Organ Scholarships

An organ scholarship to New College gives an accomplished young organist the opportunity to develop his or her skills as part of our choral foundation. Working under the supervision of the college’s Organist, Robert Quinney, Organ Scholars plays a full part in the work of New College Choir: as an accompanists, conductors, and teachers of the choristers. Organ Scholars are involved in all of the choir’s activities, both within college and beyond, touring internationally and making recordings.
There are usually two undergraduate Organ Scholars in college at any given time. Their duties are shared with the Assistant Organist, allowing time for academic study alongside their work with the choir. Over three years at New College, an Organ Scholar gains experience in a wide range of musical disciplines, including continuo playing (on organ and harpsichord) and plainchant accompaniment. The organ in New College chapel is particularly well suited to earlier repertory, but can be a sensitive and colourful medium for later music and choral accompaniment.
Organ Scholars usually read Music.


Becoming an organ scholar involves making a dual application to Oxford University (an organ and a UCAS form). The details of how to apply are given on the University’s Choral and Organ Scholarships website and in the University’s Undergraduate Prospectus.

The deadline for receiving applications is normally 1st September, twelve months before the desired year of entry (it is also possible to apply for deferred entry). The Undergraduate Prospectus also contains information about the University’s Choral and Organ Open Day, ordinarily late in April.

Students thinking of making an application are encouraged to attend the Open Day, which offers several workshop opportunities. In addition, prospective candidates may contact the Director of Music to discuss their application, and to arrange preliminary interviews/auditions.


Organ scholars receive an annual bursary from the College of £750. The College meets the considerable cost (several hundred pounds a year) of regular organ lessons. In addition, organ scholars receive professional fees for their work in the ‘commercial’ sector of the Choir’s activities, its concerts, tours and recordings. This is a significant annual sum.