Organ Scholarship Evensong held in Belfast Cathedral

Monday September 24th 2018

The leaving scholars, from left: Mathew Greenaway, Beth Aiken, Melanie Campbell, Vivien McCullough, Ronnie Drury. (Jamie Howe was not able to attend the service.) They are pictured with the Rev Canon David Humphries (outgoing chair); Dean Stephen Forde and the Rev Canon John Auchmuty, (incoming chair).

The annual Evensong of the Down & Dromore and Connor Organ Scholarship Scheme took place in Belfast Cathedral on Sunday September 23.

The Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Stephen Forde, awarded certificates on behalf of the Organ Scholarship Board to those scholars who had completed the three-year course: Mathew Greenaway, Beth Aiken, Ronnie Drury, Vivien McCullough, Melanie Campbell and Mathew Greenaway. The sixth graduating scholar, Jamie Howe, was unable to attend as he currently studying at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.

As a new innovation, three of the finishing scholars – Mathew Greenaway, Beth Aiken and Vivien McCullough – gave a short organ recital before the Choral Evensong.   

During the service, new scholars were also welcomed to the course: Natalie Bell, Glenn English, Tanya Hanna, Jack McCabe and Sean Turner. 

The congregation included the scholars, their families and friends, the tutors (Michael McCracken, Dr Joe McKee and the Rev Dr Ian Mills), members of the Board of Management and members of the Cathedral community.

Several changes were announced following the service: The Rev Amanda Adams has resigned as secretary to the Board of Management after several years of dedicated work, and the Rev Canon David Humphries stood down as chair, having completed six years in that role. 

The new secretary is Mr Timothy Wilson, Organist and Choirmaster at Jordanstown, and the new chair is to be Canon John Auchmuty, Rector of Knock.

Over refreshments, Canon Humphries thanked Dean Forde for allowing the Board to hold the service in the Cathedral and for his support. Canon Humphries also gave some words of encouragement to the new scholars. 

Canon David Humphries, outgoing chair of the Organ Scholarship Scheme, addresses the congregation over refreshments following the Evensong in Belfast Cathedral.

The full list of scholars is as follows

1st Year

Glenn English   St John, Magherally                        
Jack McCabe   Killinchy, Kilmood and Tullynakill
Sean Turner   Ballymoney, Finvoy and Rasharkin
Natalie Bell  Christ Church, Lisburn
Tanya Hanna   St Mark’s Dundela

2nd Year

Rebekah Wilson   All Saints’, Belfast
Callum Whiteside  St Mark’s, Ballysillan
Jane Knowles  Broomhedge
Victoria Irwin  St John’s, Whitehouse
Kathryn Murdie  Ballywillan
Amy Norris  Kilmore

3rd Year

Kathryn Robb  St Cedma’s, Larne
Robin Crockett  Dromore Cathedral
Caroline McCartney  St Columba’s, Knock

Those who successfully completed the Scheme this year are

Jamie Howe   St Mark’s, Ballymacash
Ronnie Drury  Bangor Abbey                               
Beth Aiken  Kilbride                                 
Vivien McCullough  Aghalee
Melanie Campbell   Loughinisland Parish
Mathew Greenaway  Seagoe

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