RCO announces St Giles summer course partnership

RCO announces St Giles summer course partnership

The Royal College of Organists has announced a new partnership with St Giles International Organ School to deliver and develop one of the best-established events in the annual organ calendar. Full information, including the booking form, is available at http://www.rco.org.uk/download.php, under Application Forms.

Both the College, and its long-term collaborator Oundle for Organists, have teamed up with the organ school to support the summer course which runs in the City of London every year in late July or early August.

The course, formerly supported by the Royal School of Church Music, will be known as the RCO St Giles Summer Course for Organists.

The week-long event, which in 2008 takes place from Monday 4th to Saturday 9th August, features a well-established mix of classes, concerts, workshops, visits, individual lessons, daily services and private practice sessions.

By providing at least five study levels, 14 pipe organs, and over 70 group events from which to choose, the event is suitable for a uniquely wide range of organists, whether amateur or professional; beginner or advanced; parish organist or recitalist..

Course Director Anne Marsden Thomas explained: “One of the principal attractions of the RCO St Giles Summer Course, and the reason why people have traditionally come back year after year, is that we are able to create a totally individual timetable and experience for everyone who attends.

“That is why we have always described it as a big event with a personal touch – it really does combine the social opportunities and fun atmosphere of a major group event with a high level of personal tuition, encouragement, care and one-to-one attention.

“St Giles International Organ School is delighted to have found in the RCO and Oundle for Organists two such prestigious partners to help us build further on what is already such a popular event in the annual calendar.”

Simon Williams, Head of Education and Outreach at the RCO, said the event represented a perfect fit with existing College activities.

He explained: “The Royal College of Organists is delighted to be able to announce the RCO St Giles Summer Course for 2008.

“Much of our work to promote and improve the standard of organ playing revolves around our comprehensive events programme, and the Summer Course adds an important new opportunity for adults of all levels to get involved.

“As well as offering the familiar range of general tuition and stimulation for organists of all standards, we are also pleased that an additional strand on the 2008 course will provide further training for anyone considering taking an RCO examination.”

James Parsons, Director of Oundle for Organists, also welcomed the inclusion of the Summer Course in his organisation’s events programme, adding: “Oundle for Organists prides itself on providing great events for young organists in an inspirational and non-competitive environment.

“The RCO St Giles Summer Course carries this positive ethos forward into a fantastic event for any adult involved in playing the organ – we are absolutely thrilled to be involved.”

A booking form and information sheets giving full details for the Summer Course are available in the Downloads section at, http://www.rco.org.uk/download.php, under Application Forms.

Alternatively email summercourse@rco.org.uk to receive the information by post.

Notes to editor

1. Oundle for Organists is the leading provider of educational opportunities for young organists in an inspirational non-competitive environment. Three weeks of summer schools every July are complemented by the Get Ahead! days and a residential weekend for beginners every spring. Visit
for more information, or telephone 01832 272026.

2. The Royal College of Organists is an educational charity whose first objective is to “promote and advance the arts and practice of organ playing and choral direction; to set and maintain proper standards and to educate and promote study and research in such arts.” As well as having some 2,700 members based in 40 countries, it is the only organisation in the United Kingdom with a Royal Charter to be dedicated to the promotion and advancement of a single instrument, the pipe organ. Described by Mozart himself as “the king of the instruments”, the organ holds a unique place in world music with a tradition stretching back nearly two thousand years. Visit
, for more information.

3. St Giles International Organ School is a co-operative of fourteen organ teaching practices, inspired and co-ordinated by its founder-director Anne Marsden Thomas The Organ School operates all year long, offering expert tuition in playing the organ to beginners, intermediate and advanced players in 17 centres across the UK. Currently over 280 students of all ages take lessons at the Organ School. There is also a busy programme of classes, concerts and other events, many of which are held at the Organ School’s headquarters, St. Giles Cripplegate Church in the City of London. St. Giles Junior Conservatoire additionally caters for promising young organists up to the age of 19. Visit
, for more information, or telephone 020 7638 8285.

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