Rushmere musician awarded 'highly coveted' honour

Skyward CD recording, Airlie Scott & Simon Clark

Simon Clark, from Rushmere has received a prestigious qualification which is world renowned - Credit: © John-Paul Bland 2014

A church director of music has earned one of the most prestigious and highly coveted qualifications in the organ world.

Simon Clark, 47, from Rushmere has been awarded the Fellowship Diploma of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO), which is widely recognised as the most prestigious qualification you can get as an organist in the world.

Mr Clark, director of music and organist at St Thomas' Church in Ipswich, said: "It is a demanding qualification which requires a high level of skill, and masses of hard work."

As part of the test, organists are tested on their ability to sight-read, score-read, transpose and improvise, as well as sitting two, three-hour written papers about subjects such as the writing of the fugue and advanced harmony.

Simon Clark receiving his award from Lord Lisvane

Simon Clark received his award after years of hard work, from Lord Lisvane in London March 12. - Credit: Simon Clark

He added: "It is such a great honour to receive this particular award because it is so highly coveted by organists all around the world. It is the culmination of many, many years work."

Mr Clark received his diploma from Lord Lisvane, a member of the House of Lords, in London on March 12.