St Catharine’s offers scholarships to organists, instrumentalists and singers who contribute to the rich musical environment of the College.
The Organ Scholars at St Catharine's play a vital and much-valued role within the College. As well as playing for chapel services (four per week) and directing the choirs in sectional rehearsals and occasional services, the organ scholars are encouraged to take an active interest in the general artistic direction of the choirs and their administration, alongside the Director of Music. Furthermore, the College’s renowned Girls’ Choir – the first of its type in the UK – provides valuable experience in training young voices.
At St Catharine’s, the role of Organ Scholar is a flexible one; scholars are encouraged to develop those elements of their musicianship which are of most interest to them, whether it be organ or piano-playing, conducting or accompanying. Organ Scholars will typically contribute to College music more generally – conducting the College orchestra, participating in chamber music, and even contributing new repertoire (a recent organ scholar composed an entire opera for the College!). It is hoped that the experience of being an Organ Scholar at St Catharine’s will develop a range of musical skills which will help to further a musical career, whether that be in the organ loft, on the conductor’s podium, or in the orchestra pit.
The College Organ, a three-manual mechanical action instrument, is much in demand from teachers and outside players (including the Organ Scholars of other colleges).
Organ Scholars receive an award of £450 a year, as well as free musical tuition, which may extend beyond organ lessons to general keyboard and conducting coaching, and a generous contribution to the cost of music-related fees and purchases. They are also given subsidised accommodation within the main College site.
There are generally two Organ Scholars in residence in any one year. All Organ Scholars are auditioned via the Inter-Collegiate Organ Scholarship scheme.
St Catharine’s College offer Kellaway Instrumental Awards, to complement the established Choral and Organ Award schemes. Kellaway Instrumental Awards are for outstanding players who are able to contribute regularly to the musical life of the College, as soloists, and in chamber and orchestral music where appropriate. Kellaway Awards are open to players of all instruments, and we encourage specialists on folk and ethnic instruments to apply, as well as mainstream classical instrumentalists.
In particular, Kellaway Award holders will be expected to contribute on occasion to the Kellaway Concert Series and to some Compline services.
Instrumental Award holders will be given a £100 award and up to £500 contribution towards the cost of tuition. Discretionary funds are also available to help with music-related costs – concerts, music purchase and courses.
Holding a Kellaway Instrumental Scholarship does not preclude participation in the Inter-Collegiate Instrumental Awards Scheme.
The College Choir includes up to 12 choral scholars at any one time. Singers interested in auditioning for a Choral Scholarship may apply directly to the College (by contacting Dr Edward Wickham, using the details at the bottom of this page) or via the Inter-Collegiate Choral Award Scheme. You will also find on the link above information about Vocal Assessment days, to be held in September.
Please note that prospective Choral Scholars need not apply through the Inter-Collegiate scheme, and may apply at any time after receiving an offer from the College.
Choral Scholars are key members of the College Choir and are expected to take seriously their musical training and development. They are on occasion involved in solo and consort work as part of the Compline and Kellaway Concert programmes which may involve rehearsals additional to the stipulated choir commitment.
In recognition of this, Choral Scholars are given a £100 award and up to £500 towards the cost of singing tuition. Discretionary funds are also available to help with music-related costs – concerts, music purchase and courses.