The College offers two Organ Scholarships and eighteen Choral Awards (Scholarships for Mertonians and Exhibitions for members of other Colleges).
Benjamin Nicholas, the Reed Rubin Organist and Director of Music, is always happy to talk to students who wish to discuss Organ or Choral Scholarships at Merton.
For all enquiries regarding the admissions process for Choral and Organ Scholarships, please contact the Chapel Administrator, Rachel Fright.
The Organ Scholars are undergraduate members of the College. They are responsible for playing at Chapel services, concerts and tours and assist the Directors of Music with the running of the choir. In addition to an annual honorarium of £500, they receive organ lessons from William Whitehead and singing lessons from Giles Underwood and Carys Lane. The Organ Scholars receive free meals after choral services and have a generous grant with which to purchase organ music. The College will offer financial support for the Organ Scholars to attend suitable courses and study tours and will cover the cost of any related examinations.
The main organ in the Chapel, a 1960s neo-classical instrument by Walker, is being replaced this year; this has been enabled by several major donors and one generous bequest. The new instrument has been built by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders of Lake City, Iowa, and pictures from the construction process can be seen on the Dobson Organs website. The organ is being installed during the summer ready for the College’s 750th anniversary celebrations in 2014.
The Choral Scholars read a wide range of subjects, and the commitment at Merton is such that they have sufficient time for their academic study and other University and College activities. The Choral Scholars sing at three evening services a week during term, as well as other occasional services. The choir undertakes tours and recordings on a regular basis. The scholarship is worth over £800, consisting of an annual bursary of £350, singing lessons (with Giles Underwood or Carys Lane), and masterclasses with visiting teachers. All members of the choir receive free Formal Hall after choral services.
For information about Organ and Choral Scholarships at Merton, please download the Merton College Choral and Organ Scholarships Leaflet. For more information visit the Faculty of Music's Organ and Choral Scholarships site. You can also download an application form from the Oxford University Choral and Organ Scholarships pages.
There are also places in the choir for those who are not Scholars or Exhibitioners.