Summer School

An inspirational course for young organists during the Oundle International Festival

Based in the beautiful Northamptonshire market town, the Oundle for Organists Summer School, founded over 30 years ago, is the perfect week of intensive tuition and fun. Our renowned tutors will guide and inspire you; you’ll gain new insights into your playing every day. You’ll make friends and spend time with kindred spirits, and you’ll broaden your musical horizons by experiencing memorable performances in the Oundle International Festival. You’ll even participate in one of them! 

When? 8th – 14th July 2019

Where? Oundle and surrounding villages, with a visit to Cambridge

Who? Organists around the ages of 14 – 23, from roughly Grade 6* standard through diploma level. Students will be grouped according to their level of experience.

What happens?

  • Inspiring classes on organs in and around Oundle and a day of classes in Cambridge
  • The opportunity to hear performances in the Oundle International Festival, some of which will be by your tutors
  • Comfortable accommodation and great food at Oundle School
  • Plenty of fun with like-minded students –   you’ll make friendships that last a lifetime
  • An OfO Eucharist on Sunday 14 July, where students conduct, provide the organ music, hymns and accompaniments 
  • Participation in a student choir at a Festival concert, and at the Eucharist 
  • An informal student concert on Sunday 14 July at 2.30pm in the Oundle School Chapel 
  • Instruction on improvisation, transposition, sight-reading, score-reading, hymn-playing and other keyboard skills which you will need for organ scholarship trials or church music jobs. 

* Applicants who are not familiar with the ABRSM grades or who are perhaps more advanced than our POTS course are very welcome to get in touch with examples of their current repertoire, we can then advise you on your suitability.


  • £630 for applications received by 31 Jan 2019
  • £685 from 1 Feb 2019

The fee covers everything - tuition, accommodation, meals, and transport during the week. For bursary information, click here.

How do I apply?

The application deadline is Friday 7th June 2019, click here to apply.


‘My week at Oundle has been one of the most memorable of my life so far. Never before have I encountered so many young and like-minded people, and I have come away feeling that I have made some life-long friends.’ – 2018 Summer School Student


Festival Events

Students will have free admittance to many of the musical events of the Oundle International Festival.


Oundle courses are non-competitive. We aim to help you succeed by assessing your standard, progress, and potential. This helps us know how best to support you on the course and in the future.

Following the Summer School each student receives a comprehensive written report from the Director of OfO, incorporating feedback from the other tutors. In addition, all students are eligible to receive Mentoring and Recital Awards at Cathedrals and Colleges around the UK.

Mentoring Awards: our new programme offers course students the opportunity to be awarded educational experiences. Further information about this new initative can be found on this website.


Students will live in one of the Oundle School boarding houses during the course, all of which are comfortable and well-equipped. Full board is provided, and the Common Room will be the focus for social events including the popular quiz night.



Ann Elise Smoot 

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.

Martin Baker  

Martin Baker

Born in Manchester in 1967, Martin Baker studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, Chetham’s School of Music and Downing College, Cambridge, then held positions at London’s Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedrals before being appointed to Westminster Abbey at the age of 24. In 2000 he returned to Westminster Cathedral as Master of Music, where he is responsible for directing the world-renowned choir in its daily choral programme and busy schedule of concerts, tours and recordings. Martin Baker is also much sought after as an organist, playing frequent solo concerts in the UK and around the world.


Jeremy Filsell

Jeremy Filsell is one of only a few virtuoso performers as both pianist and organist. He has appeared as a solo pianist in Russia, Scandinavia, New Zealand and throughout the USA and UK. His concerto repertoire encompasses Bach, Mozart and Beethoven through to Shostakovich, John Ireland, and Rachmaninov. He has recorded the solo piano music of Herbert Howells, Bernard Stevens, Eugene Goossens and Johann Eschmann and recently released were discs of Rachmaninov’s First and Second Piano Concertos and two for NAXOS of French Mélodies accompanying Michael Bundy (baritone). He is on the international roster of Steinway Piano Artists and has recorded for BBC Radio 3, USA, and Scandinavian radio networks in solo and concerto roles. His discography comprises more than 35 solo recordings.

As a student of Nicolas Kynaston and Daniel Roth, Jeremy Filsell studied as an Organ Scholar at Keble College, Oxford before completing graduate studies in piano with David Parkhouse and Hilary McNamara at the Royal College of Music. He was awarded a PhD in Musicology at Birmingham Conservatoire/BCU and has held Academic and Performance lectureships at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and was a lay clerk at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. He currently combines an internatinoal recital and teaching career with being director of music at The Chirch of St. Alban's in Washington DC, artist-in-residence at Washington National Cathedral, and Professor of Organ at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. 



David Goode

David Goode is Organist at Eton College, combining this post with a flourishing performing career. He was sub-organist at Christ Church, Oxford from 1996-2001 and won major prizes at the 1997 St Alban's and 1998 Calgary Competitions. From 2003-5 he was Organist-in-Residence at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles.

He has been a regular presence at the BBC Proms since 1999 and made his RFH and Symphony Hall debuts in 2002. He has appeared with several of the UK’s top orchestras; he also has an established partnership with trumpeter Alison Balsom, including performing in the gala re-opening concert of the RFH organ in 2014. His recording of Bach's complete works for Signum Records is now being gradually released. He is also known for his Reher recordings (with 7 CDs now released). He was on the jurt for the 2017 St Alban's competition, and plays at the 2019 Caen Festival.


Ronny Krippner

Ronny Krippner is Organist and Director of Choral Music at Croydon Minster and Whitgift School, London (UK). Born in Bavaria with Bohemian family roots, Ronny is in the unique position of having been formed in both the German and British choral traditions. He studied organ playing and improvisation with Prof. Franz Josef Stoiber at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik in Regensburg while at the same time working as Assistant Choirmaster of the Regensburger Domspatzen (Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows), Regensburg Cathedral's famous boys' choir. After graduating, Ronny went to Exeter University to take his master's degree (M.A.) in ‘English Cathedral Music’ whilst singing in the Cathedral Choir as a Choral Scholar. After a period working at Bristol and Newport Cathedrals and Clifton College, Ronny moved to London where he was Organist and Teacher of Music at King's College School, Wimbledon. Furthermore, Ronny also held the post of Assistant Director of Music at the celebrated 'Handel church', St George's, Hanover Square (London), with its professional choir and annual Handel Festival.

Being fascinated from an early age by organ improvisation, Ronny has made this a specialism, for which he has won many accolades. He took part in several master classes on that subject, having studied with Olivier Latry, Naji Hakim, Anders Bondeman, Jos van der Kooy, Hans Haselböck, Loïc Mallié, David Briggs and Daniel Roth. Finalist in the prestigious Organ Improvisation Competition in St Albans in 2009, he won two Prizes in the International Organ Improvisation Competition in Biarritz in the same year. In 2010, Ronny was appointed Specialist Lecturer for Organ Improvisation at Birmingham Conservatoire and Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London. Ronny has recorded several CDs and DVDs with organ and choir music on German, British and Canadian record labels and has frequently been heard performing on television and radio, both in Germany, Hungary and the UK. He has given organ recitals in Australia, France, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom.


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.


Anne Page 

Anne Page  was born and educated in Perth, Australia and moved to Europe to continue advanced studies with Marie-Claire Alain, Peter Hurford and Jacques van Oortmerssen. She made her London debut playing 20th century repertoire at the Royal Festival Hall. Her career encompasses performances, recordings and broadcasts in Europe, the USA and Australia. In the pioneering spirit of her country of origin she likes to explore some of the less well trodden musical paths and has been at the forefront of the revival of the harmonium, establishing a course on the instrument at the Royal Academy of Music and performing the first all-harmonium recital in the Purcell Room in 2008.

Now based in Cambridge, during 2011-12 she performed the complete organ works of Bach in 23 recitals on 14 different organs. The series attracted capacity audiences and helped to support the educational work of the Cambridge Academy of Organ Studies of which Anne is a founder. In 2017 she returned to the Royal Festival Hall for a performance of Bach’s crowning masterpiece, the Art of Fugue.

RPSmaller photo: Andrew Wilkinson  

Richard Pinel

Richard Pinel is a Fellow and the Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge, a post which he combines with the directorship of the Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy and a successful freelance career as a virtuoso organist. Prior to this he was, for seven years, Assistant Director of Music at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, playing for the regular pattern of eight weekly services and other occasions of Royal and national significance. He has held similar posts at Magdalen College, Oxford and Perth Cathedral, Australia and the organ scholarships of St Albans Cathedral and Magdalen College, Oxford. 

In January 2017, Richard took up his present post at Jesus College, Cambridge. There he directs the mixed-voice College Choir alongside the boy Choristers, who are drawn from schools around the city of Cambridge. With the choirs Richard has directed Bach’s St John Passion to critical acclaim, toured Scotland, Malta and South Africa and enjoyed a residency at New Paths Music in Beverley. As a teacher, Richard has led masterclasses for the Royal College of Organists and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and tutored on courses for Oundle for Organists. Richard's first CD L'Orgue Symphonique is released on Resonus Classics and has been praised for its 'electrifying impact' and 'truly tremendous verve'. Recital engagements have taken him across the UK (St Johns, Smith Square and Kings College, Cambridge), to Europe and the United States of America and he has broadcast, on BBC Radio 3 and 4, Classic FM and Radio France Culture.

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We use a great collection of organs both in Oundle and in nearby villages. These include:

3-manual and pedal Frobenius
in Oundle School Chapel

2-manual and pedal Bower
in the Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

2-manual and pedal Woodstock
in Fotheringhay Church

2-manual and pedal Harrison & Harrison
in Woodnewton Church

2-manual and pedal Lewis
in Elton Church

3-manual Father Smith
in Finedon

2-manual Lewis
in Titchmarsh 

2-manual Grant, Degens and Bradbeer
in Warmington

Students will also play a variety of instruments in Cambridge Colleges.