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The heading of this thread is "RCO is it moving or not", but as usual people are going off at tangents in their submissions.

You may be interested to know that in my latest "Steam Railway" magazine it states " Birmingham's Curzon Street Station which is a Grade 1 building has been empty for four years, there was a saviour lined up for Curzon Street, the Royal College of Organists, which wanted to turn the building into its headquarters, but shelved its plans because of rising costs, leving the building with no future.

Colin Richell

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On a subject at least slightly related to the original thread:

 

Does anyone happen to know if the RCO are still collecting members' subscriptions? I do not recall being asked for this year's fee. Not that I am complaining, since I do not receive anything at all for my money. Apart from having to demonstrate my 'own' church instrument to a visiting group of RCO council and members a few years ago, I do not remember any other event which the RCO organised remotely near the area.

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On a subject at least slightly related to the original thread:

 

Does anyone happen to know if the RCO are still collecting members' subscriptions? I do not recall being asked for this year's fee. Not that I am complaining, since I do not receive anything at all for my money. Apart from having to demonstrate my 'own' church instrument to a visiting group of RCO council and members a few years ago, I do not remember any other event which the RCO organised remotely near the area.

The short answer is yes.

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Guest drd
======================

 

 

Rubbing away at a crystal-ball, and being acutely aware of massive changes in the fortunes of organists "on choir-screens and places where they tootle," the whole future of organ-playing is threatened by the relative paucity of career positions; not so much at the highest level, but in those churches which once had links with schools and had the choral-tradition which required an organist of professional ability.

 

I don't think I can put an accurate figure upon it, but I'd  guess that 75% of those linked apppointments have now disappeared.

 

MM

 

I absolutely agree. I once had the good fortune to hold a position where the then incumbent (of a parish church) wished to build up the musical life, both liturgical and non-liturgical.

 

To this end, the church, for some years, provided a house for the organist/DoM. This made it feasible for my wife and myself to move to that place, and for me to devote myself more or less full time to the work of building up that musical life. This was inevitably a slow process, and we were starting to make some progress when, suddenly, the encouraging incumbent left. The inevitable interregnum ensued where no progressive decisions could be made.

 

The new incumbent was not nearly so keen on the musical ambitions, and regarded the provision (from a local landowner, at a low rent) of the organist's house to be a benefit too far.

 

Ultimately, therefore, I left - and the tradition there of the provision of the organist's house was discontinued.

 

Another casualty in the loss of career-developing positions, or potential positions.

 

The wish of religious sects to rush headlong into the realm of the "anyone can have a go, all shall have prizes" mentality has brought religious music provision to its last legs.

 

Hopefully the RCO can go on to set appropriate standards for those who wish to measure their achievement against objective yardsticks, and to act as a flagship for excellence in performance. Militating against its continuation, though, and I for one would greatly regret its passing were it to come to that, is the extent to which the profession is dwindling.

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Hopefully the RCO can go on to set appropriate standards for those who wish to measure their achievement against objective yardsticks, and to act as a flagship for excellence in performance.

Yes, but as far as church music in general goes - and I agree with you entirely about its lamentable state - this is really the province of the RSCM rather than the RCO. But unfortunately the RSCM is a lost cause without clout, being wholly subservient to interests that are not at all concerned about music and receive no theological tuition in its place and merits.

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Hopefully the RCO can go on to set appropriate standards for those who wish to measure their achievement against objective yardsticks, and to act as a flagship for excellence in performance.    Militating against its continuation, though, and I for one would greatly regret its passing were it to come to that, is the extent to which the profession is dwindling.

 

 

===================

 

 

I msy confess, I really hadn't appreciated the importance of this.

 

There was a time when one could trot along to a church, use one's ears and say things like, "That was good!"

 

Maybe one could indulge in the blood-sport of, "Good Lord, that was awful, considering he is an FRCO."

 

In other words, there was a point of reference both aural and academic.

 

What we have left, is the single point of reference in many instances, but at the very least, we can at least say, "He's an FRCO, so I EXPECT he can play a bit."

 

What a sad state of affairs!

 

MM

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

Back to the Topic Heading, where is the Royal College of Organists? I take the following from their website.

 

PO Box 56357

London SE16 7XL

 

Opening Hours

 

The College is open Monday to Friday during term-time, and normal working hours are 10.00 to 17.00.

 

Do tell - how may one open a PO Box in London SE16 7XL and walk in during term-time? Not all organists have GPS.

I thought they had gone to Birmingham. Now back to London?

 

Best wishes

Nigel

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Back to the Topic Heading, where is the Royal College of Organists? I take the following from their website.

 

PO Box 56357

London SE16 7XL

 

Opening Hours

 

The College is open Monday to Friday during term-time, and normal working hours are 10.00 to 17.00.

 

I walked past the old premises in Kensington Gore today and it proudly states: The Royal College of Organists over the door. There's a fancy brass entryphone but nothing to say who lives there now. The buildings seem to be in a pretty good state of repair.

 

Michael

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Ha! That would be something if they went back there. In many ways it's a pity they ever left. I daresay their current vision has outgrown it, however.

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Guest Andrew Butler
Yes, but as far as church music in general goes - and I agree with you entirely about its lamentable state - this is really the province of the RSCM rather than the RCO. But unfortunately the RSCM is a lost cause without clout, being wholly subservient to interests that are not at all concerned about music and receive no theological tuition in its place and merits.

 

I have felt this for some time, and alluded (sp? my mind's gone blank) to it in a post in another topic some time ago, but you have the guts to say it as it is! I had only got as far as realizing the RSCM to be a lost cause - can yolu amplify your comment reagarding "interests that are not at all concerned about music.." (PM if not in public!) <_<

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Guest Andrew Butler

Thanks for some very interesting and perceptive PM's received, which I promise to keep to myself!

 

PS - anyone tell me what the "Fast Reply" button does? <_<

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Back to the Topic Heading, where is the Royal College of Organists? I take the following from their website.

 

PO Box 56357

London SE16 7XL

 

Opening Hours

 

The College is open Monday to Friday during term-time, and normal working hours are 10.00 to 17.00.

 

Do tell - how may one open a PO Box in London SE16 7XL and walk in during term-time? Not all organists have GPS.

I thought they had gone to Birmingham. Now back to London?

 

Best wishes

Nigel

 

So are we saying that the RCO is a lost cause?

 

Ach shame.... (as they say in SA) :(

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The latest issue of RCO News has a longish piece on the current situation. Essentially, it looks like the college has opted to do without premises for the forseeable future in favour of a "virtual office". With only four office staff (filling three full time equivalent jobs), who in any case are not permanently in residence, and very few visitors, premises were felt to be inessential. No doubt in an ideal world this wouldn't be an issue, but it needs to be seen in the context of the RCO having consistently made a loss for the last 20 years. In the circumstances this must be a sound decision and one that should not affect the delivery of its services much since, in contrast to the old days, they now prefer to organise their events away from home base. (I agree with pcnd though that there is precious little that goes on in our necks of the woods.)

 

The RCO library will now be housed at the University of Central England in Birmingham.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
The latest issue of RCO News has a longish piece on the current situation. Essentially, it looks like the college has opted to do without premises for the forseeable future in favour of a "virtual office". With only four office staff (filling three full time equivalent jobs), who in any case are not permanently in residence, and very few visitors, premises were felt to be inessential. No doubt in an ideal world this wouldn't be an issue, but it needs to be seen in the context of the RCO having consistently made a loss for the last 20 years. In the circumstances this must be a sound decision and one that should not affect the delivery of its services much since, in contrast to the old days, they now prefer to organise their events away from home base. (I agree with pcnd though that there is precious little that goes on in our necks of the woods.)

 

The RCO library will now be housed at the University of Central England in Birmingham.

 

I agree that the statement given by Kim Gilbert in the latest mailing from the RCO is fine and well-reasoned. It is a pity that we did not have this much information and explanation at an earlier stage, I for one would have been a great deal more sympathetic.

 

Any remaining criticisms ought to be aimed at a number of previous 'high-up's at the RCO who ran up the bills...and have now had the decency to sling their respective hooks. For instance, I still seethe at the thought of all the jollies/research 'on expenses' that went into deciding that the RCO must have a very costly new organ imported from Goll in Switzerland.

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