TOSE, The Organ Student Experience, took place last week. Straight after Orchardleigh, we headed to Cambridge and on Monday morning I visited St John’s College and met Andrew Nethsingha, the Director or Music there. I spent a really useful hour with him finding out more about the college, organ scholarships and how to improve my playing and technique.
The following day, TOSE started. I’ve been quiet on blogs, (and my chief photographer, aka Mum wasn’t there to take pictures for me!) but have enjoyed a very intensive week of organ lessons from repertoire technique to harmonisation. In addition we had Choral conducting lessons, talks of various study routes for organ students, how to practice effectively and more. Despite the obscenely hot temperatures, where Cambridge broke records, the whole course was brilliant fun from start to finish.
There were 30 students on the course aged 14 to 20 and a healthy mix of male and female. We had lessons from Tom Bell, Andrew- John Smith, Sarah Baldock, Daniel Moult, Simon Williams, Nick Wearne and Tansy Castledine. In small groups, we visited a selection of colleges including Trinity (where we were based), Queens, St John’s, St Catharine’s, Downing, Pembroke, Christ, Trinity Hall, Jesus, and Gonville and Caius for our organ sessions. It was a huge privilege to play at so many colleges and I have a fair few to add to my organs played list!
The course was superbly run, whilst I am tired I had a brilliant time and have a great deal of inspiration to put into practice when I get home.