Dr Martin Ennis

Director of Music


t. 01223 338946


Mr Gareth Wilson

Director of Chapel Music and Assistant Director of College Music


Organ Scholarship

An Organ Scholarship is a university award for particularly talented organists. As well as accompanying the Chapel Choir for weekly term-time services, and for extra activities of the Choir such as concerts, recordings and tours, the Organ Scholar will be involved in rehearsing and conducting the Choir. He or she will also be a pivotal figure in the wider musical life of the College. An Organ Scholarship is held for the duration of an undergraduate degree, and includes a major grant towards music lessons.

Why would I want an Organ Scholarship at Girton?

  • Girton's Chapel organ is widely acknowledged as one of the finest in Cambridge; it is a wonderful instrument to preside over for three years. Installed in 2002 by the Swiss firm, St-Martin, its four manuals and clever specification make it a particularly rewarding instrument to play. In a recent survey it was recognised as the most versatile of all the Cambridge chapel organs, and it is often used for University Organ Examinations.
  • Girton College Chapel Choir has a busy and exciting programme of services, concerts, tours and recordings. This provides opportunities to play a very wide repertoire – an excellent preparation for life as a professional organist or church musician. In fact, many of the recent Girton Organ Scholars have gone on to major musical careers; for example in 2017, our current Senior Organ Scholar gained her ARCO while only in the second year of her degree. She has since been appointed Organ Scholar at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
  • Girton is a very attractive prospect for any musician. The Organ Scholar is a key member of the active College music society, which puts on weekly recitals and termly orchestral concerts. Within this framework there are ample opportunities for conducting and performing, both as soloist and accompanist. New ventures are always supported by the College.
  • An Organ Scholarship at Girton will give you the opportunity to work alongside some of the leading professional musicians of the country (see the sections on Music Staff and Musicians in Residence). These musicians typically work very closely with the Organ Scholars, coaching them and playing with them in high-profile concerts. No other Cambridge College offers such a diverse range of experiences.
  • As Organ Scholar at Girton, you would be provided with one of the most luxurious rooms in College for all three years, a piano (a Blüthner grand for the Senior Organ Scholar), and invitations to College dinners and feasts. The College is very supportive of the Choir's activities, as noted above.
  • The moderate time commitment in comparison to colleges of comparable standard means that you have time to practise solo repertoire, learn recital programmes, get involved in university music-making, and even pursue other interests! The Girton Organ Scholarship is particularly suitable for those wishing to read some of the more onerous Tripos subjects, such as Engineering or Natural Sciences, in a way that is not possible at colleges with three or more weekly services. That said, many Music students have also held the Girton Organ Scholarship.
  • Although the main duty of the Organ Scholar is to accompany, a flexible approach to allocation of work allows you to gain as much conducting experience as you wish.

Come and judge for yourself! You are always welcome at a Girton service or rehearsal, and the Director of Music or Director of Chapel Music will be happy to meet you and hear you play in advance of the application process. You can also get in touch with the current Organ Scholars to ask for their opinion and advice.

Girton has two Organ Scholars (a ‘Junior’ and a ‘Senior’) at any one time. This means that elections are normally made twice in every three-year period.

The next appointments will be for 2019!  For details on how to apply for an Organ Scholarship, please see the University of Cambridge website: