Cambridge organ scholarships 2018 | Organ awards

The university of Cambridge is glad to announce it’s Cambridge organ scholarships 2018. Organ Scholarships in Cambridge offer unparalleled opportunities to talented organists who wish to develop their skills significantly during the period of their academic studies.

The College Chapels in Cambridge contain some of the finest organs in the U.K., providing a superb facility for those holding these awards Organ Scholars are appointed by colleges to play the organ for chapel services and to direct or assist in the work of the choir.

The chapel music environment in Cambridge is extremely varied, offering scope not only for outstanding work in chapel contexts but also for external activities such as foreign tours, concerts, broadcasts and recordings.


Most Colleges have two Organ Scholars (a ‘Junior’ and a ‘Senior’) in residence at any one time. In all Colleges, the Organ Scholars’ duties are centred around providing music in the College chapel, and Organ Scholars are usually expected to commit themselves to general music-making in the College as well.

The precise nature of an organ scholarship can vary considerably from college to college; in some Colleges, chapel duties include acting as an Assistant Organist to a full-time professional Director of Music – accompanying the choir in regular services, concerts, and professional tours and engagements – while the Director of Music does most of the conducting of the choir, and all of the administration.

In other Colleges, duties are shared between a part-time professional Director of Music and the two Organ Scholars, with playing, conducting, and administrative duties distributed equally amongst the three, or sometimes with the two Organ Scholars doing the bulk of the work, closely overseen by the Director of Music.

A few other Colleges have no Director of Music at all, and the Organ Scholars are entirely responsible for the recruitment, training, conducting, accompanying, and administration of their chapel choirs (usually in consultation with a Dean or Chaplain).

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What You Need To Know About Cambridge organ scholarships 2018

Obviously, different skills are required for the various types of Organ Scholarship, and there is a significant difference in the time commitment required as well: for example, there are seven services per week to be accompanied by the King’s and St John’s Organ Scholars, and only one service per week to be prepared for and conducted by the Fitzwilliam Organ Scholar.

The roles, duties, and perks of the holder of the Organ Scholarship at each of the participating Colleges are outlined in a separate booklet available to download .

Think carefully about your skills (organ-playing, conducting, administrative), and about your aspirations, as you draw up your preference list: there is wealth of opportunities on offer here, and you will want to take full advantage of those that are particularly suited to your expertise and musical aspirations.

Once you have chosen the type of Organ Scholarship you are interested in, it is advisable to list as many Colleges in your preferences as you can, in order to maximise your chances of gaining a scholarship.


All Organ Scholars are also automatically members of the inter-collegiate Organ Scholars’ Forum (OSF). The Forum organises regular master-classes in playing and choral conducting, as well as discussion sessions with professional organists from cathedrals and other positions.


The scholarship is to be taken in Cambridge UK


scholarship is open to all who wants to be an organ scholar.


In all Colleges, the Organ Scholar receives a small financial award each year (£450 per year). In addition to this standard University honorarium, participating Colleges also provide free organ lessons with internationally renowned teachers.

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In most Colleges the Organ Scholar is also given a piano in his/her room; other perks, including subsidised meals and choir tours, are determined by the individual Colleges.

Organ Scholarships – What vacancies are there for entry in 2019 and 2020?

Organ Scholarships are available as follows for the next two years:

Please note that although the following is accurate at the time of being published online, from time to time the individual circumstances of any given College may change. Potential candidates are therefore advised to check the site regularly in case the list of scholarships change for any reason.

College Year of entry
Christ’s 2019 2020
Churchill 2019
Clare 2020
Corpus Christi
Downing 2019 2020
Emmanuel 2020
Fitzwilliam 2019 2020
Girton 2019 2020
Gonville and Caius 2019 2020
Homerton 2019
King’s 2019 2020
Magdalene 2019 2020
Pembroke 2019 2020
Peterhouse 2019
Queens’ 2020
Robinson 2019
St Catharine’s 2019
St John’s 2019 2020
Sidney Sussex 2019
Trinity 2020
Trinity Hall 2019 2020

Organ Scholarships – How do I apply?

Applicants for an Organ Scholarship must complete a Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA), as well as a UCAS application. It should be noted that Organ Scholarship applicants should wait until they have the results of their Organ Trial before submitting their UCAS application.

However, applicants will need to register with UCAS and acquire a UCAS Personal ID number in order to complete and submit the COPA. A draft version of a candidate’s UCAS Personal Statement is also required as part of the COPA application process.

Applications for Organ Scholarships should be accompanied by both an academic reference and a declaration of musical ability. Both academic and musical referees are required to send their reference to the applicant’s first-choice College both as an electronic email attachment and as a ‘hard’ copy (with an original signature) in the post by 11 September 2018.

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The references should describe the applicant’s academic and musical abilities and, in the case of the latter, their fitness to hold an Organ Scholarship.

Applicants must provide both their referees with a completed  Reference Declaration Coversheet which should then be attached to all references.


Applications for 2019 Organ Scholarships will open in early July 2018. The deadline for entry in 2019 and deferred entry in 2020 is Saturday 1 September 2018. Late applications will not be considered.


Please note that the Colleges will not continue to consider your application for an award if they judge that you are below the appropriate academic standard for normal admission.

If your previous academic record is poor, and there are no mitigating circumstances, you may be excluded from consideration before the final stage of the competition.

If you are uncertain whether or not to pursue your application, you should consult the Admissions Tutor of your first preference College who will be able to offer you advice.


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