New regional structure increases RCO’s local focus

New regional structure increases RCO’s local focus

The Royal College of Organists has announced a new regional structure designed to increase local activities and engagement across the United Kingdom.

The new structure will see a team of regional co-ordinators taking responsibility for arranging local activities and initiatives, supported by a team of regional directors.

RCO Chief Executive Philip Meaden said: “When we surveyed RCO members and other organists and choral directors to ask what they wanted from the College in the future, their priorities were clear: more local activity and opportunities, more online services, and greater access to the library.

“In the nine months since we received that feedback we have made great strides in our delivery of online services, most notably through the launch of our digital campus iRCO. We are also well advanced in plans for a new two-centre library which will significantly increase access and services.

“Now this new structure will help us address the important issues around localism.”

The new structure sees members of the College’s existing management team adopting regional director roles as follows: Scotland and N. Ireland (Andrew Macintosh); North England & North Wales (to be confirmed); Midlands, South & Mid Wales (Andrew McCrea); and South of England & East Anglia (Simon Williams).

They will be responsible for recruiting and supporting regional co-ordinators, volunteers who will be able to initiate and support a full range of activities in their local areas.

Philip explained: “This is definitely not a top-down centralised strategy – it is entirely locally driven.

“The range of activities that people asked for via our survey was broad, and it varied from place to place. Some wanted more local courses and classes, while others wanted local networking and membership groups.

“Our aim is to do as much as we are able right across the country to engage, encourage and support these varied ambitions, empowering organists, choral directors, churches, venues and anyone else who shares our goals to make a real difference to organ and choral music in their local communities.”

The new structure is in operation with immediate effect. Programmes such as examinations, scholarships and RCO Academy, as well as the College’s central support functions, will continue to be managed at a national level.

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