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The Blue Coat School Organ Scholarship will be featured centre-stage in the Royal College of Organists’ prestigious week of online broadcasts leading up to its interNational Organ Day on Saturday 24 April.

The growing national profile and success of the School’s organ scholarship was confirmed when it was awarded the Royal College of Organists’ Accreditation, the equivalent of an organ-world Oscar.

Sir Andrew Parmley RCO Chief Executive, has invited key individuals associated with the scholarship to appear during its week-long online Organ Show, broadcast prior to interNational Organ Day, to be streamed worldwide, from Sunday 18 to Saturday 24 April.

Each live daily program will feature interviews with studio guests and will explore different themes with the aim of inspiring new generations of musicians and enthusiasts.

The first two Blue Coat Organ Scholars George Ke and Olivia Stone, from Year 10, will be interviewed on their experiences of the first 18 months of their courses, including playing Liverpool Anglican Cathedral’s Grand organ, the UK’s largest, tutored by  Lee Ward, Cathedral Director of Music and Old Blue from the Class of 1983.

Our newly appointed second two Organ Scholars, Year 9 student Alexandra Somova and Charles Fisher, from Year 8 will be interviewed on how they feel as they embark on their five-year scholarship. 

Old Blue Daniel Greenway, from the Class of 2020, and former Blue Coat For All project ‘organ ambassador’, will discuss his ‘organ journey’. Having started playing the organ aged 12 years, Daniel has just achieved his ARCO (Associate of the Royal College of Organists) and is our Organ Scholar’s Deputy Tutor.

Peter Elson, Blue Coat For All project manager, who runs the School Organ Scholarship, will take part in a panel discussion about attracting young people to learn to play the organ.

Sir Andrew Parmley, who will host the series, said: “We are very impressed Blue Coat School has launched its Organ Scholarship. It’s an amazing innovation and there’s nothing like it, giving scholars the opportunity to learn on two school organs and two cathedral organs!

“Sadly, few people get the chance to learn to play on these thrilling and unique instruments. Long-term trends such as the decline of school music education are compounded dramatically by the pandemic restrictions silencing so many instruments. Blue Coat School’s fine example will help to put this right.

“We hope that by taking interNational Organ Day online, reaching people right around the world and inspiring a whole new generation to embrace the King of Instruments.”

The week begins on UNESCO World Heritage Day, Sunday 18 April, emphasising the immense historic inheritance of many organs, with visits to instruments in World Heritage Sites, including Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

(Photo Credit: Charlotte Graham)

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