Undergraduate Applicant Hub
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Organ Scholarships & Choral Awards
Pembroke College aims to have at least two Organ Scholars in residence at all times. The next elections will be for commencement in October 2023. Although the Organ Scholar usually studies Music, this is not compulsory and candidates for the post wishing to read other subjects are encouraged to apply.
The Chapel features an organ by Fernand Létourneau, installed in 1995 at the instigation of the well- known organist David Titterington, a graduate of the College, with funding from the Damon Wells endowment. One of only a few examples of Létourneau's work in Europe, it was specifically designed to accommodate the needs of an Oxford chapel in terms both of accompanying choral worship and performing a wide range of organ literature. Following consultation with Gillian Weir and Lawrence Phelps, the organ incorporates a good suspended tracker action and complete two-manual and pedal specification. Since its inauguration by Gillian Weir it has attracted many celebrated recitalists.
Organ Scholars will work under the supervision of our Music Director, Mark Wilson. Advised by him, they are responsible for the organisation and musical side of the chapel services with the Chaplain. This currently consists of 7 weekly Choral Evensong on Sunday evenings during full term, plus one Choral Eucharist per term, and sung compline on Tuesday evenings.
The Organ Scholar receives payment for weddings and occasional offices at which they play, as well as feasting at Gaudy celebrations if he/she can be present. The Senior Organ Scholar will work under the Music Director in the training of the chapel choir and Junior choir.
The Junior Organ Scholar will assist the Senior Organ Scholar in the performance of his/her responsibilities, becoming sufficiently familiar with those responsibilities to be able to succeed them.
Throughout their tenure all Organ Scholars will receive an annual award of £500, the cost of organ lessons, a room on the main college site (for which the normal charge is made) and access to all college pianos including the Steinway D, housed in the Pichette Auditorium, and the Kawai grand housed in the Chapel. There is a programme for the renewal of College pianos ahead of the 400th anniversary.
Those considering an application for these posts are strongly encouraged to contact the College, and to visit at a convenient time to play the organ and meet the current Organ Scholars, Chaplain, and Tutor in Music. Applicants can either email our Music Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our Chaplain (email@example.com).
The Damon Wells Chapel at Pembroke has a lively and committed choir which is constantly striving for a high musical standard. At present there are about 12 student scholars and award holders, and the same number of choristers from Christ Church Cathedral School. We seek to appoint an additional 10 choral scholars for 2023 and a further 6 for 2024.
2024 will be the 400th anniversary of the college and a spectrum of participation in wider College choral life is anticipated and encouraged.
There is a choral evensong each Sunday, preceded by a short rehearsal as well as a weekly rehearsal (which may also be supplemented by a mid-week 30-minute choral evensong from time to time). In addition, a small number of Scholars perform sung compline every Tuesday evening in term time. Members of the choir will receive vocal training in addition to rehearsal.
Choral scholars will each receive a stipend of £300 pa. Fees from weddings and occasional services where a choir is requested will be in addition to this.
Pembroke has a thriving music society and attracts talented musicians from a wide range of academic disciplines. All College music activities are overseen by our Music Director, Mark Wilson. The Choir, Chapel and Organ Scholars enjoy significant support and encouragement from the Master and Governing Body, and enthusiastic appreciation from the Chaplain, the Revd Dr Andrew Teal, and the College Tutor in Music, Dr Guy Newbury.
FAQs can be found on the University webpage here.