Art Night 2019 celebrates the organ in Walthamstow

May 31, 2019

Art Night is a free, contemporary art festival, taking place over one night, once a year, in a different area of London.  This year the festival is on the night of Saturday 22nd June, in Walthamstow and King's Cross in North London. Cory Archangel and Hampus Lindwall have been invited to create an event for the festival based around the organ at the church of St Mary, in Walthamstow.

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Success with RCO accreditation from the other side of the globe

May 30, 2019

The RCO's Certificate of Accredited Membership (CAM) scheme allows both fledging and long-standing organists to benchmark their skills, wherever in the world they live. Gillian Collins, living in Australia, recently gained accreditation at CAM Intermediate level. She explains what led her to try for the qualification.

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A career boost for Paul Greally – organist, composer, and inaugural Harry Gabb Scholar

May 21, 2019

Designed to boost top class young organists onto the career ladder, the Harry Gabb Scholarship was awarded for the first time to young organist and composer Paul Greally.  The scholarship gives financial support so that RCO qualifications can be completed as quickly as possible, and was set up in memory of William Harry Gabb, whose own career included the position of Sub Organist at St Paul’s Cathedral.  Paul describes how the scholarship has helped his studies, and his plans for the future.

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An all-women line-up for the John Hill Organ Series 2019

May 13, 2019

In a welcome re-balancing of the customary recital series, the line-up for the John Hill Organ Series at St Lawrence Jewry, London, which has just begun, is composed solely of female organists.  It coincides with the launch earlier this year of the Society of Women Organists in the UK, an organisation dedicated to promoting women in the organ world, and recruiting girls and women to study the organ.

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After the Notre Dame fire – saving France’s Cavaillé-Coll heritage

May 1, 2019

After the fire at Notre Dame, it was a relief to see images of Notre-Dame's Cavaillé-Coll organ seemingly intact, and millions of euros have been pledged already for restoration of the Cathedral, and presumably, the organ. There are other Cavaillé-Coll instruments in France deserving of restoration though, and film-maker Will Fraser has devised a way we can all help bring back to life a particularly good example of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll's artistry.

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Echoes of the Plantagenets – two medieval musical survivors

April 25, 2019

The RCO's Wingfield Organ is now in residence at St Mary's Church in Fotheringhay - all very appropriate, as both instrument and church are fascinating medieval survivors. Fotheringhay will be the setting for a special concert on Saturday 25 May exploring the vocal and organ music of late medieval England, with David Skinner and The Alamire Scholars, organist James Parsons, and historian Dr David Starkey providing the spoken narrative.

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Tournemire’s L’Orgue Mystique cycle at Westminster Cathedral

March 25, 2019

Charles Tournemire’s (1870–1939) L’Orgue Mystique is a cycle of solo organ pieces composed for use in the Roman Catholic liturgy. Tournemire wanted to do for the Roman Catholic Mass what Bach had done for the Lutheran Mass with his Orgelbüchlein. The completed work is subtitled '51 Offices of the liturgical year inspired by Gregorian chant and freely paraphrased', and Westminster Cathedral have begun a performance of the complete cycle (13 hours of music in its entirety) in a liturgical context: Martin Baker, Peter Stevens, Jonathan Allsopp and Adrian Gunning are among the organists taking part.

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Practise in Art Deco splendour, courtesy of the United Grand Lodge of England

February 27, 2019

Even in a big city like London, it can be difficult to find organ practice facilities. The United Grand Lodge of England have recently restored and enlarged the 1933 Henry Willis organ in the Grand Temple at Freemasons' Hall, and also installed a new three-manual and pedal Viscount Classic digital organ one of their meeting rooms there. They are generously offering practice time on these organs free of charge to RCO Members.

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Summer School 2019 – for all organists, at all levels

February 12, 2019

The RCO’s big Summer Course really does cater for all levels of playing – everyone gets an individual tailored timetable to suit their needs and abilities, and many people come back year after year as their playing progresses. Booking has opened for the 2019 Course. Read the experiences of three students in previous years, all at very different levels of ability.

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Children build an organ – the Orgelkids project

January 30, 2019

A project to engage young children with the pipe organ heritage of the Netherlands has created a global network of organisations allowing children to build and play a two-octave mechanical action organ. The original organ design by Wim Janssens is now being reproduced by professional organ builders in the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, Sweden, and now the UK, as part of the Orgelkids project world-wide.

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