination for the RCO Medal.