Royal School of Church Music
|Predecessor||School of English Church Music|
|Founder||Sir Sydney Nicholson|
|Founded at||St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London, UK|
|Purpose||Music education; promotion of Anglican church music|
|Headquarters||Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK|
|Products||Sheet music; RSCM Press educational books|
|Services||Training programmes, music printing press|
|Hugh Morris (2018-)|
The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) is a Christian music education organisation dedicated to the promotion of music in Christian worship, in particular the repertoire and traditions of Anglican church music, largely through publications, training courses and an award scheme. The organisation was founded in England in 1927 by Sir Sydney Nicholson and today it operates internationally, with 8,500 members in over 40 countries worldwide, and is the largest church music organisation in Britain.
The RSCM was originally named the School of English Church Music and was only open to members of the Anglican Communion; today it is an interdenominational organisation, although it is still overseen by the Church of England.
The School of English Church Music (SECM) was founded in 1927 by Sir Sydney Nicholson, and opened at Buller’s Wood in Chislehurst in 1929. In 1945, it became the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), and moved to Canterbury Cathedral. In 1954, it moved to Addington Palace and then in 1996 to Cleveland Lodge, Dorking. Since 2006, it has been based at Sarum College in Salisbury. 
The RSCM seeks to engage and encourage church music through awards, exams, publishing, residential courses and professional advice.
Education programmes include the Voice for Life and Church Music Skills schemes, as well as the long-running residential courses.
The RSCM publishes church music and other materials for choirs and organists, and produces a magazine, Church Music Quarterly (CMQ) which alongside Sunday by Sunday provides useful information for church musicians.
The Millennium Youth Choir is the charity's national youth choir which has sung for BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong and the Proms. The RSCM Voices and RSCM Cathedral Singers are other choirs run by the RSCM.
- The Director is Hugh Morris (since 2018)
- President of the Royal School of Church Music in America is Joseph Causby
- President of RSCM Australia is Ross Cobb
- President of RSCM South Africa is Malcolm Chalmers
- President of RSCM New Zealand is Paul Ellis
- The patron is HM the Queen.
Directors of the RSCM
1998-2007 John Harper
Awards and medals
The RSCM provides a series of grades and awards to signify varying levels of musical achievement. There are four basic merit awards – the light blue ribbon, the dark blue ribbon, the red ribbon and the yellow ribbon. These awards share the same medal.
Beyond these are several medals awarded after successful coursework and examination:
- The Bronze award
- The Silver award
- The Gold award
The prerequisites of the Silver award are to hold either the Bronze award (or its predecessor, the Dean's/Provost's award), to have attended an RSCM event as a member of the choir and it is suggested that the candidate have a Grade 3 Theory (ABRSM) level of understanding.
The prerequisites of the Gold award are once again, to hold the level below, to have completed an RSCM course (preferably residential) and it is suggested that a Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM) level of understanding. The ABRSM Grade 8 Singing is of an approximate level but the Gold award has a larger syllabus and does not require the candidate to commit pieces to memory. Unlike the grade 8, a candidate must also create an order of service for any event he or she wishes, with an appropriate music list.
The new awards are now available to choristers of any age and have been brought in to standardise the awarding process. There are many area based rules for the old medals, which will all disappear as the old award candidates decide not to wear their medals due to age.
- in some areas a chorister may wear all medals at the same time while in others there is a limit of one.
- a red ribbon (St Cecilia/Nicolas) may only be worn by those over 18 years in some areas, while other areas the highest medal always has a red ribbon.
The former medals are as follows:
|For choristers up to the age of 16||For choristers up to the age of 21|
Head Chorister and Deputy Head Chorister medals are also used by some choirs.
Every year the RSCM Council confers Honorary Awards on those who have made outstanding contributions to church music. They are divided in:
- Fellow of the RSCM (FRSCM):
- Awarded for achievements in church music and/or liturgy of international significance, or for exceptional musical and/or liturgical work within the RSCM.
- Associate of the RSCM (ARSCM):
- Awarded for achievements in church music and/or liturgy of national significance, or for important musical and/or liturgical work within the RSCM.
- Honorary Member of the RSCM (HonRSCM):
- Awarded for exceptional or very significant work that has contributed to the cause of church music and/or liturgy at international or national levels, or within the RSCM, but which is not primarily musical or liturgical.
- Certificate of Special Service (CERTSS):
- Awarded for significant administrative work as a voluntary officer or member of staff within the RSCM; or an award for a significant contribution to church music and/or liturgy at a local level.
- Anglican church music
- Christian music
- List of Anglican church composers
- List of musicians at English cathedrals
- Millennium Youth Choir
- I will sing with the spirit, anthem composed by John Rutter for the RSCM setting the text of their motto
- Reid, Andrew. "The Spirit and the Mind" (PDF). RSCM. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
- "Press Pack" (PDF). The Royal School of Church Music. 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- "About RSCM". RSCM. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- "History of the RSCM". Royal School of Church Music.
- "Our Mission". RSCM. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- Dakers, Lionel (1987). "The RSCM: Past, Present... and Future". The Musical Times. 128 (1732): 349–353. doi:10.2307/1193762. ISSN 0027-4666.
- "RSCM Millennium Youth Choir at Lincoln Cathedral". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- "Prom 68". BBC Music Events. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- "[Choral Accompaniment] Psalm 20 (Chant by Gerald Knight)". Viscount Organs. 2018-08-01. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- Harper, John (2003-03-22). "Obituary: Lionel Dakers". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- "Harry BRAMMA The Church Music of Dr. Harry Bramma - PRIORY PRCD1060 [JQ]: Classical Music Reviews - August 2012 MusicWeb-International". www.musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- "John Harper | St. James Music Press". www.sjmp.com. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- "Lindsay Gray, Director of RSCM is moving on | Church News Ireland". Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- "Ex Queen's man wins top music post". Somerset County Gazette. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- "Andrew Reid – Harrison & Harrison Ltd". Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- "Interview: Andrew Reid, director of the RSCM". www.churchtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- "Hugh Morris, director, Royal School of Church Music". www.churchtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- RSCM Honorary Awards – 2019
- "Royal School of Church Music". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
- John Henderson and Trevor Jarvis, Sydney Nicholson and the College of St Nicolas: The Chislehurst Years, Salisbury: RSCM Press
- John Henderson and Trevor Jarvis, The Royal School of Church Music: The Addington Years - Hardback, Salisbury: RSCM Press
- John Henderson and Trevor Jarvis, Sydney Nicholson & his 'Musings of a Musician'
- RSCM Canada
- RSCM America
- RSCM Australia
- RSCM New Zealand
- RSCM South Africa
- RSCM King's College Training Course
- RSCM Oxford
- RSCM Ireland
- Henderson, John (2011). Sydney Nicholson and the College of St Nicolas : the Chislehurst years. J. Henderson Pub. ISBN 978-0-9528050-4-5. OCLC 780276055.
- Henderson, John (2015). The Royal School of Church Music : the Addington years. Trevor Jarvis. Salisbury. ISBN 978-0-85402-251-9. OCLC 965503968.
- Nicholson, Sydney H. (2013). Sydney Nicholson and his Musings of a musician. John Henderson, Trevor Jarvis. Salisbury, England: Royal School of Church Music. ISBN 978-0-85402-226-7. OCLC 882254525.