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Cathedral organists


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#31 Vox Humana

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 14:28

He's determined enough to succeed even if it's not via a conventional route.

Excellent. I wish him well and hope he does.


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#32 SingingPython

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 23:17

I too wish him the very best.  I have a potential organ scholar at an earlier stage, but he has been very lucky and earned himself a place on the privileged route referenced above, having just moved from (day) choirschool to public school where his new organ teacher sounds to have reviewed his developing skills quite thoroughly already.  It is noticeable that from his prep school, the few who go on to boarding senior schools are almost all choristers.  The families that can afford the day fees mostly can't afford boarding fees, but some of those who needed the choir bursaries at prep level, find boarding schools prove the most affordable for senior school.

 

I am guessing that your son's current teacher was not in a position to give him expert career advice.  May I suggest he also approaches your local cathedral or abbey and asks to have a chat with their organist who might also be willing and able to help him navigate the options ahead of him?


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#33 Tenor Viol

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 05:26

He realised it was going to be a difficult route to follow and was prepared to be rejected - it's that the stated facts and the actual reality are totally different which is so annoying.  We would have spent the audition fee money on lessons and the ARCO exam and applied for organ scholar posts instead of a Conservatoire had we known that was what was needed.

However, he's made a list of all the cathedrals (I didn't realise there were so many!) and is in the process of emailing them all to see if they offer organ scholar places (and if they're still free). Surprisingly (only because it was an option that hadn't even crossed our minds) some Public schools offer organ scholar places with the added advantage of gaining teaching experience.  He's determined enough to succeed even if it's not via a conventional route.

Don't forget Metropolitan (catholic) in Liverpool - they have an organ scholar


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#34 Aquarelle

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:29

Can I just ask a question please. Are there any women organ scholars? Are there any women cathedral organists?


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#35 HelenVJ

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:43

Not very many!  Katherine Deanes-Williams has been at Guildford for about 10 years, and Sarah Baldock was enormously popular at Chichester, although she resigned in 2014. But it is still a very male-dominated environment.


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#36 musicalmalc

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:08

Not very many!  Katherine Deanes-Williams has been at Guildford for about 10 years, and Sarah Baldock was enormously popular at Chichester, although she resigned in 2014. But it is still a very male-dominated environment

Rachel Mahon was the first female organ scholar at St.Paul's not long ago (originally Canadian) and after a stint at Chester is now Assistant Director of music at Coventry

 

Francesca Massey has been Sub-Organist at Durham since 2011


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#37 Vox Humana

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:47

Francesca Massey has been Sub-Organist at Durham since 2011

 

She, too had been an organ scholar - at Windsor, Cambridge (Gonville and Caius) and Manchester - before moving up the ladder.

Judy Martin was for a time the Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.


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#38 mel2

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 13:46

I wonder how many of the those with organ scholarships attended state schools?

I've just read with interest the story of why Judy Martin is no longer DoM at CCC Dublin. What a shame.
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#39 Vox Humana

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 14:01

I've just read with interest the story of why Judy Martin is no longer DoM at CCC Dublin. What a shame.

 

Such a common story, sadly. 


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#40 musicalmalc

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 16:32

Keble College have an open day on 9 Feb for Choral and organ scholars
 

I would also suggest that if time permits, look into the possibility of working with other choirs, e.g. local chamber or choral societies to get more accompaniment experience (unpaid if necessary) and this may also afford the possibility of some conducting or choir training.
I would also urge him to work on playing from open score if he hasn't already, something which I wish I had done when I was a lot younger as I am fairly hopeless at it but it is one of many vital skills.

 

If he hasn't already done so, join the local IAO (Incorpated Association of Organists - http://iao.org.uk/ ) group and seek guidance, most groups have members from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities and many have ex cathedral organists as members. He would certainly be likely to build up some recital experience through contacts made there although probably not in Cathedrals.


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#41 fsharpminor

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 18:59

Can I just ask a question please. Are there any women organ scholars? Are there any women cathedral organists?

Dorothea Harris was an organ scholar at Ripon some years ago.


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#42 maggiemay

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 20:14

Emma Gibbins was at Belfast and is now at Newport.
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#43 Cyrilla

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 23:44

Oooo, I met Emma a little while ago when she came to observe Kodály classes at my JD smile.png.

 

A dear friend of mine, the Hon. President of the BKA, was sub-organist at Winchester several moons ago.

 

:) 


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#44 maggiemay

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 15:08

Emma was our organ scholar at St Mike’s - I think that was before she went up to Cambridge.
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#45 Banjogirl

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 15:29

Conservatoires are hard to get into for anything. The 'grade 8' minimum is just that. My son was 4 years post grade 8 but only got one offer and a reserve. It's not uncommon to get no offers and to reapply the next year, which of course makes it even harder for the people applying the first time, as they're up against candidates with a further year's experience. If your son really wnats to go to consevatoire, and doesn't get an offer this year, he has a whole year to gain the sort of experience and contacts outlined above, to give him a better chance next year. All the very best to him.


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