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LIVERPOOL CATHEDRAL: Two organ scholars achieve prestigious award during lockdown

LIVERPOOL CATHEDRAL: Two organ scholars achieve prestigious award during lockdown

Dan Greenway and Dylan McCraig - Liverpool Cathedral

Two of Liverpool Cathedral's Organ Scholars – Dan Greenway and Dylan McCaig - have achieved the coveted Associate of the Royal College of Organists diploma. They turned their time in lockdown into something practical and positive and their talent has been recognised.

They mastered the standards required at a relative young age with the 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 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 Liverpool Cathedral. As well as their ongoing learning and development the organ scholars also play a part in supporting the musical repertoire in worship and through concerts at the Cathedral.

The Royal College of Organists has been promoting the best in organ playing and choral direction over the last 150 years.

Dylan said: "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".

Dan commented: 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".

Lee Ward, Liverpool Cathedrals 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".

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