The Lady Organist

an online magazine for organists

Category RCO Summer Course 2014

Organ lessons over the internet – yes it works

Organ lessons can sometimes be like doctor’s appointments – you have your allotted time, and leave with half a dozen questions still hanging in your head.  When Neil Cockburn, Head of Organ Studies at Mount Royal University Conservatory in Calgary, Canada, offered an experiment with distance learning to students at the RCO Summer Course in August, I thought it was fun in principle, and wanted to try it.  What I

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Jingle Bells and an Oliphant

It’s been a long day at Summer School – and we went to hear the splendid Martin Schmeding play at St Paul’s Cathedral too this evening – so just a short post tonight, with some pictures of fun organ stops that I’ve encountered today.  The first is at St Mary-le-Bow (of course), and is actually a pretty little Zimbelstern: and this one below is at St John the Evangelist, Islington,

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RCO Summer Course – name that pipe

Yesterday I showed you this pipe at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was.   Eric Shepherd (who maintains the organ) has the answer: The Pedal pipe that you show is the Sub Bass 32.  It is called a polyphone pipe, and gives 8 notes of the bottom octave down to E, then the bottom 4 notes play the E.    There are wooden chambers, which open

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A Big Name at Bloomsbury Central

At first glance, the organ at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church looks rather ordinary, but many of the big names in organ music like to play here, and today we joined them on the RCO Summer Course, and found out why.   After Simon Williams had finished a masterclass, I had the organ all to myself for half an hour, so it was my turn to be a Big Name.   I can

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RCO Summer School 2014 – our feet go marching on

A slightly surreal sight on our first day – a forest of dummy pedalboards marching up the south aisle of St Giles Cripplegate, Course HQ.   For silent practice, they are intended remove the organist’s favourite winge/excuse – oh I can’t play this piece properly with a pedal board that is not like the one I’m used to…… We have even been encouraged to borrow the pedalboards and take them home

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RCO Academy Summer Course 2014

In the summer of 2014 I was blogging every day from the RCO Academy Summer Course.  It was a record-breaking event even by its own standards  – 34 organs available, and 80 students from grade 4 to diploma.   So if you want to get a flavour of what it’s like to be on this course, click on the links below. (And going back a year, click here to read about

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