Congratulations to our Organ Scholars on their prestigious award from the Royal College of Organists
Two of Liverpool Cathedral Organ Scholars – Dan Greenway and Dylan McCaig - have made good use of the lockdowns over the last year as they have achieved the coveted Associate of the Royal College of Organists diploma.
Their achievement is made more impressive as they have mastered the standards required at a relative young age with examination being conducted, in part via the medium of a video recording.
Achieving the diploma requires attaining a high level of competence in organ playing. The examination is a gruelling test of repertoire, keyboard skills (improvisation, score-reading, transposition) and two three hour written exams around the history of organ music, musical analysis and composition that would make most older organists recoil in horror at the demands.
However this year having to achieve this has been a great magnificent feat of dedication. Both Dylan and Dan are Organ Scholars at our cathedral, a training role that enables them to develop their organ playing skills on our magnificent organ. They also benefit from the tutelage of our Organist Titulaire, Prof Ian Tracey and our Musical Director, Dr Lee Ward. As well as their ongoing learning and development our organ scholars play as full a part in supporting the musical repertoire of our cathedral at worship and through concerts. Although that has been interrupted over the past year both Dylan and Dan have distinguished themselves at the cathedral and through this award.
The Royal College of Organists has been promoting the best in organ playing and choral direction over the last 150 years. It has members across the world and is a centre of excellence for organ music. You can find out more at www.rco.org.uk
Lee Ward, our Director of Music said “this is a fantastic achievement and I am thrilled that Dan and Dylan have attained the recognition they deserve. At Liverpool Cathedral we aim for the highest possible standards in music and have been blessed with world renowned organists who have brought our magnificent instrument to life. I am delighted that Dylan and Dan have benefitted from being Organ Scholars here at the cathedral and their achievements have rightly been recognised.
I am absolutely thrilled to have achieved my ARCO in the Winter 2021 season! It made total sense for me to have something to work towards in the past three lockdowns, as well as filling the time I would have had spent on some of my cathedral duties. . I am delighted that both me and Dan have achieved this qualification at the same time ( and in one go!) and hope that we have represented the high standard of music making seen at Liverpool Cathedral in this result.
I am delighted, honoured and relieved to have passed my ARCO. It is a very difficult exam due to the sheer number of different components you need to have deep knowledge in - playing, harmony and in this case, 18th century English organ music (which is certainly not my area of expertise). However, my persistence was rewarded and I won the Doris Wookey prize for the highest mark in the written paper.