Fabulous Opportunities for Aspiring Organists!

Oundle for Organists (OfO) has been inspiring and encouraging young organists for more than 30 years and they have just announced more fabulous opportunities for 2020. So, if you’ve never played the organ before or are looking for more intensive training next summer, then here’s your chance!

Aimed at beginner organists, Pulling Out The Stops will run from 16-18 April at Oundle School in Northamptonshire. The age range is 10-15 and is designed for those with up to and including Grade 5 organ, as well as those who have never played this magnificent instrument before but have at least Grade 4 piano.

Students will have lessons on organs in and around Oundle as well as enjoying an ‘organ crawl’ around some of the Cambridge college organs. It promises to be an action-packed three days with all the fun of meeting other young musicians.

Summer School in July

The 2020 OfO Summer School is a week of intensive tuition, the job of making new friends and a chance to broaden musical horizons. There will be a chance to enjoy brilliant performances in the Oundle International Festival which runs alongside the course.

Having a go at conducting!

It runs from 13-19 July and is based at Oundle School. This one is for an older age-range (14-23) with at least Grade 6 organ. Students will be grouped according to their experience, receiving lots of inspiring classes with instruction in a host of areas including improvisation, sight-reading, conducting and other skills needed to take organ playing to another level!

As always, there are fantastic tutors signed up, led by the Director of Ann Elise Smoot , OfO’s Director. They include: Neil Cockburn, Katherine Dienes-Williams, Richard Hills, Anna Lapwood, Ian Quinn, Guy Whatley and William Whitehead.

How to apply

The application deadline for Pull Out the Stops in April is Wednesday 18 March 2020 and Friday 5 June for the Summer School. Visit http://www.oundlefororganists.org.uk/ for lots more information and to download the application form.  

How much will it cost?

The £290 fee for POTS covers everything – tuition, accommodation, meals, and transport during the course.  The Summer School week costs £630 for applications received by 31 January.  

The good news is that no student has ever been turned away for financial reasons.  Ann Elise Smoot explains: “We usually ask that parents fill in an uncomplicated financial disclosure form and/or we send them to one of our partner organisations, such as the Royal College of Organists, who have been generous in funding our students in the past.

Rest assured, we will find a way to help students who would not be able to attend. We take all factors into account, such as the number of siblings for example. We understand that everyone’s financial situation is different, and that income doesn’t always tell the whole story.”