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Choral and Organ Scholarships
(deadline for 2023-2024: Friday 8th September 2023)

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 may be offered each September following a successful audition with the Organist and Director of Music. For September 2023, we have vacancies in all four parts: soprano, alto (contralto or countertenor), tenor and bass. The deadline for applications for a Choral or Organ Scholarship in 2023-2024 is Friday 8th September 2023, and the application involves submitting a musical CV and the details of two referees by email to the Organist and Director of Music, Alexander Woodrow (alex.woodrow@leedsminster.org). One of the references must be specifically musical and come from a professional musician; the other should ideally be from a parish priest or from a teacher, who can give a character reference. Auditions are held upon candidates’ arrival in Leeds for the new term, in late September, and involve singing a prepared piece of the candidate’s choice, undertaking a sight-reading exercise and having a short interview.

The Organist and Director of Music, Alexander Woodrow (alex.woodrow@leedsminster.org) is more than happy to answer any questions or be in touch with prospective candidates at any stage, prior to accepting applications from candidates.