Pulling Out The Stops (POTS)

OfO's beginner organ course

A friendly, fun, action-packed three days for organists in their early-stages and pianists who want to try the pipe organ. Our inspiring tutors will fire up your enthusiasm, and you’ll have great fun meeting other young musicians.

When? 11th - 13th April 2019

Where? Oundle, Northamptonshire, with a visit to Cambridge

Who? Typical age range is 10-15. Beginner organists (up to and including grade 5) and those who have never played the organ before, but have achieved at least about Grade 4 on the piano. Contact us if you’re not sure of your standard – we can help.

What happens?

  • Inspiring classes on organs in and around Oundle
  • A trip to Cambridge for an ‘organ crawl’ around the college chapels
  • A private recital at King’s College, Cambridge - parents and friends are welcome
  • Warm and comfortable accommodation and great food at Oundle School, with fantastic pastoral care
  • The opportunity to hear tutor recitals on Oundle School’s famous Frobenius organ
  • An informal student concert on Saturday 13 April at 2.30pm in Oundle School Chapel – all welcome!

‘I absolutely loved it and learnt lots’ – 2017 POTS student 

The fee of £290 covers everything – tuition, accommodation, meals, and transport during the course.* For bursary information, click here.

How do I apply?
Click here for the application form.

Application Deadline: Wednesday 20th March 2019.

Applications for POTS should be accompanied by a reference from the applicant’s regular keyboard tutor.

Please do not send any money with your application, we will inform you of the payment structure once accepted onto the course.

*Prices include accommodation, transport once in Oundle, and all tuition and meals. Students are expected to arrange their own transport to and from Oundle. Please do not book transport until you have been accepted on the course and advised of start and finish times.


Ann Elise Smoot

Ann Elise Smoot
 (Course Director) - is the Director of OfO. One of the most sought-after teachers in the UK, she is in frequent demand for master classes both there and in North America. She has performed throughout the United States, Great Britain and Europe, with a repertoire that ranges from the 14th century to the present day. Her recital career was launched by success in two major competitions (including first prize in the American Guild of Organists NYACOP in 1998) and she has received wide critical acclaim for her ability to move between musical eras, styles and genres with sympathy and flair. www.aesmoot.com

Ann Elise is joined by three other tutors, all operating at the forefront of the profession, and all renowned for the inspiring work they do with young musicians.


James McVinnie
- Organist James McVinnie has collaborated with some of the world’s leading composers, producers and performers from classical, contemporary, popular and experimental music. Recent highlights as a soloist have included a recital at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles and a subsequent concerto debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen in LA Philharmonic’s Reykjavík Festival. He led the first performance of ‘Music in 12 Parts’ by Philip Glass by anyone other than the composer’s own Ensemble at London’s Barbican Centre. He gave the first performances of ‘Register’ a concerto written for him by Nico Muhly with LA Philharmonic in February 2018. Future projects include first performances of Philip Glass’s Organ Symphony with LA Philharmonic under John Adams and solo recitals in Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Paris Philharmonie. James McVinnie held positions at Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, St Albans Cathedral, and Clare College, Cambridge where he was Organ Scholar. www.jmcvinnie.com

Daniel Moult -
Daniel Moult, “one of the finest organists of our time” (The Organ), is renowned in the UK and abroad for virtuosic, intelligent and engaging performances of repertoire from the 14th to the 21st centuries. His musicianship has been praised as “exhilarating” (Gramophone), “dazzling” (The Organ), and “formidable” (Organists’ Review). Based in London, Daniel is in demand as a soloist and accompanist, broadcasts frequently on BBC Television and Radio and has recorded for various record labels including Fugue State, Sony BMG and Radio Netherlands. He Associate Head of Organ at Birmingham Conservatoire, and is a trustee, examiner andteacher for the RCO Academy. www.danielmoult.com

Ghislaine Reece-Trapp - 
Ghislaine Reece-Trapp studied the organ with Matthew Owens at Wells Cathedral School where she was the DFES Specialist Organist, and the Cathedral’s Junior Organ Scholar during her sixth form years. She spent her gap year as Organ Scholar at Guildford Cathedral, where she won the South of England Organ Competition at the age of 19. Ghislaine was Organ Scholar and an Academic Scholar at Christ Church, Oxford, before being promoted to the position of Assistant Organist. She is currently setting up the organ department at Highgate School, where she teaches academic music and runs the Girls’ Chapel Choir. Ghislaine is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, winning the Limpus, Shinn and Durrant prizes, and the Coventry Cathedral Recital Award, for the years 2014-15. She is a member of the Royal College of Organists Academic Board and the Royal School of Church Music’s London Committee, and is a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Ghislaine has performed as an organist and conductor across the UK and abroad, including at Cadogan Hall, St. John’s, Smith Square, Coventry Cathedral (FRCO prize), St Alban’s Abbey (as part of the International Organ Festival), St Paul’s Cathedral, and the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing. She has performed live on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4, and on Chinese national television.

Application forms are available here.


·         Warm and comfortable accommodation, with great pastoral care

10am on the 11 April through to 4pm on the 13 April in Oundle, Northamptonshire, with a visit to Cambridge.