RCO welcomes gift from The Patron's Fund

RCO welcomes gift from The Patron's Fund

The Royal College of Organists has been awarded a £2,500 gift by The Patron’s Fund.

The charitable fund was founded to acknowledge the work of the charitable organisations for which Her Majesty, The Queen acts as a Patron, on the occasion of her 90th birthday.

The Royal College of Organists (RCO) has supported and represented organists and choral directors for more than 150 years. With members in nearly 40 countries around the world, it works to promote the best in organ playing and choral directing, to encourage anyone who is interested to learn more about this fascinating and versatile musical instrument, and to explore its history and repertoire.

RCO Director Philip Meaden said: “The College is delighted to have The Queen as our Patron and to have been awarded this gift by The Patron’s Fund.

“This money will help us to provide in the region of 30 small bursaries for under 18s to attend educational classes and workshops in organ-playing during the next couple of years, concentrating on the fundamentals of organ-playing and be closely aligned to the recently-introduced Certificate of Accredited Membership.”

The RCO has recently moved to a regional structure to increase the level of its educational outreach across the UK. It is also working towards a national educational plan for organ-playing which it is hoped will help secure the discipline as a relevant and attractive branch of music-making for the under 18s.

The bursaries supported by The Patron Fund’s gift will be particularly relevant to keyboardists educated in the state sector, where in recent decades there has been less emphasis on the organ and its repertoire.

The Patron’s Fund has around £750,000 to distribute between nearly 300 charities and other organisations in the UK and the Commonwealth. The Fund received generous donations from a range of supporters including individual donors, businesses, schools, community groups and the proceeds from The Patron’s Lunch, the event on the Mall last June.

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chair of The Board of Trustees for The Patron’s Fund, said: “The Patron’s Fund is very pleased to be able to support the Royal College of Organists with its valuable work. The RCO is among hundreds of organisations for which The Queen acts as a Patron, which between them make a difference to causes and communities in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth."

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