Welcome to the North-West Europe branch of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM).
The Royal School of Church Music is an ecumenical Christian charity, whose core purpose is education. It was started in 1927 and has members all over the world. Through its educational mission the RSCM aims to encourage and inspire:
- good use of music, above all in Christian worship;
- the highest standards appropriate to each individual church and community, taking into account resources and circumstances;
- a culture of learning through practice, experience and reflection, leading to the development of both skills and understanding;
- individuals to engage in education and training in order to serve their church or community, and to fulfill the RSCM’s mission at a local level.
In North West Europe we provide support to affiliated church choirs within the Archdeaconry of North West Europe, which means Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and a part of Germany. Our area committee meets twice a year, and there are regular meetings with the RSCM in the UK.
We organise an annual Choral Festival, held in a different country and area in turn. The 2016 Choral Festival of the Archdeaconry of North-West Europe was held in Ghent on Saturday 4 June. This tied in with the 200th Anniversary of the Anglican Church in Ghent. Music was from the 2015 RSCM festival book ‘Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done’. This year our choral festival will be in The Hague, The Netherlands, on 10th June.
There is an annual workshop with a trainer from the UK, which is usually held on a day in spring or autumn. More information on dates in 2017 later.
The European Cathedral Singers (ECS) is a choir formed from singers of RSCM NW Europe choirs of the area. The ECS sing services for a week in an English cathedral in the summer, and occasionally for other services in our area or further afield.
In 2016 we sang the services in Manchester Cathedral (1-3 April) and Wells Cathedral (8-14 August). So far in 2017 we have visited Florence and are planning our visit to York Minster in August.
Some of the churches within our group are following the Voice for Life scheme. For all levels we now (as of Easter 2014) follow a central syllabus. For the Bronze and Silver medals we have our own examiners (up to Silver medal standard), and for Gold awards exams are organised centrally. These are available to both junior and adult singers.