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Thomas Fetherstonhaugh playing the Dobson organ in Merton College Chapel - photo: © John Cairns - www.johncairns.co.uk

Thomas Fetherstonhaugh wins two RCO prizes for exam performance

February 2018

Thomas Fetherstonhaugh, the Junior Organ Scholar at Merton, has won the Sawyer/Durrant Prize and the Doris Wookey Prize for the second highest marks in the Associate of the Royal College of Organists examination, repeating the success of Senior Organ Scholar Alexander Little.

Thomas commented:

"I'm delighted to have passed my ARCO diploma. The qualification is comprised of a variety of different exams, both practical and written, that demonstrate skill in many areas of playing the organ, from a recital to written theory papers. For my recital I played pieces by JS Bach, Brahms and Ligeti, and it was a pleasure to prepare for it on Merton Chapel's Dobson instrument."

Benjamin Nicholas, Reed Rubin Organist & Director of Music, said:

"We are very proud of Tom's success in the ARCO examination, particularly because he has won these prizes. Tom is an outstanding musician and our Chapel life is enhanced by the contribution of both Alex and Tom through the excellence of their organ-playing."

Thomas is responsible for much of the organ playing in chapel, accompanying the choir for services, broadcasts, recordings and tours. He has played organ recitals both in the UK and in Europe, and has recently been soloist in both the Oxford Chamber Music and Oxford Lieder Festivals. In April 2018 he played for the very first Anglican Evensong at St Peter's Basilica, Rome, at which Merton College Choir were singing. He was a chorister at Westminster Abbey where he sang for both daily and State services, including the Royal Wedding in 2011. He studied violin and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department and has formed the Fantasia Orchestra, a group he runs in London. He started learning the organ with Iestyn Evans at the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, and currently learns with Christian Wilson.

Photo: © John Cairns - www.johncairns.co.uk