St Mary Redcliffe Church Organ Scholarship

St Mary Redcliffe Church Organ Scholarship
The Organ Scholarship is open to undergraduates or postgraduates, not necessarily those intending to read for a degree in Music. Normally the scholarship will be awarded triennially to a candidate with a strong interest in the musical and choral traditions of the Church of England. The award is renewable annually, subject to satisfactory academic progress and on the efficient performance of the duties listed below.
The current rate is £1000, payable in two instalments (in January and June of each academic year). Occasional extra fees as a singer or deputy organist may be payable from time to time.
Method of application
Candidates for the Scholarship should apply for University entrance through the normal UCAS channels. Once they have received an offer from Bristol University, candidates are then eligible to apply for an audition for a choral scholarship. Please contact the Director of Music, Andrew Kirk on (0117) 231 0065 or email: Informal enquiries are welcomed too before applying to the university.
The scholar is responsible to the Vicar through the Director of Music. There are also two Assistant Organists (job share) who work closely with the organ scholar. Duties include playing the organ at some services, possible singing in the choir (if an alto, tenor or bass), and scope for training in the direction of the choir.
The duties normally involve attendance at the choral services each Sunday and full rehearsals on Fridays.
Occasional duties at boys’ practices on Tuesdays 6.30-7.30pm and Girls’ Practices on Thursdays 4.15-5.45pm may be required from time to time. The scholar is expected to be on duty each week in term time. He or she is expected to give an annual lunchtime organ recital.
Child protection
All adults who work with children in church are required to have DBS clearance and references. Details of the procedure will be given to the successful candidate
Further information
Informal enquiries about the position will be welcomed by Andrew Kirk, Director of Music & Organist: 0117 231 0065 or email:
Organ lessons
It is expected that the successful applicant will take their lessons with the tutor recommended by the university music department, if reading for a music degree.  The Director of Music and Assistant Organists will also provide support and help in aspects of organ playing, including hymns, psalms, anthems, improvisation, transposition, registration and will provide guidance in service playing and help with organ repertoire.
The organ was built by Harrison and Harrison in 1911 with alterations and additions in 1932, 1947 and 1974. The organ underwent a comprehensive restoration project in 2009/10. It is regarded as the finest organ of its kind with four manuals and 71 speaking stops and 4500 pipes covering the Pedal, Choir, Great, Swell, Echo and Solo organs. Our website has the complete specification:
Organs at the University
Prospective scholars will be interested in the following information about the four organs that are available at the University:
the Recital Room at the Music Department houses a fine, mechanical action 13-stop chamber organ, with two manuals and pedals, built by William Drake (1996).
the Auditorium at the Music Department houses a new three manual and pedal digital organ from the Veritas Organ Company, generously donated by its designer Graham Blyth (2011).
the University Great Hall in the Wills Memorial Building has a large three manual (four divisions) and pedal organ; it was built by Nicholsons in the 1960s but has since been modified and maintained by Harrisons of Durham.
the Chapel of Wills Hall recently acquired a beautiful two manual and pedal, mechanical action organ by Peter Collins.
Clearly, as an organ scholar, you will have free and regular access to the instrument in the church with which you are associated, but subject to the availability of rooms, every effort will be made to provide further practice facilities on the University organs listed above. Scholars who are Music students will of course have appropriate practice time for degree recitals at the University.
Further information
For music lists and other information about the church and its music, please visit:
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