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 25th November 2017 (14:30 – 17:30)

Equipping the organist

St Martin-in-the-Cornmarket, Corn Market, Worcester WR1 2DJ
Gerdi Troskie

This first of three classes for 2017–18 run in partnership with the Worcestershire Organists’ Association (scroll down for details of the other two classes). It will address the following topics :

• How to choose appropriate repertoire to suit your needs and technical abilities
• How to prepare a score and learn a piece
• How to structure your practice
• How to develop and improve technique through repertoire choices

Players of any standard will be welcome, and observer places will become available nearer the time.

What to prepare
Participants are each invited to bring along two pieces to play during the class. Ideally, these should represent contrasting musical styles. Students will be assisted with registration. In pursuit of the class aims (see above), advice will also be given on how to tackle new challenges, how to practise methodically, and how to prepare pieces for public performance.

The venue
In the heart of Worcester, close to Worcester Foregate Street and Worcester Shrub Hill stations, Old Saint Martin’s is a Georgian church built in the 1770s. Directions may be found here.
The organ was originally built by Nicholson (1841/1856); it was substantially rebuilt by Trevor Tipple in 1987.

The teacher
Based in Worcester, Gerdi Troskie is an accredited teacher of the Royal College of Organists and teaches piano and organ at The King’s School, Worcester. To read more about Gerdi, follow this link.  

The following classes will continue the work commenced in this class, and will also be bookable via the RCO site in due course: 

10 February 2018 (with Hilary Norris, at Ledbury Parish Church): An appropriate style – renaissance and baroque repertoire

19 April 2018 (with Christopher Allsop, at Worcester Cathedral; please note this class is on a Thursday evening): Practice to performance – romantic and modern repertoire

Fee: RCO or WOA Members £35; non-members £42 (places for observers will be made available in due course)

Book online

Saturday 2nd December 2017 (10:30 – 12:30)

Masterclass for all standards

Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 3AD
Darius Battiwalla

Leeds Town Hall runs one of the country’s most successful recital series, and its 3-manual organ is on a par with most large cathedral instruments (originally a 5-manual, and one of the largest in Europe, it was rebuilt in 1972 and reduced in scope).  The class offers the chance to play what is still a magnificent instrument, and to work on concert repertoire from the 19th century onwards with Darius Battiwalla, the new Leeds City Organist. 

Bring a piece of 19th-century repertoire. Players of any level of attainment are welcome as long as the piece they are playing is at an advanced stage of preparation; however, players who are able to make full use of this large instrument will derive the most benefit from the masterclass.

Fee: £45 (RCO Members); £51 (non-members). Observer places may be available: please check back at the beginning of November

Book online

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

Conquering performance anxiety

St Michael's Church, Chester Square, London, SW1W 9HH
Daniel Moult, Mark Brafield

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

Saturday 10th February 2018 (14:30 – 17:30)

An appropriate style: renaissance and baroque repertoire

St Michael & All Angels, Ledbury, HR8 1PL
Hilary Norris

The second of three classes for 2017–18 run in partnership with the Worcestershire Organists’ Association (scroll down for details of the other two classes). Hilary Norris will address the main principles of HIP as applied to renaissance and baroque repertoire, and help players to bring together these elements to perform pieces with an appropriate style. You can expect to learn more about:

> articulation
> phrasing
> registration
> ornamentation
> tempi
> context

This class is open to six participants of all playing standards, and places for observers will be available in a few weeks' time. Scroll to the bottom of the page to book online.

What to prepare
Examples of music from the British and European repertoire (1500–1750) should be chosen by participants and might include Toccatas, Ricercars, and Intonaziones by Italian and German composers (e.g., Rossi, Merulo, Frescobaldi, and Froberger), Preludes, Fugues, and Chorale Preludes by Buxtehude or Bach, mass movements by Couperin or Clérambault, or voluntaries by British composers (e.g. Locke, Purcell, Blow, and Stanley). Playing participants should choose a piece or pieces lasting a total of about 6–8 minutes, and should inform Andrew McCrea of their choice in advance of the class.

The venue
In the heart of Ledbury, close to the station, St Michael and All Angels is the Parish Church of Ledbury. More information and directions may be found here.

The organ
Originally built by Nicholson, it was rebuilt by Percy Daniel & Co. in 2000. The specification can be found in the National Pipe Organ Register (NPOR).  

The teacher
Based in Leominster, Hilary Norris is Director of Studies of the Diocese of Hereford Organists’ Training Scheme and an experienced harpsichordist, organist and choral conductor. You can read more about her here

RCO and Worcestershire Organists’ Association (WOA)
This is the second of three classes in 2017–2018 which the RCO and WOA are organising in partnership. For details of the first class on 25 November (choosing repertoire and effective learning techniques) click here. The third class, at Worcester Cathedral in April, continues the repertoire theme of the first two classes and focuses on French/English romantic and 20th-century repertoire: more details here.

Follow the link to learn more about the Worcestershire Organists' Association.

Fee: RCO or WOA Members £32; non-members £39 (places for observers, at £8/£12 will be made available in due course)

Book online

Thursday 19th April 2018 (18:30 – 21:30)

Practice to performance: romantic and modern repertoire

Worcester Cathedral, WR1 2LA
Christopher Allsop

The third of three repertoire-focused classes for 2017–18 run in partnership with the Worcestershire Organists’ Association (scroll down for details of the other two classes). Christopher Allsop will build on previous RCO/WOA classes, concentrating on romantic and 20th-century English and French repertoire (c.1850 to the present). He will also assist players to make appropriate choices of what to play and how to go about playing it. There will be a focus on techniques and styles relevant to the period.

This class is open to six participants of all playing standards. Places for observers will be available in February. Scroll to the bottom of the page to book online.

What to prepare
Playing participants should choose a piece or pieces from the period outlined above, lasting a total of about 6–8 minutes; please email details of your choice to Andrew McCrea in advance of the class.

The venue
In the heart of Worcester, close to Worcester Foregate Street and Worcester Shrub Hill stations, the Cathedral is renowned for its magnificent architecture and connections to musicians, not least Thomas Tomkins and Edward Elgar. For more information and directions, click here

The organ
A 4-manual Kenneth Tickell instrument installed in 2008. The full specification can be found in the National Pipe Organ Register (NPOR).

The teacher
An acclaimed recitalist and accompanist, Christopher Allsop is the Assistant Director of Music at Worcester Cathedral. Read more about him here

RCO and Worcestershire Organists’ Association (WOA)
This is the third of three classes in 2017–2018 which the RCO and WOA are organising in partnership. Follow the links below to find details/booking information for the first two classes:

Saturday 25 November 2017, 14.30–17.30: Equipping the organist (Gerdi Troskie, Worcester)

Saturday 10 February 2018, 14.30–17.30: An appropriate style: renaissance and baroque repertoire (Hilary Norris, Ledbury)

Follow this link to learn more about the Worcestershire Organists’ Association.

Fee: RCO or WOA Members £35; non-members £42 (places for observers, at £10/£15, will be bookable in February)

Book online

All prices quoted are inclusive of VAT @ 20%