The Organ Scholarship at Merton offers an undergraduate organist the opportunity to take a full role in the Chapel and College music, working alongside the Organist and Director of Music.
Previous organ scholars include Norman Cocker (organist of Manchester Cathedral), Michael Emery (Producer, The BBC Singers), Christopher Ward (conductor) and Matthew O'Donovan (member of Stile Antico and Head of Academic Music at Eton College).
The main organ in Merton College Chapel was built by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders of Lake City, Iowa, USA and installed in 2013 ready for the College’s 750th anniversary celebrations in 2014. It is a three-manual organ of forty-four stops, and was opened by John Scott who gave the Dedication Concert on Saturday 26 April 2014.
The organ scholars take part in classes organised by the College and the 'Betts Scheme'. The most recent visiting tutors have included Paul Jacobs (Head of Organ, The Juilliard School), for repertoire, and Iain Burnside for piano accompaniment.
The two Organ Scholars at Merton:
- Accompany the choir in three services a week, play for the girl choristers once a week and play the Sunday Morning Service
- Have unlimited access to the three-manual Dobson organ, installed in 2013
- Assist with the training and direction of the College Choir and the girl choristers
- Receive a generous honorarium and music allowance
- Receive funding for study courses, and examination fees for diplomas
- Have organ and singing lessons
- Receive free meals in Hall after choral services
- Take part in classes organised by the College and by the Betts Association
- Tour abroad regularly
- Accompany the College Choir on recordings and broadcast regularly on the BBC
Merton will next appoint an Organ Scholar for 2024.