RCO and Covid-19

RCO and Covid-19

In view of the continuing uncertainty about the spread of Covid-19 and in the light of the government's most recent advice, the Royal College of Organists (RCO) has the following updates about RCO events, examinations, and National Organ Day.

RCO Courses, Classes & Events (single day / non-residential)

As of today (Tuesday 17th March) all single-day (i.e. non-residential) RCO courses and classes have been cancelled or postponed. Wherever possible we will look to reschedule these planned events to a later date. Anyone who has booked a place on one of these events will automatically be awarded a credit for a rescheduled or later event, or can apply for a full refund.

Credits will be automatically recorded and retained ready for the resumption and/or rescheduling of College events; those who have booked places need take no further action at this time. Those wishing to request a refund should email bookings@rco.org.uk in the first instance, including their full name and the event for which they booked.

RCO Courses (multi-day / residential)

The College has also taken the decision to cancel both the RCO Easter Course (from 15th April) and the Scandinavia Study Trip (from 17th May). Those who have booked places will automatically be awarded a credit for a rescheduled date, or can apply for a full refund.

A decision will be taken about The Organ Student Experience (from 4th August) and The RCO Summer Course (from 3rd August) in the coming weeks. In the event of a cancellation or postponement of these events, the College will apply these same principles regarding credits and/or full refunds.

RCO Examinations

A decision will also be taken in the coming weeks concerning the RCO summer examinations, which are currently scheduled for 1st July (Written Papers) and 13th to 30th July (Practicals).

In the event of rescheduled examinations, our priority will be to ensure that candidates are not disadvantaged in any way. For example, repertoire options and written paper topics would be rolled forward so that they remain valid for a longer period.

National Organ Day

National Organ Day events on April 18th are individually and locally organised, and the decision to proceed or otherwise is one that can only be made by those involved.

We strongly encourage all organisers to ensure that they are following the latest Government advice, and that they and their supporters are comfortable with their decision.

As of today, Tuesday 17th March, we note that many organists and venue organisers have already taken the decision to cancel. These include the WOOFYT demonstration and performance of Mr Majeika and the Magic Organ in Westminster, performances in Freemasons' Hall and other events across the UK.

Other events are currently scheduled to continue, either in their original or a revised form. While RCO Chief Executive Sir Andrew Parmley, for example, intends to continue with plans to play a 12-hour Organathon on National Organ Day, the decision whether to allow an audience to attend will be taken nearer the time

We recognise that many will be disappointed by this turn of events, but we encourage everyone who has made exciting National Organ Day plans to keep them ready to be reactivated for International Organ Day on 17th April 2021, when we plan to join up with organists across several continents.

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