The Royal College of Organists (RCO), the UK’s leading membership, examining and training organisation, has announced the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook in the East of England as the first ‘RCO Accredited Institution’.
Through its new Institutional Accreditation scheme the RCO aims to recognise and support organ and choral tuition at schools, colleges and other institutions in order to promote and maintain the highest standards in teaching and learning.
Institutional Accreditation is an extension of the RCO’s wider accreditation programme, which already includes accreditation for individuals (through the RCO Certificate of Accredited Membership and the diploma examinations of Colleague, Associate, Fellow and Choral Directing) and of organ teaching (through the RCO Accredited Teacher scheme).
RCO Director of Studies Andrew McCrea said:
‘The College is delighted to announce that The Royal Hospital School, having been through each stage of the new accreditation process, will become the first establishment to acquire this new status.
‘In recent years organ education has become a serious focus in the school, and thanks to its excellent resources, Holbrook has already gained a reputation as a centre for the organ through its regular recitals, which attract first-rate players, its organ open days and workshops for local schoolchildren, and as the home for the East of England Organ Day.’
Welcoming their success in the accreditation process, Edward Allen, Head of Academic Music at the Royal Hospital School, said:
‘The school is delighted to receive this accreditation from the RCO as it acknowledges the first-rate provision of organ tuition that takes place here.
‘We are looking forward to collaborating with the RCO on workshops and masterclasses in the coming years and being able to offer our pupils – and the wider community – some truly unique opportunities.’
The RCO has also announced National Organ Day, which aims to increase awareness of the organ and its repertoire across the country.
RCO Chief Executive Sir Andrew Parmley said:
‘The organ is a wonderful musical instrument which is inspiring to hear and a thrill to play. We want people of all ages and backgrounds to look out for events in their local area and be inspired to have a go themselves as well as going along to listen.’
Header photo © Royal College of Organists