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Choral and Organ Scholarships

Choral and Organ Scholarships at Leeds Minster are offered to students in full-time education at the Universities of Leeds and York, and to students at Leeds Conservatoire. We are very grateful to the Edith Lill Bequest and to the Pilling Trust Fund for their support of our Scholarships, which provide a superb opportunity for students to sing with a very focussed and friendly choir, in a wide-ranging repertoire, in one of the most iconic churches in the country.

Choral Scholars sing alongside skilled volunteer singers in the Minster Choir, while the Organ Scholarship offers opportunities for choral accompaniment, development of solo repertoire in services and recitals, and opportunities for choral direction. The Minster Choir sings Choral Evensong on Thursdays and Sundays during term-time, and for the Sunday Choral Eucharist.

Scholars are expected to commit to a baseline of 72 commitments per academic year (out of the total 110-120 duties that the choir undertakes annually), and they are remunerated on a per-service basis. While the baseline commitment attracts payment of over £1,500 per annum, many of our scholars significantly exceed that baseline, benefiting from additional payments for excellent attendance. It is more than possible to receive over £2,000 annually in remuneration for loyal attendance. For students coming from York University, travelling expenses can be paid in addition to the remuneration for singing.

Scholarships will next become available from the autumn term of 2024. The Director of Music welcomes enquiries at any point from students intending to commence or resume university study in the 2024-25 academic year. The deadline for applications will be 1st September 2024. Applicants should write to the Director of Music, submitting their CV as well as contact details for two referees, one of whom should be an experienced musician who can comment on vocal and choral ability. Interviews and auditions are held at Leeds Minster during late September 2024. At audition, candidates will be asked to bring with them a prepared piece of their own choice to sing, which the Music Department staff can accompany if desired, following which there will be a short test of sight-singing, some scales to sing to determine vocal range, and an informal conversation with the Director of Music and a member of the clergy. For further details, please do not hesitate to contact the Director of Music