StopPress is the RCO blog for Organists and Choral Directors. It is written by RCO Teachers and members of the Management Team, and aims to inform, inspire and entertain – get in touch with us if you have any news of the choir and organ world that might be of interest: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR – Morwenna Brett
A good Yorkshire musical upbringing was followed by a science scholarship to St Catherine’s College Oxford – where I misspent my time acting and singing and not taking my science studies very seriously, to the despair of my tutors. Moving to London, I drifted away from music, only to be hauled back to it by the local Vicar, who was short of an organist for the Patronal Day, and wouldn’t take protestations that I was only a pianist, and a rusty one at that, for an answer.
And that was it – I was hooked on the instrument, its music, the sheer geekiness of the struggle to play it even halfway well. I’m now persevering through the RCO Diploma examinations; on the organist rota at churches around North London and Hertfordshire, and conduct a small but enthusiastic U3A choir.
My blog THE LADY ORGANIST began as personal commentary along the road to becoming a professional organist, but has become a magazine of global interest, and a means by which I am meeting some wonderful people.
We need better audiences for our splendid instrument and its music. We need to inspire the next generation of organists. I was delighted to be asked to be Editor of StopPress, and help make this happen. Your news and comments are most welcome – you can contact me direct via email@example.com
SIMON WILLIAMS was educated at Durham University (where he was organ scholar of St Chad’s College) and at the Royal College of Music. He was appointed assistant organist at St George’s, Hanover Square, London, in 1990, succeeding as Organist and Director of Music in January 2000. As an organist he has given recitals in cathedrals, churches, and concert halls in this country and in Europe, and has given several first performances of works by Bryan Kelly. As a choral director, he has conducted many of the major works of the repertoire and has commissioned and premiered several new works. Simon Williams combines his position at St George’s with those of Education Officer for the Royal College of Organists, tutor for St Giles International Organ School, and Music Director of Harrow Choral Society.
JAMES PARSONS As Organist, then Director of Music, at Oundle School, and for twenty-five years Director of Oundle for Organists, hosted by Oundle International Festival (which he founded in 1985), James has enjoyed the privilege of opening doors for thousands of young organists through Oundle’s residential summer schools and day courses. He is a visiting tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire, a teacher at RCO Academy Organ School with pupils in London, Cambridge and Newcastle, and a Vice-President of The Organ Club. He also maintains his profile as a concert organist.
At the RCO, James has served on the Trustee Council, is a member of the College’s Academic Board and Examiners’ Panel, and is part of the management team as Head of Student Development.
MARC SANDERSON Marc is responsible for the College’s communications, public relations and marketing. He is a Chartered Marketer and an experienced business communicator, having worked in sectors as diverse as education, digital technologies, professional services and charity / not-for-profit.