Applications are now invited for scholarships offered by the Connor and Down & Dromore Organ Scholarship Board.
Scholarships are tenable for three years, subject to a satisfactory assessment at the end of the first and second years. Tuition is given approximately fortnightly, free of charge, by one of the Board’s panel of tutors, and a certificate is awarded on completion of the course.
The scholarships are intended to train musicians in the service of the Church, in the Anglican tradition, both at the organ and in leading a choir. Tuition in choral training is an integral part of the course.
No previous experience in playing the organ is necessary, but applicants should be proficient on the keyboard, approximately Grade Five piano or equivalent. There are no upper or lower age limits. Candidates who have previously been unsuccessful are welcome to reapply.
The Board’s tutors are Mr Michael McCracken (Down Cathedral), Dr Ian Mills (St Columb’s Cathedral Londonderry) and Dr Joe McKee (St Columba’s Knock). As far as possible, scholars are placed with a tutor near them. Lessons will be given in the cathedrals/churches as above, or in exceptional circumstances, and with the prior agreement of the Board, at another church designated by the Board.
The Board is usually able to award six scholarships annually, dividing them between the two dioceses.
An application form can be downloaded here. Applications for scholarships should be received at the Rectory, 9 Sandelwood Avenue, Coleraine, BT52 1JW by Friday March 31.
Auditions will be held on Saturday May 13 at Kilbride Parish Church. Each applicant’s rector will be asked for a reference on their suitability for the scheme.