RCO unveils 2012 autumn events season

RCO unveils 2012 autumn events season

The Royal College of Organists (RCO) has announced a UK-wide autumn events programme packed full of repertoire, technique and performance.

The season starts at St Giles Cripplegate, London on September 8th, with the first of nine classes in the popular RCO St Giles Organ School series – a detailed look at the joys, pitfalls and demands of one of the highlights of the organ repertoire, Vaughan Williams’ Rhosymedre.

Classes continues throughout September, October and November, covering everything from the music of Franck or Georgian England through to planning your own score, preparing for weddings, funerals and memorials, and even the essential performance art of concentration.

Visit www.rco.org.uk/organ_school.php for full details of the complete RCO St Giles Organ School schedule.

A real highlight of the season for many will be the College’s visit to Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire on Saturday 6th October, for Discover the World of Plainsong.

The ancient art of Plainsong lies at the centre of the music that forms the backbone to the daily cycle of prayer for both monks and students at the abbey, with Gregorian Chant being sung at Mass, Vespers and Compline each day.

The programme for this unique event will include sessions on the art of singing and accompanying plainsong, its traditions, its use in the liturgy, its use as the basis for improvisation and much more.

Participants will be able to hear the abbey organ (101-stop Walker) and the College’s three other organs. The trebles of Westminster Cathedral Choir directed by Martin Baker are also giving a concert at the Abbey on the preceding evening, Friday 5th October, to which RCO Members and others are welcome.

The 10th annual RCO London Organ Forum takes place on 3rd November with a very special programme of lectures, masterclass, discussion and concert examining the organ music of J S Bach, placed in the context of his wider musical life.

Artistic Directors Ann Elise Smoot and William Whitehead, will be joined by world-renowned Bach scholar and performer Professor John Butt (Glasgow University) and Robert Quinney (Sub-Organist, Westminster Abbey), whose first recording in his Bach series has met with much critical acclaim.

As ever, the wider RCO events programme retains its focus on education, professional development and supporting young musicians with events around the UK aimed at organists of all ages and levels of experience.

Our popular Raise Your Game! workshops arrive in Edinburgh on 29th September and London on 17th November. A new look for 2012 means that as well as featuring graded classes for young organists and pianists who would like to try the organ for the first time, we have added similar, but separate classes for adults.

Also in London are Set Your Sights! on November 17th, a one-day event for players who are thinking about applying for an organ scholarship at a university, cathedral or church; and Preparing for CertRCO, ARCO and FRCO on November 24th, a study day for those taking, or considering taking, the College’s examinations.

Bristol plays host to two short residential courses for young organists and pianists between 25th and 27th October. Find Your Feet!, our popular course for complete beginners and early-stage players of up to Grade 5 standard (typical age range 9-15 years) is joined by a new course, Build Your Skills!, for those of Grade 6-8 standard and aged up to 18 years.

Tutors Daniel Moult, Rosemary Field, William Saunders, Simon Williams and James Parsons will host students for classes at Bristol’s thrilling organ consoles, with instruments ranging from the sonorous Harrison at St Mary Redcliffe, to the tiny-keyed Snetzler chamber organ at John Wesley’s Chapel, via the sparkly neo-classical organ Rieger made for Clifton Cathedral.

For details of all RCO events and activities, visit www.rco.org.uk

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