The Trustees of Oundle Music Trust are pleased to welcome Ann Elise Smoot as Director of Oundle for Organists, and thank Robert Quinney for all his work as Director over the past 4 years.
I am sad to be leaving Oundle for Organists – over the past four years I’ve had a great time as Director, especially during the Summer School and other courses, which have always been hugely enjoyable and inspiring – but I am delighted that Ann Elise Smoot is taking over as Director. The organisation could not be in better hands, and I know that Ann Elise already has exciting plans for the future. I look forward to hearing news of developments under the new regime!
We're just a few days into 2014 as I write this, and I am eagerly anticipating what this new year holds! I am delighted to have been appointed the new Director of Oundle for Organists, and look forward to building on the fantastic work done by my predecessors, Robert Quinney and James Parsons.
Oundle holds a very special place in my heart, for many reasons. I taught the Oundle School organ pupils for a year when I first moved to the UK, and my journeys to Oundle were a welcome respite from London life. I loved coming to the school, and was thrilled to be asked to teach on the summer courses not long after. Since then, I've paid numerous visits to the summer courses and to POTS, and directed POTS back in 2011. I've had some of my most rewarding teaching experiences here in Oundle.
Education has always been a big focus for me, alongside my performing career. I love encouraging and helping other organists - young, old, and every age in between - and have been involved particularly with the training of teenaged organists throughout my career. I've also always been keen to get people listening to the organ in new ways and new contexts, and the prospect of being involved with the Festival's organ programming is an exciting one.
I am greatly looking forward to ensuring that Oundle for Organists continues to prepare the next generation of organists for bright futures, both through our excellent courses and also by introducing some new initiatives. Watch this space for further news!
Ann Elise Smoot