Organ scholar

An organ scholar is a young musician employed as a part-time assistant organist at a cathedral, church or institution where regular choral services are held. The idea of an organ scholarship is to provide the holder with playing, directing and administrative experience. It is an important part of music-making in Christian worship and is strongly associated with, but is not limited to, Anglican church music in the United Kingdom, Australia and the USA.

Organ scholars often gain experience on a cathedral or collegiate chapel organ, such as this one at King's College Chapel, Cambridge

Organ scholars may sometimes be found at a cathedral or a collegiate church. Many colleges at Oxford, Cambridge and Dublin universities, as well as other universities, offer organ scholarships to undergraduates. At some institutions (for example, Christ Church, Oxford, New College, Oxford, Trinity College, Dublin or King's College, Cambridge), the organ scholar(s) work under the direction of a full-time professional Director of Music. At other institutions, the organ scholar is in charge of running the choir.[1]

One of the first organ scholarships in the University of Cambridge was set up by Queens' College, Cambridge. An early scholar there was the composer Charles Villiers Stanford, who took up his position there in 1870.[2]

Many organ scholars have gone on to notable careers in music and in other fields. Two notable ex-organ scholars who went on to achieve fame in other fields are Edward Heath, who read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford and later served as British Prime Minister 1970–1974; and Dudley Moore, who read music at Magdalen College, Oxford and went on to a career in acting.

Notable organ scholars at universities and collegesEdit

Name Institution Dates Later appointments Ref
Hugh Percy Allen Christ's College, Cambridge 1892–1895 Organist of St Asaph Cathedral, Ely Cathedral and New College, Oxford; Professor of Music at the University of Oxford and Director of the Royal College of Music [3]
Malcolm Archer Jesus College, Cambridge 1972–1975 Organist of Bristol Cathedral, Wells Cathedral and St Paul's Cathedral; Director of Chapel Music and Organist of Winchester College
Richard Armstrong Corpus Christi College, Cambridge 1961 Music Director of Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera
Thomas Armstrong Keble College, Oxford 1919-1921 Organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Martin Baker Downing College, Cambridge 1985–1988 Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral
Sarah Baldock Pembroke College, Cambridge 1993-1996 Assistant Director of Music Winchester Cathedral, Organist of Chichester Cathedral
Ayo Bankole Clare College, Cambridge 1961–1964 Organist of Lagos Cathedral
Stephen Barlow Trinity College, Cambridge 1972–1975
Benjamin Bayl King's College, Cambridge 1997–2000
Kenneth Beard Emmanuel College, Cambridge 1949–1952 Organist of Southwell Minster
John Bertalot Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and Lincoln College, Oxford 1955–1958 (Corpus Christi)
 ? (Lincoln)
Organist of Blackburn Cathedral
Harry Bicket Christ Church, Oxford 1980–1983 Director of The English Concert
Jonathan Bielby St John's College, Cambridge 1963–1967 Organist of Wakefield Cathedral
Hugh Blair Christ's College, Cambridge 1883-1886 Organist of Worcester Cathedral
Mark Blatchly Christ Church, Oxford 1978–1981 Organist of St Edmundsbury Cathedral
Geraint Bowen Jesus College, Cambridge 1982–1985 Organist of St Davids Cathedral and Hereford Cathedral
John Dykes Bower Corpus Christi College, Cambridge 1922 Organist of Truro Cathedral and St Paul's Cathedral [4]
Harry Bramma Pembroke College, Oxford 1955–1960 Organist of Southwark Cathedral and Director of the Royal School of Church Music
Herbert Brewer Exeter College, Oxford 1883–1885 Composer, organist of Bristol Cathedral and Gloucester Cathedral [5]
David Briggs King's College, Cambridge 1981–1984 Organist of Truro Cathedral and Gloucester Cathedral
Paul Brough Magdalen College, Oxford 1983–1986 Organist of Sheffield Cathedral, Director of Music at All Saints, Margaret Street.
William Denis Browne Clare College, Cambridge 1910–1912 Composer and music critic [6]
John Butt King's College, Cambridge 1979–1982 Gardiner Professor of Music, Glasgow University
Timothy Byram-Wigfield Christ Church, Oxford 1982–1985 Sub-organist of Winchester Cathedral, Organist of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, St George's Chapel, Windsor. Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge, and now at All Saints, Margaret Street
Andrew Cantrill College of St. Hild and St. Bede, Durham 1987–1991 Director of Music at Saint Paul's Cathedral, Wellington and Organist and Master of Choristers at Croydon Minster
Nicholas Cleobury Worcester College, Oxford 1968–1971 Assistant Organist of Chichester Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Stephen Cleobury St John's College, Cambridge 1967–1971 Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, Director of Music at King's College, Cambridge
Norman Cocker Merton College, Oxford 1907–1909 Organist of Manchester Cathedral
E. T. Cook The Queen's College, Oxford Organist of Southwark Cathedral
John Cook Christ's College, Cambridge Organist of St. Paul's Cathedral (London, Ontario)
Deryck Cooke Selwyn College, Cambridge 1938-40, 1946-7 Broadcaster and musicologist
David Cooper Lincoln College, Oxford 1967–1970 Organist of Norwich Cathedral
Joseph Cooper Keble College, Oxford 1931–1934 [7]
Robert Costin Pembroke College, Cambridge 1990–1993 Assistant Director of Music at Blackburn Cathedral, Director of Music at Rugby School Thailand
Stephen Darlington Christ Church, Oxford 1971–1974 Organist of St Albans Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Andrew Davis King's College, Cambridge 1963–1966 Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Dearnley Worcester College, Oxford 1948–1952 Organist of Salisbury Cathedral and St Paul's Cathedral
Ralph Downes Keble College, Oxford 1925–1928 Professor of Organ at the Royal College of Music, Organist of the London Oratory and designer and Curator of the organ of the Royal Festival Hall [8]
Clive Driskill-Smith Christ Church, Oxford 1996–1999 Sub-Organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Kingsley Charles Dunham Hatfield College, Durham
Richard Egarr Clare College, Cambridge 1982–1985 Music Director of Academy of Ancient Music
Richard Farnes King's College, Cambridge 1983–1986 Music Director of Opera North
Stephen Farr Clare College, Cambridge 1984 Sub-organist Christ Church, Oxford, Sub-organist Winchester Cathedral, Organist of Guildford Cathedral
Iain Farrington St John's College, Cambridge 1996–1999
Thomas Fielden Jesus College, Oxford 1905
Jeremy Filsell Keble College, Oxford and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 1982–1985 Organist of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Artist-in-Residence at Washington National Cathedral
Roger Fisher Christ Church, Oxford 1959–1962 Organist of Chester Cathedral
William Glock Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 1926 BBC Controller of Music
David Goode King's College, Cambridge 1991–1994 Organist of Eton College
Steven Grahl Magdalen College, Oxford 1998-2001 Organist & Director of Music at St Marylebone Parish Church, Assistant Organist of New College, Oxford
Francis Grier King's College, Cambridge 1973–1976 Organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Douglas Guest King's College, Cambridge 1935–1939 Organist of Westminster Abbey
George Guest St John's College, Cambridge 1947–1951 Director of Music of St John's College, Cambridge
Paul Hale New College, Oxford 1971–1974 Rector Chori of Southwell Minster
Charles Harrison Jesus College, Cambridge 1992–1995 Organist and Master of the Choristers at Chichester Cathedral
Edward Heath Balliol College, Oxford 1935–1939 Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Gerald Hendrie Selwyn College, Cambridge 1954-1957 Founding Professor of Music at the Open University
Christopher Herrick Exeter College, Oxford 1959–1962 Sub-Organist of Westminster Abbey
Richard Hickox Queens' College, Cambridge 1967–1970 Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Edward Higginbottom Corpus Christi College, Cambridge 1966–1970 Director of Music at New College, Oxford
David Hill St John's College, Cambridge 1976–1979 Master of Music of Westminster Cathedral and at Winchester Cathedral, Director of Music at St John's College, Cambridge, Director of the BBC Singers
Martin How Clare College, Cambridge 1949-1952
Peter Hurford Jesus College, Cambridge 1949–1953 Organist of St Albans Cathedral
Marcus Huxley Worcester College, Oxford 1972-1974 Organist of St Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham
Daniel Hyde King's College, Cambridge 2000–2003 Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge, Informator Choristarum of Magdalen College, Oxford
Carl Jackson Downing College, Cambridge 1978–1981 Director of Music of the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace
Rupert Jeffcoat St Catharine's College, Cambridge 1989-1992 Organist of Coventry Cathedral, Organist and Director of Music at St John's Cathedral, Brisbane
Raymond Johnston Peterhouse, Cambridge 1981-1984 Director of Music at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Minneapolis
Edward Elwyn Jones Emmanuel College, Cambridge Organist of Harvard University
Max Kenworthy Brasenose College, Oxford 1996–1998 Assistant Organist of Saint Paul's Cathedral, Wellington
John Keys New College, Oxford 1978-1981 Organist of St. Mary's Church, Nottingham
Charles Herbert Kitson Selwyn College, Cambridge 1893 Organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
James Lancelot King's College, Cambridge 1971–1974 Sub-organist of Winchester Cathedral, Organist of Durham Cathedral [9]
Matthew Larkin University of Toronto, Trinity College 1982-1984 Director of Music, Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa
Andrew Lawrence-King Selwyn College, Cambridge 1977–1980
Stephen Layton King's College, Cambridge 1985–1988 Director of Music, Trinity College, Cambridge
Henry Ley Keble College, Oxford 1906–1909 Organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Richard Lloyd Jesus College, Cambridge 1952–1955 Organist of Hereford Cathedral and Durham Cathedral
Simon Lole King's College London Director of Music at Sheffield Cathedral and Salisbury Cathedral
Adrian Lucas St John's College, Cambridge 1980–1983 Organist of Portsmouth Cathedral and Worcester Cathedral
Andrew Lumsden St John's College, Cambridge 1981–1984 Organist of Lichfield Cathedral and Winchester Cathedral
David Lumsden Selwyn College and St John's College, Cambridge 1948–1951 (Selwyn)
1951–1953 (St John's)
Organist of New College, Oxford and Principal of the Royal Academy of Music
Sarah MacDonald Robinson College, Cambridge 1992–1995 Director of Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and of Ely Cathedral Girls' Choir
Richard Marlow Selwyn College, Cambridge 1958–1962 Organist of Trinity College, Cambridge
Alexander Mason Worcester College, Oxford 1992-1995 Organist of St Davids Cathedral
William Neil McKie Worcester College, Oxford 1921 Organist of Westminster Abbey
Hugh John McLean King's College, Cambridge 1951–1955 Dean, Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario [10]
Andrew Millington Downing College, Cambridge 1971–1974 Organist of Guildford Cathedral and Exeter Cathedral
Dudley Moore Magdalen College, Oxford 1955–1958 Comedian
Herbert Murrill Worcester College, Oxford 1928–1931 BBC Controller of Music
Martin Neary Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 1958–1963 Organist of Winchester Cathedral and Westminster Abbey
Andrew Nethsingha St John's College, Cambridge 1987–1990 Organist of Truro Cathedral and Gloucester Cathedral, Director of Music at St John's College, Cambridge
Michael Nicholas Jesus College, Oxford 1957–1960 Organist of Norwich Cathedral
James O'Donnell Jesus College, Cambridge 1979–1982 Master of Music of Westminster Cathedral, Organist of Westminster Abbey
Nicholas O'Neill Magdalen College, Oxford 1989–1992 Composer, Former Organist of St George's Cathedral, Southwark, Composer In Residence for the Parliament Choir.
Boris Ord Corpus Christi College, Cambridge 1920 Organist of King's College, Cambridge
Robin Orr Pembroke College, Cambridge 1929–1932 Organist of St John's College, Cambridge
Harrison Oxley Christ Church, Oxford 1951–1954 Organist of St Edmundsbury Cathedral [11]
Andrew Parnell Christ's College, Cambridge 1972–1975 Assistant Organist of St Albans Cathedral
Adrian Partington King's College, Cambridge 1978–1981 Director of Music, Gloucester Cathedral
Ronald Edward Perrin Christ Church, Oxford 1949–1954 Organist of Ripon Cathedral
Richard Popplewell King's College, Cambridge 1955–1956 Organist of the Chapel Royal
Denys Pouncey Queens' College, Cambridge 1926-1928 Organist of Wells Cathedral
Simon Preston King's College, Cambridge 1958–1961 Organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and Westminster Abbey
Jonathan Rees-Williams New College, Oxford 1969–1972 Organist of Lichfield Cathedral and St George's Chapel, Windsor
Christopher Robinson Christ Church, Oxford 1955-1958 Organist of Worcester Cathedral and St George's Chapel, Windsor, Director of Music of St John's College, Cambridge
Bernard Rose St Catharine's College, Cambridge 1935–1939 Informator Choristarum of Magdalen College, Oxford
Wallace Michael Ross Balliol College, Oxford 1939 Organist of Derby Cathedral
Brian Runnett St John's College, Cambridge 1960–1963 Organist of Norwich Cathedral
John Sanders Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 1952–1956 Organist of Gloucester Cathedral
John Scott St John's College, Cambridge 1974–1978 Organist of St Paul's Cathedral, Director of Music at St Thomas Church, New York
Richard Seal Christ's College, Cambridge Organist of Salisbury Cathedral
Geoffrey Shaw Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 1898–1901
Edward Shearmur Pembroke College, Cambridge 1984–1987
David Stancliffe Trinity College, Oxford and Lincoln College, Oxford 1961 Anglican Bishop of Salisbury [12]
Charles Villiers Stanford Queens' College, Cambridge 1870 Organist and Director of Music, Trinity College, Cambridge; Professor of Music, University of Cambridge
Charles Hylton Stewart Peterhouse, Cambridge 1903 Organist of Rochester Cathedral
Frederick Stocken St Catharine's College, Cambridge 1986-1989
Richard Tanner Exeter College, Oxford 1989–1992 Organist of Blackburn Cathedral [13]
Alan Thurlow University of Sheffield Organist of Chichester Cathedral
Paul Trepte New College, Oxford 1972–1975 Organist of St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Ely Cathedral
Thomas Trotter King's College, Cambridge 1976–1979 Birmingham City Organist
Jonathan Vaughn St John's College, Cambridge 2000–2003 Assistant organist of Wells Cathedral
James Vivian King's College, Cambridge 1993–1997 Director of Music at St George's Chapel, Windsor
Frederick William Wadely Selwyn College, Cambridge 1900–1903 Organist of Carlisle Cathedral
Colin Walsh Christ Church, Oxford 1974–1978 Organist of St Albans Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral
Mark Wardell Royal Holloway College, London Assistant Organist at Chichester Cathedral
Sydney Watson Keble College, Oxford 1922–1925 Organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Geoffrey Webber New College, Oxford 1977–1980 Director of Music of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Peter White St John's College, Cambridge 1956–1960 Organist of Leicester Cathedral
William Whitehead University College, Oxford 1990–1993 Sub-Organist of Rochester Cathedral
Allan Wicks Christ Church, Oxford 1941–1946 Organist of Canterbury Cathedral
David Willcocks King's College, Cambridge 1939–1940, 1945–1947 Organist of Salisbury Cathedral, Worcester Cathedral and King's College, Cambridge, Director of the Royal College of Music [14]
John Scott Whiteley Royal Holloway College, London 1968-1971 Organist Emeritus, York Minster
Charles Wood Selwyn College and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 1888–1889 (Selwyn)
1889–1894 (Gonville and Caius)
Professor of Music, University of Cambridge
Peter Wright Emmanuel College, Cambridge 1973–1976 Organist of Southwark Cathedral


ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Smith, Mark Edgley; Yockney, Ruth (1999). Careers in Music. Kogan Page Publishers. p. 11. ISBN 9780749429577. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  2. ^ Dibble, Jeremy (2002). Charles Villiers Stanford: Man and Musician. Oxford University Press. p. 43. ISBN 9780198163831. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  3. ^ Stanton, W. K. (May 2008). "Allen, Sir Hugh Percy (1869–1946)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  4. ^ Chadwick, Henry (2004). "Bower, Sir John Dykes (1905–1981)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  5. ^ Dibble, Jeremy (2004). "Brewer, Sir (Alfred) Herbert (1865–1928)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  6. ^ Davies, Rhian (2004). "Browne, William Charles Denis (1888–1915)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  7. ^ Ibbs and Tillett, Christopher Fifield
  8. ^ The R. C. M. Magazine, p. 27
  9. ^ Gibbs, David (2008). A School with a View: A History of Ardingly College 1858–2008. James & James Publishers Ltd. ISBN 978-1-903942-83-3.
  10. ^ The Canadian Encyclopedia/ The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada: Hugh McLean
  11. ^ "Harrison Oxley: organist and choirmaster". The Times. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  12. ^ Trinity, Clare Hopkins
  13. ^ Who's Who in Music (4th edition, 1962) p. 206
  14. ^ Who's Who in Music (4th edition, 1962) p. 229.