Westminster Cathedral intends to appoint a post-graduate Organ Scholar with effect from 1 September 2020. The scholarship is normally tenable for one year and is fully residential. The duties and responsibilities of the scholar are extensive and amount to a full-time role within the music department.
Westminster Cathedral is the principal Roman Catholic cathedral of England and Wales and is the seat of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. Its world-famous choir is one of the three fully professional choral foundations in London and choral services take place every day. It is the only Roman Catholic cathedral in the country with a residential choir school.
The Organ Scholar works within the music department, which consists of the Master of Music, Assistant Master of Music and the Music Administrator. He or she is provided with full board and lodging in the Cathedral Clergy House, and receives a stipend (currently £4,872; this increases each year) and additional fees for special services, such as weddings. Organ tuition fees incurred during the year of the scholarship will be reimbursed to an agreed level. The Cathedral organs are available for practice.
The scholarship is usually awarded to post-graduates who hold at least the diploma of Associate of the Royal College of Organists (or equivalent standard), and who intend to seek a career in church music. The scholarship will be of particular interest to those who seek to further their experience of music within the Roman Catholic liturgy.
Duties will include: · Playing for Morning Prayer at 7.40am on weekdays. · Playing for the weekend non-choral liturgies, as required, under the guidance of the Assistant Master of Music. · Playing voluntaries and accompanying the Cathedral Choir at Capitular Mass and Vespers as required. · Directing the Gentlemen of the Choir at Vespers (and from time to time Mass) on weekdays, as required. · Assisting in the daily training of the Probationer Choristers. · Acting as registrant and assistant to the Assistant Master of Music at principal services. · Assisting the Choir Librarian and Chorister book boys in the day-to-day operation of the Choir Library.
In addition to the above, the Organ Scholar is expected to assist in the smooth running of the music department, for example by copying and distributing material for department activities, helping with the administration of concert series, including organ festivals, acting as host and guide for visiting recitalists, and assisting with preparations for concerts and recordings involving the Cathedral Choir.
The Organ Scholar is expected to assist with the organisation of visiting choirs and accompany them as required; to take his or her turn in receiving visitors to the organs; to give at least six of the Sunday afternoon recitals during the course of the year; and to provide musical cover for at least two weekends during the choir’s summer holiday period.
As a resident in the Clergy House, the Organ Scholar will be expected to take an active interest in the general life of the Cathedral. Although it is not a requirement that Organ Scholars should be Roman Catholic, they should be in sympathy with the Catholic ethos and identity of both the House and the Cathedral.
The Organ Scholar is entitled to at least one complete day off each week, by arrangement with the Master of Music. Holidays at Christmas, Easter and in the summer will be arranged by prior agreement with the Master of Music.
The scholarship provides a unique opportunity to work with professional church musicians at the highest level on a day-to-day basis, and offers valuable experience of the rich musical heritage of the Catholic Church. Several previous holders of the scholarship have subsequently developed successful careers in the field of church music.
To apply, please complete the online application form by Friday 27 September 2019. Audition date: TBC