Applications invited for the Dr JOHN BIRCH ORGAN SCHOLARSHIP at ALL SAINTS MARGARET STREET tenable from September 2017
Dr JOHN BIRCH ORGAN SCHOLARSHIP at
ALL SAINTS MARGARET STREET
tenable from September 2017
Since its foundation in the 1850s as the model church of the Catholic Revival in the Church of England, music has been central to the life of All Saints. Until 1968 through its Choir School, and since then with its excellent choir of men and women, it has sought to enhance the celebration of the Anglican liturgy in Butterfield’s stunningly beautiful church with the riches of Western church music. Each Sunday High Mass and Evensong and Benediction are sung, and High Mass on major weekday feasts. The repertoire is wide: plainchant and polyphony, Baroque and Victorian, Latin and English, complemented by vigorous hymn singing and accompanied by a fine Harrison & Harrison organ which underwent major restoration in 2002.
Although the resident population of its tiny parish is small, All Saints continues to draw large congregations from across London. It is no Sunday-only church. Its doors are open from 7am to 7pm daily with Morning and Evening Prayer and three celebrations of the Eucharist each day to meet the needs of those who work in the West End. In this as in other things, All Saints seeks to remain faithful to its calling to be a centre of Christian presence and mission in London; a place of Christian teaching, pastoral care and spiritual guidance.
The commitment of All Saints to excellence in church music has been reinforced in recent years by the establishment of a Choir and Music Trust Fund, and also by the foundation of an Organ Scholarship, recently augmented by a legacy from the estate of Dr John Birch (Organist of All Saints’ 1953- 1958) which we hope will benefit not only All Saints but also the wider Church.
The Revd Alan Moses, Vicar
Details of the scholarship
The Organ Scholarship offers training to a high level in service playing and voluntaries, drawing on a diverse repertoire of Anglican canticles and anthems, alongside those of the Eucharistic rite, prepared to accomplished standards. It also offers experience in accompanying chant and liturgical improvisation, and opportunities to work with the Choir, under guidance.
Within this framework there is the opportunity for the Organ Scholar to advance particular musical interests and skills, and liturgical discernment. The music of the church is centred on the 1910 Hill/Harrison 4-manual instrument, regarded as a superb and vintage instrument.
The Director of Music provides ongoing support and guidance for the Organ Scholar throughout the tenure; suggestions for solo repertoire, assistance with preparation for ARCO and FRCO, and other diplomas and examinations.
Terms and Conditions
Length of tenure
For one year, renewable by invitation for an additional year, running 1 September to 31 August.
(a) those in ‘gap’ year between school and university;
(b) those undertaking undergraduate study in London:
(c) postgraduate students under 25.
We are willing to consider applicants from outside the UK; if this applies to you, please write to the Director of Music at the email address below for special considerations and arrangements surrounding your circumstances, before making a formal application.
All candidates will be expected to be available to be present at All Saints, at or around the time of the published audition date. Speculative recordings will not be accepted.
Duties and Attendance
Attendance is expected at all choral services and practices, including Christmas, Holy Week and Easter. The Organ Scholar acts as the ‘Second Assistant’ in the Music Department, and in this context should be willing to carry out occasional tasks to assist in the smooth running of the church’s music, for example assisting with the Library.
Absences after Christmas, Easter and during the summer holidays are arranged in consultation with the Director of Music, and in accord with the team. The Organ Scholar is expected to be present to provide cover during holiday times, but there will be opportunities for days in lieu.
Remuneration and other benefits
(i) The annual remuneration is currently £2,460 payable in monthly instalments, reviewed by the PCC annually. Extra fees are payable for special events and services when the Organ Scholar acts as the Assistant Organist. There is also the possibility of discretional limited assistance with examination fees or other legitimate study costs.
(ii) Free use of the four-manual Harrison organ and the Song Room Steinway at agreed times.
Approaches for informal auditions and discussions are welcome at any time.
Formal applications should be sent to: Mr Timothy Byram-Wigfield, Director of Music
by email to: email@example.com
Please include the names of two referees, and a brief indication of the post’s attraction, particularly in reference to the Anglo-Catholic liturgical tradition at All Saints, and how the scholarship might therefore benefit your progress and development.
Auditions and interviews
We intend to hold auditions in the second or third week of January 2017. The audition is quite informal, and conducted by the Director of Music. Candidates are invited to play two contrasting pieces, one of which must be from the Baroque period, lasting no more than 15 minutes. In addition there will be sight-reading and transposition tests, and the candidate will be asked to improvise briefly. The expected minimum standard is from ABRSM Grade VIII to ARCO, but candidates will also be assessed on their potential and musical aptitude. There will also be a brief informal interview with The Revd Alan Moses, Vicar of All Saints’ parish.