RSCM Membership Conference 2022

2nd April 2022, 10:00 – 17:20
Rugby School
Lawrence Sheriff Street, Rugby CV22 5EH

The Membership Conference 2022 is for all our Members, whether you are a Personal Member, or you attend an Affiliate Member church. Whether you have many musicians, few, or even none, we would love to see you as we gather to encourage one another.

If you lead a choir or a music group, then this is an excellent way to invest in your team so why not come along as a group?

Whether you’re a chorister, organist, instrumentalist, worship leader, band member, or clergy member, or simply you have a heart for music in worship, we hope this will be a unique day of refreshment, inspiration and equipping to enable you and your church to flourish.

If you or your church are not yet a Members of the RSCM please email us at

Details of the Day

Main Speakers
Seminars and Tutorials
Seminar Descriptions

Main Speakers

  The Revd Canon Dr Vicky Johnson

The Revd Canon Dr Vicky Johnson is Precentor of York, and has a passion for the role and place of music in worship.

Vicky leads and oversee the cathedral’s liturgy and music team. Day to day she enables the planning and delivery of worship and music, supporting the work of the Director of Music and the 48 choristers (24 boys and 24 girls) and 12 adult singers of the world-renowned York Minster Choir. She also works with partners in the City of York to explore the development of music outreach in the years ahead.

  Adrian Lucas

Adrian Lucas has been associated with the RSCM for over 50 years, as a chorister, organist, area committee member and chairman, and more recently as Head of Choral Studies and Chief Examiner, the post which he still holds today. He is also a former member of the RSCM Southern Cathedral Singers in Martin How’s time, and a former organ scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge.

Adrian’s expertise covers an extremely wide gamut, including the encouragement and training of new and experienced choristers of all ages, developing skills relating to liturgical development, choir training, organ playing and accompanying, right through to the directorship of a major international music festival and conducting choirs and orchestras on a world stage. His friendly and supportive approach inspires personal development and achievement, whilst being mindful of the very different situations in which individuals work.

As Chief Examiner for the RSCM, Adrian has overseen the introduction and implementation of a brand new awards syllabus in 2021, as well as a raft of online support materials for both candidates and examiners. He also conducts the RSCM Millennium Youth Choir and has been responsible for its musical and spiritual development since 2015.

In addition to his work for the RSCM and freelance musical work, Adrian conducts the City of Birmingham Choir, examines diplomas, classical and jazz for ABRSM, and is the director of Acclaim Productions Ltd.

  Timo Scharnowski

Timo works for Engage Worship, a charity providing training and creative worship resources for churches in the UK and beyond. Before this, Timo worked as a Worship Leader at St Michael’s, Chester Square (together with organist Tom Bell and later Mark Underwood). Timo has a degree in Theology, Music and Worship from London School of Theology and is currently completing an MA in Christianity and the Arts at King’s College London. Together with his wife Gemma he lives near Guildford.

  The Revd Canon Sal McDougall

Sal is the RSCM’s Deputy Director for Education and Mission Delivery. In her role, she supports the work of the Director, and together form the Senior Management Team.

  Hugh Morris

Hugh Morris has been Director of the RSCM since August 2018. His role is to act as CEO of the charity, and as well having direct responsibilities for managerial and strategic leadership, also acts as a public figurehead for the RSCM.

Hugh is himself an accomplished professional musician, with significant experience as a church musician in a wide range of contexts from churches to cathedrals; and also has a background in education, having spent many years working as a qualified teacher.

  Dr Paul Hedley

A lifetime as an accomplished musician and conductor, combined with fifteen years in executive education working with leadership teams internationally prior to joining RSCM, Paul is in a unique position to enable access to this different learning space. Former cathedral Lay Clerk, and Chief Executive of Three Choirs Festival, Paul now combines his senior management role at RSCM with running an executive coaching and leadership development business, alongside musical roles at All Saints Church, Didcot, and Cherwell Choral Society.

  Jonathan Robinson

Jonathan is a former Resident Musician of Iona Abbey where most of the congregation are new each week. He enjoys the challenge of enfolding both regular and stranger into the same song. Before working for the RSCM he was Director of Music at a village megachurch in Sussex where a typical Sunday morning encompassed robed choir and worship band.

  Tim Ruffer

Tim Ruffer, as Head of Publishing, oversees the RSCM’s own published output, including RSCM Press and the magazines (under the Editorship of Stefan Putigny). Publishing also works to directly support the work of the Education and Voluntary Departments.

  Dr Tim Williams

Tim is the Director of Music at St Wulfram’s Church, Grantham and has worked hard to build up choral singing at St Wulfram’s which now has a thriving choir community based at the church. He is also a music educator, organ tutor, and academic.


9:15 – Doors open

10:00 – Conference starts
Welcome from the RSCM’s Director and an introductory message from The Most Revd and Rt Hon The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, President of the RSCM.

10:10 – Opening keynote speech

10:40Coffee break and transit

10:50 – Session One – see next tab for full details of seminars and tutorials

11:40Transit or break

11:50 – Session Two – seminars and tutorials

12:40 – Lunch – A light lunch will be provided and is included in the ticket price (You can let us know your dietary requirements through the booking form).

13:40 – Session Three – seminars and tutorials

14:30Transit or break

14:40 – Session Four – seminars and tutorials

15:30Coffee break

15:50 – The RSCM Director’s keynote speech

16:20 – Move into chapel

16:30 – Closing service

17:20 – Conference ends

Seminars and Tutorials

Filters (hover over)

Music Leaders/Directors/Teachers
Clergy/Worship Leaders
Singers/Choir Members

Morning Session

Session One 
Understanding Leadership Skills (Part 1)
Hymnpact! Unpacked
Rediscovering our Voice – Rehearsing with a Congregation
Session Two
Breaking Down the Borders – Diverse Styles, United Values
Understanding Leadership Skills (Part 2)
Hymnpact! Unpacked (repeated)
Introducing the New Awards Syllabus

The list of seminars is subject to change due to Covid or other unforeseen circumstances.

Filters (hover over)

Music Leaders/Directors/Teachers
Clergy/Worship Leaders
Singers/Choir Members

Afternoon Session

Session Three
Choir Recruitment and Retention
RSCM Publications – What’s in the Pipeline?
Music from the Iona Community
Session Four
Efficient Choir Rehearsals – Getting a Quart out of a Pint Pot
Technology and Streaming Post Covid – A Brave New World
Pipes & Frets – Can the Organ Coexist with the Band?
Making the Most of Sunday by Sunday

One-to-one and small group tutorials will run concurrently with the four seminar slots, covering subjects such as conducting, accompanying a choir, improvising from a chord sheet, exploring how a church PA system/mixing desk works. Details of these and how to reserve slots will be sent to delegates prior to the conference.

Seminar Descriptions

Performing Leadership (Parts 1 & 2)

Led by RSCM Assistant Director and Leadership expert Dr Paul Hedley, this session will invite participants to reflect on and experience what it means to lead in a church music environment.

  • •  What is my job as a leader?
  • •  What responsibilities do I have?
  • •  What do those around me want or need from my leadership, and how would I know?

Through discussion, exercises and real-world music making, delegates will have a rare opportunity to experientially explore these questions, both from a leadership and a followership perspective.  Part musical masterclass, part leadership development exercise, this session provides deep learning potential for all, whatever their current role.

Rediscovering our Voice – Rehearsing with a Congregation

Jonathan Robinson leads a session posing the question: how does the new become normal? Techniques and tips for encouraging your congregation’s participation in unfamiliar music, whether it be classic or contemporary.

Hymnpact!® Unpacked

Led by Canon Sal McDougall, RSCM Deputy Director, and Anthony Grey, Hymnpact! composer.

Hymnpact! is an exciting new resource from the RSCM which aims to provide new, high quality, flexible hymn resources to schools and churches in a fresh approach to Christian music. Hymnpact! offers a positive solution for bridging the gap between traditional church music and the styles of music most children encounter in school today.  The words and music are designed to be suitable and accessible by all ages to encourage the whole congregation to sing the story of their faith together.

Introducing the new Awards Syllabus

The RSCM’s Chief Examiner, Adrian Lucas, explains the structure and content of our recently re-launched Voice for Life Bronze, Silver and Gold singing awards, as well as sharing advice as to how to prepare candidates to succeed by meeting the criteria the examiners are using to assess performances.

Choir Recruitment and Retention

The pandemic has led to many choirs reducing in size – we know this from feedback. Using material from within our new Education Menu (part of our wider Education Plan), this session explores proven, practical advice for recruitment – whether of children as choristers, or adults. Led by Dr Tim Williams.

RSCM Publications – What’s in the Pipeline?

RSCM’s Head of Publishing, Tim Ruffer, introduces some recent publications and gives an exclusive look at new publications currently being prepared.

Music from the Iona Community

Going beyond ‘Will you come and follow me’? – The Iona Community is widely known for its distinctive worship style, especially through the words and music of Wild Goose Publications and John Bell. We’ll explore a few less well-known but very worthwhile areas of this large repertoire. Led by Jonathan Robinson.

Efficient Choir Rehearsals – Getting a Quart out of a Pint Pot

Adrian Lucas’s decades of experience of leading rehearsals, including for RSCM’s Millennium Youth Choir, have led him to develop techniques for making the very best of what rehearsal time you have available with your choir.

Making the Most of Sunday by Sunday

Sunday by Sunday is a vital resource for churches in their service planning. This session explores our plans for taking Sunday by Sunday into a new, enhanced digital world (but don’t worry, the paper one will still be there), together with a demonstration of a new application for organising your music and musicians. Led by Tim Ruffer.