The tradition of Sacred Music in the service of the liturgies of the Cathedral is integral and a long and venerable one. The role of the music ministry is therefore an important one, and requires particular and specific skills. The Cathedral is offering two scholarships, Senior and Junior, worth €1,500 and €500 respectively:-

  • To support long-term sustainability, while striving towards higher standards
  • To support and encourage young musicians to explore and develop their skills as church organists
  • To give training opportunities to young musicians within the supportive context of a professional cathedral music programme
  • To enhance and the musical resources of the cathedral by attracting talented young musicians to participate at the highest level in the cathedral’s music programme and ministry

THE SCHOLARSHIP

  • SENIOR SCHOLAR: Ideally the applicant will be a 3rd level student, with organ as a first study instrument – An annual stipend of €1500 to help meet the costs of music tuition.
  • JUNIOR SCHOLAR: Ideally a 2nd level student with the required keyboard skills – An annual stipend of €500 to help meet the costs of music tuition.
  • A portion of the scholarship to be paid towards organ tuition and other associated training – This could further be enhanced by financial support to attend master class, liturgy workshops, tutorial sessions etc. in organ playing, choral direction and liturgical awareness.
  • The organ scholar will have access to the cathedral organ for practice and tuition, subject to the availability of the cathedral.
  • The scholar must demonstrate satisfactory development and progress in his training.
  • The appointment will be for a trial period of 3 months with renewal on demonstration of a satisfactory ethos of work and dedicated service to music ministry.
  • Scholarship award to be paid in yearly/half yearly/quarterly instalments as agreed with candidate.
  • The Scholarship will be awarded by a panel consisting of the following persons: The Cathedral Administrator, The Director of Music, A member of Pastoral Council and/or Professional Organist.

CRITERIA FOR APPLICANTS

  • The candidate must have grade 5 or higher in piano or organ with a proficient performance skill.
  • The candidate must have a good background knowledge of music theory and music history.
  • Previous experience with liturgical music, either at school, or parish is desirable, but not essential.
  • The candidate must demonstrate commitment in pursuing keyboard studies (Organ) and developing accompaniment and performance skills to a level appropriate for an organist in public worship.
  • The candidate must demonstrate an interest in studying and developing skills in liturgy, and other areas of sacred music, especially in voice – ie cantor or choral music.
  • The candidate must be available for the designated Saturdays, Sundays and Solemnities, all Christmas, Holy Week and Easter services and other major celebrations as appropriate.
  • Applicants will be required to undertake a basic music audition as well as an interview with the scholarship panel.
  • Referees – The names and contact details of two referees must be provided – a priest, a religious brother or sister or lay Religious Studies teacher, Music teacher.

DUTIES OF THE ORGAN SCHOLAR

  • To assist the Director of Music in planning, sourcing and performing music (organ/piano) for the liturgies, including accompanying the congregational singing, the cathedral cantors, choirs and other musicians.
  • To perform solo organ/piano repertoire such as preludes, reflection music and improvisation as required.
  • To take an active role in other cathedral music activities, such as singing in the various choirs.
  • A commitment to play at the cathedral’s masses/liturgies at weekends and other feast days, as scheduled with the Musical Director.
  • A commitment to attend and assist at regular, weekly choir rehearsal
  • A playing commitment to include experiential training in choral and vocal accompaniment, congregational accompaniment and solo organ/piano playing, by participating in sharing duties with cathedral musicians.
  • Participate in sharing duties with cathedral choral directors, to develop choral direction skills.
  • Liaise with the Director of Music and the Cathedral Music Team in determining a planned music program for the liturgical year within the cathedral.

ORGAN SCHOLAR TRAINING

Within the Cathedral setting, an organ scholar would have the opportunity to develop these skills, and apply them by participating in and accompanying designated and diverse cathedral liturgies.

The work of the liturgical music minister offers many rewards. Personal satisfaction in using one’s musical talent in the service of God and the cathedral community; the opportunity of working with other musicians, both amateur and professional; and the opportunity of improving one’s own musicianship and skills to a professional standard.

In offering the scholarship it is envisaged to develop the following:

  • Training of Organist’s Musical and Performance Skills
  • Development of pianist’s/organist’s accompaniment skills – Choir, Cantor and Congregational
  • Experience in choral directing, conducting and vocal technique and when not required as accompanist to sing with the choir.
  • Development of organist’s liturgical knowledge by attending relevant Diocesan/Parish workshop training.
  • Cathedral Music Administration and Organisational Skills
  • Support and mentorship from cathedral musicians The organ scholar is a full-time member of the music ministry and has an important role to play in the weekly schedules. At the centre of the organ scholar’s duties is the accompaniment of Saturday or Sunday Eucharist every week as scheduled as well as sharing in the accompaniment of other celebrations, concerts, carol services etc. The experience of a wide variety of liturgical music and the regularity of playing psalms, accompaniments and voluntaries on the cathedral organ ensures that the organ scholar gains a thorough grounding in these crucial skills. As well as the weekly Saturday or Sunday liturgies, the organ scholar is expected to share in the accompaniment of concerts and extra services.

There is a regular opportunity to work with the Cathedral Choir in weekly rehearsal. Organ scholars interested in choral training and conducting will be encouraged to hone this skill and can play a part in conducting at liturgies and other high-profile services of the year. The value of all this in terms of experience cannot be overestimated, as the ability to work with people in a choir-training capacity is central to any organist considering a career in church and cathedral music.

The William Hill Cathedral organ is a delight to play and is equally at home as an accompaniment and solo instrument. The organ scholar will have innumerable opportunities to play voluntaries and accompany liturgically through the year on this magnificent instrument.

Closing Date for Applications

Tuesday 12th November, ’13

Application Form available from: Marian Gaynor, Director of Music:

gaynormarian@eircom.net; 087 6689943