The Royal College of Organists is a multi-faceted charity and membership organisation whose professional and educational work is aimed at all who have interests in the organ and choral music.
The College was established in 1864, the result of an idea by Richard Limpus, organist of St Michael's, Cornhill in the City of London. His idea to form a body for the purpose of 'elevating and advancing our professional status' was enthusiastically welcomed by his colleagues, who elected Limpus as their first Secretary.
It was always Limpus's intention to obtain a Royal Charter, an ambition achieved in 1893 by his successor, Edmund Turpin.
Over the following decades the College concentrated on the work of raising standards in the profession by developing and administering the College examinations, as well as steadily building the Library collection.
These activities were augmented in the 1980s with a new education and outreach strand, work which has since grown into what is known today as the RCO Academy programme. Together, RCO Academy, the College examinations, the library and our other activities help ensure that the College continues to maintain the mission established by the founders all those years ago.