RCO to celebrate 150th anniversary in 2014

RCO to celebrate 150th anniversary in 2014


The Royal College of Organists has announced a programme of events to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2014.

The year-long programme of special events and activities includes an anniversary Choral Evensong at Southwark Cathedral on March 8th – virtually 150 years to the day after the College of Organists was founded.

Throughout the year the celebrations will revolve around the exciting 150 for 150 Recital Challenge, in which organists across the country (and internationally) are being invited to take part in a celebratory recital series of at least 150 concerts.

More than thirty recitals are already confirmed, beginning with a performance by Sarah Baldock at St David’s Hall, Cardiff on 21st January 2014 and closing with a special anniversary recital featuring the restored Harrison & Harrison organ at Royal Festival Hall on 10th December.

Drawing the year-long 150 for 150 Recital Challenge to a spectacular close, Martin Baker, Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, will play repertoire by composers connected to the College, as well as a new work by Simon Holt which is a co-commission by the RCO and Southbank Centre.

RCO President Catherine Ennis said: “The 150th anniversary is a wonderful milestone, and we are looking forward not just to reflecting on past achievements, but to celebrating the extraordinary achievements of the present era and to building through our anniversary appeal fund the strongest possible platform for the continuance of the charity’s work for many more years to come.

“Many of our regular events will have an anniversary theme in 2014, there are special events for people to look out for and, perhaps most excitingly of all, we hope that all organists will consider signing up to play a recital as part of our 150 for 150 Recital Challenge.

“To make the celebration as inclusive as possible we’d love the recital series to feature players aged from nine to 109 years, from those of international renown to those with a more local profile - or perhaps until now known only to themselves! The recital can be solo organ or organ plus other instruments or voices; it can be short or long; feature just you or be divided between different players, perhaps from your local Organists' Association.

“You might schedule something new, or sign-up with something you’ve already planned for 2014. Who knows, the College’s 150th anniversary might even be the opportunity for your first ever public concert!”

For more information about the Royal College of Organists’ 150th anniversary celebrations, including the timetable of events, the 150 for 150 Anniversary Challenge and the 150th Anniversary Appeal, please visit www.rco.org.uk/150for150.php

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