RCO welcomes Government Covid-19 guidelines for organ practice

RCO welcomes Government Covid-19 guidelines for organ practice

The Royal College of Organist has welcomed the Government’s provision for organ practice within its new guidelines on the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic.

The new guidelines (click here to read in full) make specific provision for organ practice within the addition of individual prayer to the list of permitted purposes for which places of worship can open.

The guidelines, which take effect from Saturday 13th June (tomorrow), state:

“Activities such as singing and/or playing instruments should be avoided, with the exception of organists who are able to use buildings for practice with appropriate social distancing. The government is continuing to work on scientific and medical advice around how such activities can best be managed safely and further guidance will follow on this shortly.”

Commenting on the announcement, RCO Chief Executive Sir Andrew Parmley said: “We are delighted that the Government has heard and responded to the unique difficulties that organists have faced since the lockdown was first announced.

“As well as the loss of livelihood which has affected virtually all musicians, organists have been unable even to access their instruments for the practice and the maintenance of hard-won skills.

“In our representations we have stressed that the relaxation of rules to allow for private worship should be equally applicable to the sole organist entering a church to practise.

“We are delighted that these views have been heard, and we look forward to working further with the Government and churches of all denominations on the practical implementation of the new guidelines.

“We will also continue to work with our partners in the music sector and make continuing representations to Government about the need for solutions which address the devastating impact that the Covid-19 situation is having on church, choral and live music throughout the UK.”

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