Salisbury Cathedral Organ Scholarship
Organ Scholarship available for the Academic year 2013 - 2014
An ideal opportunity for a gap-year or postgraduate student to experience all aspects of cathedral music in a unique setting.
Closing date for applications: Monday 17 September 2012
Audition date: Friday 12 October 2012
Details and an application form can be downloaded here.
David Halls, the Cathedral's Director of Music, writes:
"The organ scholar is a full and important member of a friendly team who will see at first hand cathedral music making of the highest quality. Whether or not you are considering a career in church music, this is a wonderful opportunity for a talented, hard working and organised young musician. If you would like to discuss at further length what the position involves please telephone me on: 01722 555 125."
Stephen Moore, Organ Scholar 2008-2009, describes his experiences
The Organ Scholarship here in Salisbury offers a unique opportunity for someone looking to fill a gap or postgraduate year following university to gain experience in the field of church music. It is by no means a “page-turning, coffee making” scholarship and provides plenty of chances to play the organ and direct both the boys and girls of the cathedral choir.
The Cathedral is one of the most iconic buildings in the country and working there from day to day cannot fail but impact on you. It is famous for so many things including the tallest spire and largest close in the country. It was the first British cathedral to establish a separate girls’ choir in 1991. Its renowned ‘Father’ Willis organ of 1876 is a pleasure to play and offers unlimited scope for accompaniment of the cathedral choirs.
There is an important place for the scholar in the music department. You will find yourself playing the organ for at least 3 services most weeks as well as playing voluntaries before and after services. There are also a multitude of extra services such as weddings and funerals for which the scholar is invited to play, and of course, there is a very busy period leading up to Christmas. Unlike many other scholarships there is the chance to conduct on a regular basis and the organ scholar is seen in front of the choir at two of the most high profile events of the year - the famous “Darkness to Light” Advent Procession service and the Christmas Carol service. I have enjoyed the chance to work with such inspiring groups of children who you quite regularly forget are all under the age of 13! Other highlights of the year include the Jenkinson Organ Recital - given by the scholar - which makes up part of the Cathedral’s summer organ recital series, concerts in the diocese and abroad as well as being involved in CD recordings and broadcasts. I was lucky enough to be here when the Southern Cathedrals Festival came to Salisbury, as it does every 3 years. I was heavily involved in the planning, rehearsal and performance of much of the music for this and took part in many of the events.
Salisbury Cathedral has both a boys and girls choir, both singing exactly the same amount of services and concerts throughout the year. The choirs, along with the 6 Lay Vicars, sing 9 services a week and the workload of music is considerable. The organ scholar takes at least one morning rehearsal a week and benefits from the experience of working with children in this pressured atmosphere. The scholar also takes the probationer choristers two mornings a week, helping to train them to become fully-fledged choristers over the course of the year.
The organ scholar’s duties are not exclusive to the Cathedral and extend to the busy life within the Cathedral School. Here the scholar supervises instrumental practice three times a day, takes chorister theory sessions and participates in various other areas of music making in the school. There are opportunities to accompany children in concert performances as well assisting with Associated Board exams. The work in the school provides a great environment for gaining more experience in working with children in a different atmosphere to the Cathedral, which is an integral part of any church musician’s career.
The organ scholar has the opportunity to work as part of a great team. Each department, be it music, education or the highly dedicated verger team, has its part to play in the public face of the Cathedral. In the music department itself the scholar is a highly valued member of the team. His/her ability is tested to the fullest extent in a variety of tasks, musical and non-musical. However, this is through shared responsibility and encouragement. The chance to work in close proximity with David Halls, Director of Music, and Daniel Cook, Assistant Director of Music, is something which should be valued to the maximum. The organ scholar is encouraged from day one to push themselves in pursuit of the highest levels of performance and this certainly provides little time for relaxing! But there is a lot of fun to be had in working at the Cathedral and I have enjoyed my year here immensely. I have also made some wonderful friends, but most importantly, I have spent a year working and making music in one of the most foremost Cathedrals in Britain.