RCO Classes

RCO Classes

Current RCO classes are listed below. All players are welcome, regardless of age or aspiration: you don’t have to be a member of the RCO, or be having lessons with an RCO accredited teacher, to attend one of these classes.

Most sessions are limited to 6 active participants to maximise hands-on tuition; when a class is full we may sometimes take observers, hold a waiting list or run a second event (either the same day or at a later date), depending on circumstances. Observers pay a greatly reduced fee: click on the Book Online button for the relevant class to see what this is.

Scheduled classes can be booked online by following the Book Online links beneath each event. Anyone not wanting to book online should telephone our Bookings Department on 05603 488231.

If you have a question about these classes, please e-mail the College at courses@rco.org.uk

Please note times (the 24-hour clock is used).

Saturday 23rd September 2017 (14:00 – 17:00)

Harmonic formulas in Bach chorales

St George's RC Cathedral, Southwark
Frederick Stocken

Frederick Stocken explains the most frequently recurring harmonic formulas in Bach chorales, and will help class-members gain confidence in using them when harmonising chorale melodies. This is a class that will be of particular interest to Colleague and Associateship candidates. Those participating should have a knowledge of music theory equivalent to at least ABRSM grade 5 level. 

The class takes place in the Choir Song Room of St George's RC Cathedral, Lambeth Road, London, SE1. Click here for directions.

There is nothing to prepare for this class. Participants are asked to bring manuscript paper, pencils and erasers and, if possible, a copy of Bach's Chorale Harmonisations (Breitkopf edition recommended though Riemenschneider also acceptable).

Fee: £65 (RCO Members); £71 (non-members)

Book online

Saturday 30th September 2017 (11:00 – 14:00)

Develop your choral conducting skills

St Giles Cripplegate Church, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DA
Roger Carter

Roger Carter leads a class for early-stage choral conductors which will provide ideal follow-up for those who attended his class in December 2016 as well as useful instruction for others. A small choir will be present to direct which will help participants to gain experience in skills such as clarity of gesture (to secure a tidy performance), indication of the dynamics required and other associated rehearsal techniques.

Please prepare one or more items from the list below to conduct. For ease of rehearsing we encourage you to work from the downloadable edition so that everybody uses the same version.

Elgar – Ave verum  Click to download
Mozart – Ave verum  Click to download
Bach – Jesu, joy of man’s desiring  Click to download (music starts on p. 2)
Tallis – If ye love me  Click to download
Tye – O come ye servants of the Lord  Click to download

For directions to the venue please click here.

Click here to email with any questions.

Fee: £65 (RCO Members); £71 (non-members)

Book online

Saturday 7th October 2017 (14:00 – 17:00)

Certificate of Accredited Membership performance class

All Saints, Maidstone
Gerard Brooks

Gerard Brooks leads a class designed to develop style, technique and confidence in performance for organists of Grade 2 to 6 standard. This class is ideal for, but not limited to, those who are preparing for, or considering, the RCO's new Certificate of Accredited Membership (CAM). Scroll to the bottom of the page to book online.

What to prepare
Bring one or two pieces (either performance-ready or work-in-progress) that are suitable for the CAM stage appropriate to you (click here for details of the three stages). Pieces can be chosen from the RCO's suggested repertoire list of you can select your own of comparable technical difficulty. Participation is limited to a maximum of six players who will each receive equal playing time. Once four playing places have been booked the class will also be opened to a maximum of four observers. 

The venue
All Saints is Kent's largest parish church. Click here for a map of its location and for travel details. It is home to a comprehensive, exciting and colourful three-manual organ. (Scroll to the bottom of the page for the current specification.)

Attendance fees
RCO Member (player) £45
Non-member (player) £51
RCO Member (observer) £16
Non-member (observer) £18 




Fee: £45 RCO Members; £51 non-members

Book online

Saturday 7th October 2017 (14:00 – 17:00)

The G major, A minor and B minor Fugues (J S Bach)

St Giles in the Fields Church, London WC2
Jonathan Bunney

Following his popular class last year on the preludes, Jonathan Bunney returns to coach students in three of Bach's greatest organ fugues: the G major BWV 541; the A minor BWV 543; and the B minor BWV 544. Scroll to the bottom of the page to book online.

What to prepare
Advanced and diploma level players are invited to choose any one of the three fugues to perform to Jonathan. The class is open to a maximum of six players who will each receive equal playing time. Once four of the playing places have been booked the class will be opened to a maximum of six observers.

The venue
The beautiful 18th-century church of St Giles in the Fields is a short walk from Tottenham Court Road underground station. It's mechanical action three-manual organ contains much pipework from the time of J S Bach and was
comprehensively restored by William Drake a the beginning of this century. It is one of London's finest!

Attendance fees
RCO Member (player) £65
Non-member (player) £71
RCO Member (observer) £23
Non-member (observer £25

Fee: £65 RCO Members; £71 non-members

Book online

Saturday 21st October 2017 (13:00 – 16:00)

François Couperin's Organ Masses

Jesus College Chapel, Turl Street, Oxford, OX1 3DW
Richard Brasier

Leading up to the 350th Anniversary of François Couperin’s birth in 2018, Richard Brasier offers an introduction to the ‘Messe pour les Paroisses’ and ‘Messe pour les Couvents’.

Students will have the opportunity to play up to two movements from either mass, and to perform parts of both masses in context with plainchant on the William Drake organ of Jesus College, Oxford. Topics of discussion will include performance practice, registration, and ornamentation.

The two Masses contain a wide variety of movements of varying length and level of technical and interpretational difficulty, hence this class is suitable for Intermediate level organists through to Diploma.

After booking your place please email Richard with details of your repertoire choices in advance of the class. Although there will only be time for you to play two movements in the class, please feel free to offer as many as you like so that Richard can draw up a programme of as many different movements as possible.


Fee: £55 (RCO Members); £61 (Non-members)

Book online

Saturday 28th October 2017 (13:00 – 16:00)

Improvise with confidence

St Patrick's RC Church, Huddersfield
Andrew Cantrill

Have you enjoyed the recent iRCO video 'Improvisation - you can do it!' or are you just looking for ways to refresh and develop your skills? The video's presenter, Andrew Cantrill, will cover the ideas demonstrated in the video, and provide individual tips to encourage confident improvisation. 

Venue: St Patrick's RC Church, 32 New North Road, Huddersfield HD1 5JY. Click here for the nearest car park; church is only a short distance from Huddersfield main-line station.

Teacher: Andrew Cantrill is a widely acclaimed performer and teacher, and an accredited member of the College's own teaching team. He has contributed many videos to the RCO's virtual campus iRCO

What to prepare: there is no set material to prepare, but you might find it helpful to watch in advance the iRCO video mentioned above. (RCO Members should sign in to iRCO with the email address they use for their RCO membership, plus their existing website password; non-members should register for a free guest account.)


Fee: £45 RCO Members; £51 non-members

Book online

Saturday 18th November 2017 (10:00 – 13:00)

Keyboard harmony from nought to ARCO

St Giles Cripplegate Church, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DA

This is a class for everybody who wants the ability to harmonise anything from the simplest song to an ARCO test. With exercises that suit every level of harmonising experience, including beginners, Anne Marsden Thomas guides you through the method illustrated in Graded Keyboard Musicianship, published OUP. 


There is nothing to prepare for this class but it would be helpful if you have your own copy of Graded Keyboard Musicianship Book 1 or Book 2 according to ability. Please email Anne for advice if you are not sure which volume to buy.  

Fee: £65 (RCO Members); £71 (Others)

Book online

Saturday 2nd December 2017 (13:00 – 16:00)

Conquering performance anxiety

St Michael's Church, Chester Square, London, SW1W 9HH

Daniel Moult and Mark Brafield (FRCO and a trainee hypnotherapist) will look at performance anxiety. Together, they will offer strategies for dealing with performance nerves, whilst Mark will explore how anxiety is created and its significance from a neuroscientific point of view. The emphasis will be very much on practical approaches, so participants are invited to bring along a prepared piece of music which they will be happy to perform to the other class members but which takes them just outside their comfort zone. The class will end with a 20-minute guided visualisation conducted by Mark. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes, and to bring a cushion and a blanket for this
final session.

Fee: £65 (RCO Members); £71 (Others)

Book online

All prices quoted are inclusive of VAT @ 20%