Trio of major city events at heart of RCO autumn programme

Trio of major city events at heart of RCO autumn programme

The Royal College of Organists (RCO) has announced its autumn programme of courses, classes and events, including three major city events.

OrganFest takes place 8-9 September in the 2017 UK City of Culture, Hull.

Organised jointly by the College, the British Institute of Organ Studies, the Incorporated Association of Organists and Hull & East Riding Organ Group, this fourth OrganFest will be based in Hull City Hall with its magnificent 4-manual Compton organ.

The event will feature: recitals by Kevin Bowyer and Colin Walsh; contributions from, among others, John Scott Whiteley (festival organiser), Darius Battiwalla, Simon Lindley, Gordon Stewart and Andrew McCrea; a celebration of Francis Jackson to mark his 100th birthday; events for young organists; and presentations from on the Orgelbüchlein Project and Hull organ-builders Forster & Andrews. There will also be a special ‘Desert Island Organ Discs’ featuring BBC presenter (and organist) Huw Edwards.

Guildhall Organ Festival then takes place 19-21 October in Derry-Londonderry.

This new event will showcase the hall’s recently restored Hill, Norman & Beard organ in a wide variety of events aimed at organists, the general public and, in particular, school children. Among the highlights for organists will be a masterclass from 10:00-14:00 on Saturday 21 October. Aimed at all organists, the College team will cover hymn playing, advice and technique, as well as sharing repertoire suggestions for Advent and Christmas.

The festival, featuring Artistic Director Catherine Ennis and guest soloist Daniel Moult, is being supported by the RCO in association with Derry City & Strabane District Council, The Honourable the Irish Society and Viscount Organs.

The RCO team then heads to the Royal Academy of Music, London for RCO Organ Forum 2017 - a celebration of Olivier Messiaen.

This exciting event on Saturday 28 October draws together a team of internationally-respected Messaien scholars and interpreters, along with with Messiaen's successor as organist titulaire at the church of La Trinité, Thomas Lacôte. Together they will commemorate and celebrate the twentieth century's greatest composer for the organ, with a day-long programme of sessions and performances.

Other events taking place around the UK as part of the College’s autumn programme include a series of classes and workshops:

Harmonic formulas in Bach chorales (23 September, London)
Supporting the Parish Organist (30 September, Totnes)
Develop your choral conducting skills (30 September, London)
Certificate of Accredited Membership performance class (7 October, Maidstone)
The G major, A minor and B minor Fugues of J S Bach (7 October, London)
François Couperin's Organ Masses (21 October, Oxford)
Improvise with confidence (28 October, Huddersfield)

Details and booking information for all RCO events can be found at

You can follow news & updates from RCO via our Twitter and Facebook accounts, or via an RSS feed.

Twitter @RCO_Updates Facebook page