January 2020 Review

I think the most exciting piece of news for January must be #WorldCupCathedralOrgans organised by Dan Soper. It has been great fun to watch with some nail biting conclusions at various stages. Of course, there is always disappointment to see wonderful instruments ‘knocked out’, but I have loved picking my favourite in each round and was delighted to see Rochester win. I am thrilled that Dan has agreed to write a piece in due course for The Organ Manual, so we’ll learn more about how the idea came about and whether he ever thought it would be as successful as it has been.

Many attended the Organ Day at Bloomsbury and would have enjoyed an informative day with recitals, demonstrations and a Masterclass taken by Dame Gillian Weir. I was pleased to have an advert in the brochure for the day and through the site Organists Online. I was delighted to see an article about The Organ Manual in CMQ last month and am grateful to NDOA (and in particular Richard) for their kind write up about the site in their most recent newsletter. The wording within their article gave me just what I needed for the promotional postcards I have recently ordered, with thanks to PDOA for funding the printing of these. I hope in due course they’ll be found in many venues which house an organ.

There have been RCO exams taking place this month. Results are due in February, good luck to all those who have entered this time. If you’re wondering what taking the ARCO is like, perhaps read Alistair Warwick’s blog on the subject. I am hoping to have similar posts written in due course for The Organ Manual. If you would like to write about your experience on any level of the RCO exam process do drop me a line.

There has been a flurry of activity with various organ scholarship vacancies advertised as well some more senior positions. Amongst others Wells, Peterborough, Truro, Bristol (with Clifton College) and the Isle of Man Cathedrals have been seeking organists to join their team.

January has also seen the Voicing of organs at Canterbury and Salisbury. I thoroughly enjoyed the talk at Salisbury Cathedral about the work and learned a great deal about an area of the organ I am not so familiar with. Work has finished at The Blue Coat School and a celebratory concert was held this month to mark the occasion.

Next month I will be taking part in a PipeUp! event at Wimborne Minster on 8 February. It has been organised to encourage those who play, but also those who might like to ‘give it a go’ the opportunity to find out more. If you’d like to find out more about the scheme, read the blog written by Richard Godfrey for The Organ Manual which was published earlier this month. Hopefully with the RCO National Organ Day on 18th April, there will be more events like this across the country. Are you planning something, if so please do share it with us all.

Best wishes



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