Monthly Archives: March 2014

Royal College of Organists conferment ceremony

Well, I made it… a whirlwind trip to England to receive my CertRCO at the RCO’s ceremony in Southwark cathedral on May 8. I was in England just four days! (Then I had to come back to my day job.)

Nigel in Southwark Cathedral

Nigel in Southwark Cathedral

I knew I would always regret having missed the experience if I hadn’t gone, and it lived up to all expectations. Southwark Cathedral is not the largest cathedral in Britain, but it is an impressive setting, rich in history, with origins dating back to the year 606.
Simon Preston and John Rutter

Simon Preston (L) and John Rutter (R) with RCO President Catherine Ennis

This year’s ceremony was particularly special, falling in the 150th anniversary year of the College.

Those of us receiving the College’s Diplomas and Certificates were in esteemed company: the College also awarded Medals in recognition of outstanding achievement in organ and choral music to organist-composers John Rutter and Simon Preston.


Diploma recipients posing for group photo

At the conclusion of the formal proceeding, we were treated to a recital by Daniel Hyde (FRCO) of Magdelen College, Oxford. Then following an afternoon tea break, we enjoyed a service of Choral Evensong sung by the Cathedral Choir under the direction of Peter Wright, during which the roof was duly raised with the anthem I Was Glad by Parry.

A very full and inspiring day!

So I’m not a total disaster as an organist after all…!

Recently learned that I passed my CertRCO (Certificate of the Royal College of Organists).
This is a level that was only introduced a few years ago.

While there are quite a few ARCOs and FRCOs (Associates and Fellows) in Australia, I, and one other in Queensland, have just become the very first holders of the CertRCO in Australia!
Conferment of diplomas is happening in Southwark Cathedral on March 8.

The Cert may be the RCO’s most junior diploma, but there’s no guarantee I’ll make it to ARCO, and this may be my only chance to experience being presented with a diploma from the Royal College of Organists in an English Cathedral… so a whirlwind visit (extended weekend!) back to UK is in order for next week!