RCO unveils 2009 autumn events season

RCO unveils 2009 autumn events season

The Royal College of Organists (RCO) has announced its autumn season of events, featuring explorations of the music of William Russell and Mendelssohn, a visit to the twin choral foundations of Winchester, and teaching events for everyone from the youngest beginners to adults seeking new skills and confidence.

The season starts on September 26th at St James, Bermondsey, with the music of William Russell and the early 19th century English organ.

A full day of talks, demonstrations and a masterclass will be led by Dr John Kitchen, whose acclaimed recording of the complete works of Russell was released in late 2008, and Dominic Gwynn, whose company Goetze and Gwynn restored the 1829 Bishop organ at St James Bermondsey.

On October 17th, the RCO will be holding its latest Discovery event, this time centred on the two musical centres in Winchester – the Cathedral and the College. The day will explore the buildings, music and musicians associated with each, and will include the opportunity to hear the College Quiristers under their director Dr Malcolm Archer in concert and the Cathedral’s choir at choral evensong, directed by Andrew Lumsden.

Then on 21st November at St Giles Cripplegate Church, London, the RCO London Organ Forum will look at the life and music of Mendelssohn, among the most hyper-active of all composers.

As a key figure in the revival of Bach's organ and choral music, and as a celebrated recitalist of his day, Mendelssohn made a particular impact on English organists and organ-builders. Katharine Pardee (Betts Scholar at the University of Oxford) will talk about Mendelssohn as a performer on the organ, as an editor, and about his following in England. William Whitehead (Trinity College of Music) will examine articulation and editorial issues - in particular whether Mendelssohn's original slurrings might carry important information about earlier articulation traditions, and Vanessa Latarche (Head of Keyboard at the Royal College of Music) will discuss Mendelssohn’s piano music and perform some of the opus 35 Preludes and Fugues.

The day will end with a discussion forum and a concert of organ and piano music.
Those seeking to boost their skills and confidence are also well catered for, starting with the adult organists’ weekend from 23rd to 25th October. Presented in partnership with Oundle for Organists and St Giles International Organ School, this short course is the perfect opportunity for anyone wanting to refresh their skills, consolidate learning or simply boost their performance confidence, all in the beautiful Northamptonshire country side, playing a wide range of instruments including Oundle School’s famous Frobenius.

Younger musicians are the focus of the Get Ahead! inspiration day, presented in association with Oundle for Organists in London on 14th November. Aimed at organists of all standards aged 9-19 year, tuition is given in small, graded groups by leading organists, and the day finishes with an informal concert given by the participants.

Choral directing is the focus of a workshop on 3rd October, led at St George’s Church, Hanover Square by Patrick Russill, RCO Chief Examiner and Head of Choral Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music. This event will be ideal preparation for candidates for the College’s DipCHD examination, but all choral directors, regardless of experience, will find much to apply to their own work.

Finally, a special study day for examination candidates and their teachers will be held at St Barnabas Church, Dulwich on 28th November. The day will offer a flexible pattern of tuition covering all aspects of the syllabuses for CertRCO, ARCO and FRCO, making it an essential day for those sitting exams in June 2010 and a valuable experience for those whose sights are set further ahead.

For details of all RCO events and activities, visit the RCO website at www.rco.org.uk/education_college_events.php

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