Organ and Choral Scholarships

Organ Scholars

There are usually two Organ Scholars at St Edmund Hall. Organ Scholarships are usually available two out of every three years and are currently to the value of £300.

With the Director of Music, the Organ Scholars share the responsibility of running the music in the College Chapel. They prepare the termly music list together with the Director of Music and in addition to playing the organ they take some responsibilities for directing the choir. The Organ Scholars assist the Director of Music in the organisation of the summer choir tour and any other outside events, and sometimes organise an extra winter tour.

The Organ Scholarship at St Edmund Hall is an excellent opportunity to develop choir training skills under the guidance of a Director of Music with world class experience of the choral world, and to learn the discipline of continuo playing on our wonderful Robin Jennings chamber organ.

Viraj Alimchandani, Organ Scholar
Viraj Alimchandani, Organ Scholar

“The Organ Scholarship at Teddy Hall is a unique opportunity to incorporate your love of music into college life. The commitment level is relatively low in terms of playing but as Organ Scholar you will have a few other responsibilities such as choosing the termly music, planning rehearsals, and of course organising choir tours. The Organ Scholar also works closely with the JCR Arts and Culture Reps to foster the music culture in college. This involves putting on open mic nights, talent shows, and chamber music concerts. The beauty of music life in College is that if you have an idea, you will usually be able to find the funding and the people to make it a reality. The Scholarship allows for a lot of music development – all music lessons (organ, singing, and conducting) are paid for and there are always opportunities to pick up new skills. The Betts Association, an association for all the Organ Scholars throughout the University, provides regular masterclasses on various facets of organ playing and organises trips every year to explore the organs and musical styles of countries throughout Europe. It has been a very rewarding position and has given me experiences that I will never forget most notably conducting a service in the beautiful Pontigny Abbey, where St Edmund himself is buried.”

Viraj Alimchandani, Organ Scholar 2015-19

“The Organ Trials take place in mid-September each year and consist of organ playing auditions and academic interviews. You must know your chosen pieces back to front before coming for Trials as this will be the first thing the Directors of Music will hear at your audition. You should also familiarise yourself with the requisite keyboard skills tests and practise them. From my point of view, excellent sight reading is the best trait an Organ Scholar can have due to the high turnover of music each term. It may also be useful to get some conducting practice if you have never done it before as there will usually be a conducting audition as part of the Trials process. The most important thing is to keep calm throughout the week! It is very tiring and bound to wear you out, but the Directors of Music just want to see what your playing skills are like and whether they would like to work with you for three years during your time at Oxford.”

Viraj Alimchandani, Organ Scholar 2015-19

Choral Scholars

The College elects several Choral Scholars each year who play a central role in the life of the Chapel Choir. Scholarships can be awarded for any voice part (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass) and are currently to the value of £200 together with other benefits, including regular singing lessons arranged and paid for by the College. Organ and Choral Scholars may read any subject that is offered by the College. The auditions are in September prior to the main admissions process in December. The College also offers a number of Choral Exhibitions to students after auditions at the beginning of Michaelmas Term.

Find out more about theĀ Organ and Choral Scholarship application process

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Chapel Choir

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