Organ & Choral Scholarships

NOTE: Ongoing uncertainties regarding choral singing have necessitated some changes to this year’s scheme. The Organ Scholarship will still run, but the Choral Scholarships will be frozen for the time being. More information is available below.

The choir is offering an Organ Scholarship and four Choral Scholarships (SATB) for the academic year 2020-21, offering the chance to play or sing at a high level and gain valuable experience in choral music. These are generally aimed at sixth-form students or those on pre-university gap years.

Information leaflet available to download here (please note, this leaflet was produced before the decision to run only the Organ Scholarship): CSCC Organ and Choral Scholarships Brochure 20-21

Scholars sing and play under the direction of our experienced Director and alongside members of the choir, gaining familiarity with the whole range of Anglican repertoire, and improving sight-reading and other musical skills. The scholarships are therefore invaluable preparation for those pursuing Choral or Organ Awards at University.

ORGAN SCHOLAR

Organ Scholars assist and observe Simon Hogan, the Organist to the Cathedral Singers, as well as accompanying the choir and playing voluntaries. In doing so, they benefit from close tuition and guidance, and have the experience of playing the Cathedral’s two instruments during services. In sharing playing duties, they learn the repertoire, gain insight into accompanimental practices, and work on all the skills necessary for a cathedral organist.

It is therefore invaluable preparation for a University Organ Scholarship, and previous holders have gone on to hold scholarships including St John’s College, Cambridge, and Oriel College, Oxford. The scholarship carries an honorarium of £300 per annum, during which time it is hoped the scholar will attend as much as possible.

CHORAL SCHOLARSHIPS

VISITS & TOURS

In addition to the honorarium, scholars are offered subsidised or free travel and accommodation for the choir’s cathedral visits and tours (usually one or two a year).

DUTIES

Scholars are expected to be present as much as possible whenever the choir is in session. Additionally, they should be present on certain Sundays for afternoon workshops.

When it is in session, the choir sings for the 6pm Evensong, and additionally at the 11am Eucharist on Sundays, with rehearsals an hour before (an hour and a quarter at weekends).

The choir sings principally in the school holidays – early September, the three half-terms, a couple of weeks in early January and April, and much of July – as well as occasional services within school terms.

Scholarships are usually held for the academic year September-July, during which time it is expected that scholars participate as much as possible.

**COVID-19 CONTINGENCIES**

The Organ Scholarship will still run from September. As the regularity of choral services is currently under review, it is likely it will begin with an increased emphasis on one-on-one coaching in repertoire and accompanimental technique, before transitioning to assisting for services as these return to a normal pattern. This will still be of great value to young organists.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send an email to james.potter@chch.ox.ac.uk including the following information:

Your name, age, and current educational status
A few lines about your musical experience to date, including organ-playing experience, and your aspirations

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 31 August 2020. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an audition in early September in Christ Church, consisting of two prepared pieces of the applicants’ choice and some other tests.

If you have any questions about the scheme, or if you’re wondering whether you might be suitable, please get in touch: james.potter@chch.ox.ac.uk