Pulling Out The Stops (POTS)



A friendly weekend for early-stages organists and pianists who want to try the pipe organ

31st March - 2rd April 2017

POTS is an introductory course for 10-15 year olds who are either in the early stages of organ study or are pianists at grade 4 or above who wish to have a go at playing the organ. With wonderful tutors and a stimulating environment, POTS is a great place to begin a lifelong love of the organ and its repertoire.

Venues: Oundle and surrounding villages; Cambridge University Colleges, Peterborough Cathedral

Cost: £285 and the first nine applicants will receive an Ancient & Modern Full Music Edition Hymnal (worth £20). The course fee includes accommodation, meals, transport upon arrival in Oundle, and all tuition.

Application Deadline: 28th February

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

Please do not send any money with your application.

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


Ann Elise SmootAnn 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.

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.

Richard BrasierRichard Brasier - Richard Brasier (b.1988) is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied with David Titterington and Nicolas Kynaston. Aided by the Nicholas Danby Scholarship, he continued his studies with Johannes Geffert at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, Köln.
He is in high demand at home and abroad as a soloist, chamber musician, accompanist and teacher. With a repertoire that spans the pre-Baroque to living composers, he has earned a reputation for producing "brilliant”, “inspiring" and "top notch" performances, and has established himself as "one of the most dynamic organists of his generation".

Steven GrahlSteven Grahl - Steven Grahl took up the position of Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral in September 2014. Prior to this, he spent seven years as Assistant Organist at New College, Oxford, a post which he held in conjunction with that of Organist & Director of Music at St Marylebone Parish Church, London from 2001-2014. Steven is a sought-after conductor and keyboard player, and is also active as a teacher. He holds a Junior Fellowship in Choral Direction at Birmingham Conservatoire, and was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2010. A prize-winning graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford, and the Royal Academy of Music, Steven gained the Limpus (highest mark) and Dixon (improvisation) prizes in the FRCO examination, and is also a holder of the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Silver Medallion. He was an interpretation finalist in the International Organ Competitions at St Albans (UK) in 2011, and in Dudelange (Luxembourg) in 2013. Steven will be President of the IAO from July 2017.

Cathy Lamb SmallerCathy Lamb - Cathy Lamb is joint Director of Music at Lichfield alongside her husband, Ben.  Her role includes directing the Lichfield Cathedral Girl Choristers and organizing the Cathedral’s exciting singing outreach project entitled ‘Music Share’, which has recently had a hugely appreciated injection of funding from the Stoke and Staffordshire Music Education Hub.  She is also founder/Director of the Lichfield Cathedral Young Voices, which has now expanded to include a Youth section and is particularly well-known for her work as a choral animateur.  Cathy has held Organ Scholarships at Salisbury Cathedral and Sidney Sussex College Cambridge and organists posts at Wells Cathedral and Christchurch Priory.  Cathy’s recital engagements have included many major venues across the country.  She has tutored on several courses for the RCO and the RSCM and is thrilled to be returning to tutor at Oundle.  Cathy is the main accompanist for Salisbury-based choir, Sarum Voices, and is featured on three of their CDs.  Cathy has one solo CD out, recorded on the organ by B.C. Shepherd & Sons at St. Alphage, Burnt Oak (London).

Application forms are available here.