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Educate Magazine - 2021-05-01

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Centre stage for organ

Secondary news

The Blue Coat School Organ Scholarship has featured centre-stage in the Royal College of Organists’ prestigious week of online broadcasts on its international Organ Day in 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, invited key individuals associated with the scholarship to appear during its week-long online organ show, broadcast prior to inter National Organ Day, which was streamed worldwide. Each live daily program featured interviews with studio guests and explored 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, were 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. The schools newly appointed second two organ scholars, Year 9 student Alexandra Somova and Charles Fisher, from Year 8 were interviewed on how they feel as they embark on their fiveyear scholarship. Old Blue Daniel Greenway, from the Class of 2020, and former Blue Coat For All project ‘organ ambassador’, discussed 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 the Organ Scholar’s deputy tutor. Sir Andrew Parmley, who hosted 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.”

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