Organ Scholarships

Organ Scholarships at The Queen's College, Oxford provide opportunities to work within one of the UK's finest university choral establishments and to play a world-class organ.

Queen's always has two Organ Scholars, who are undergraduate members of the College.  The Organ Scholars play at College services, choir concerts and on tours, and gain valuable experience by assisting the Director of Music with the training, directing, and running of the choir. The Organ Scholarship is worth £800 per annum, including funding for organ lessons. Organ Scholars at Queen’s study with leading organists, such as Thomas Trotter and Stephen Farr, although the choice of teacher is at the Scholar’s discretion. Organ Scholars are guaranteed rooms on the main college site, with piano, for the duration of their course. An Organ Scholarship will next be offered for undergraduates coming into residence in 2018. Prospective applicants are welcome to contact Professor Rees at any time of year. An open day for Choral and Organ awards is held by the Oxford University Music Faculty in late April each year.



Auditions for those interested in holding an Organ Scholarship will be held on 18-20 September 2017.  This year Queen’s is offering an Organ Scholarship for those wishing to commence their studies in October 2018.

The deadline for applications is 1 September 2017, with online application forms available in the spring.


SENIOR Organ Scholar

Rebecca was born in New Zealand in 1995 and started playing the organ in 2009 at the Royal College of Music Junior Department where she studied with Daniel Moult.  Her growing interest in organ playing took Rebecca by surprise as her musical studies had begun at three years old on the violin.  While Rebecca was studying at the Royal College of Music Junior Department she won the Hugh Bean Violin Competition, the Hedy King Robinson Award, and the Freda Dinn & Ida Mabbett String Prize. Since then she has widened her musical experience on the organ and has performed in Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Before coming up to The Queen’s College Rebecca was organ scholar at St Martin’s Church, Dorking, Surrey for three years.



Becky Baker revised photo - cropped.jpg

Matthew Gibson is in his first year reading music at Oxford University.  He was previously the organ scholar of Derby Cathedral where his duties included playing at the Cathedral's daily services whilst studying under Canon Peter Gould and Dr Tom Corfield. Beginning his appointment in January 2013, Matthew played for numerous significant events and services such as the annual Maundy Thursday Diocesan Eucharist on and the welcoming home of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers from Afghanistan. 

Matthew was subsequently appointed organ scholar of Trent College from September 2014 where he studied as a sixth form pupil whilst being expected to play for chapel services, concerts and tours; highlights of his time at Trent included playing high mass at St Mark's Basilica, Venice, performing on the Nottingham Albert Hall's historic Binns organ two years running in the school's annual Spring Concert and inaugurating the Trent Organ Festival upon leaving the school in July 2016.

Matthew studies organ under the internationally acclaimed concert organist, D'Arcy Trinkwon.



Where are they now?

Matthew Burgess (2008-11) went on to be Organ Scholar at Westminster Cathedral.

Tom Wilkinson (2004-7) is University Organist and directs the Chapel Choir at the University of St Andrews.

Edward Whiting (1998-2001) was Director of Music at All Saints’, Northampton, and Head of Music at St Mary’s School, Calne, and is now Director of Music at Benenden School.

David Bednall (1997-2000) was Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral, and is a successful composer.

Matthew Owens (1989-1992)  is Organist and Master of the Choristers at Wells Cathedral.


Oxford in Voice

The series Oxford in Voice features a Queen's Organ Scholar, and offers insights into life as an Organ Scholar at Oxford.