An Organ Scholarship is a post in a university or college chapel which is usually held by a student.
Organ Scholarships are also offered by many cathedrals and churches throughout the UK, and conservatoire students or university students can often hold one of these during their course of study, depending on the requirements of the job.
Being a university organ scholar provides you with a huge variety of experiences as a musician at a young age: how many university-aged students get to make music on an almost daily basis at the high standards achieved in many university and college chapels throughout Britain? Being an organ scholar can prepare you for a musical career (and not just as an organist) – or indeed for any career. You will learn to perform under pressure, and you will be exposed to wonderful music of many centuries. You will develop leadership skills.
You will be part of a peer group that has an interest in music, and you will work with talented Directors of Music – or indeed will be a Director of Music yourself for one or two years. You will learn how to organise your time, to run a music department, to plan a music list, and you will develop a wide-range of musical skills.
The skills you develop as an organ scholar will also help you immensely in pursuing a music degree, should you choose to read music at university. If you love music, you will spend three years immersed in it – what could be better? Even if you don’t choose to read music, an organ scholarships will still be a big part of your university experience.
There’s a lot to learn and prepare, however, in order to secure an organ scholarship and hold it successfully and enjoyably. That’s why OfO and the Royal College of Organists teamed up to produce eight films to tell you all you need to know about Organ Scholarships.