Music Scholarships

St Mary’s Ewell has long enjoyed a great musical tradition. The mixed choir leads traditional worship (BCP and Common Worship) with a broad range of high quality choral music, accompanied by the fine ‘Father’ Willis organ. There are cathedral visits from time to time, plus various social events.

Organ & Choral Scholarships

Scholarships are primarily intended for school pupils in years 10 to 13 or undergraduate students, and are suitable for those hoping to apply for Music Scholarships in further education or those (of any age) who are planning to enter the music profession.

Music Scholars from St Mary’s have gone on to study at various Conservatoires and Universities. Some have become Lay Clerks in Cathedral Choirs, one is now a much sought after concert soloist and opera singer, and others are pursuing active musical careers. Over the years our Organ Scholars have included Jeremy Barham and Timothy Burke (Exeter College, Oxford). More recently, our 2007/09 Organ Scholar, Jeremy Cole, spent his gap year as Organ Scholar at Hereford Cathedral before going to Trinity College, Cambridge. He is now Assistant Director of Music at St Martin-in-the-fields, London. Jonny Allsopp (2011/2013) spent his gap year as Organ Scholar at Hereford Cathedral before going to Durham University as Organ Scholar, and is now Organ Scholar at Westminster Cathedral.

Another former organ scholar, Maks Adach, writes:

‘I spent three very happy years as Organ Scholar at St Mary’s. During that time, I helped Jonathan Holmes and David Crick in every aspect of running the Parish’s music programme. I learnt a great deal over those three years and, in particular, how to accompany a choir. It was an intense workload but it benefited me tremendously! After leaving Ewell, I spent a year at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where I studied the organ with Ann-Elise Smoot and worked as Organ Scholar of the Royal Naval Chapel, Greenwich.

Following this, I went up to Oxford to read Music as Organ Scholar of Oriel College. I ended up staying on for a research masters degree. During my time there, I worked as Assistant Organist of Exeter College, Director of Chapel Music at St John’s College, and Master of Music of Pusey House. On leaving Oxford, I moved to Lichfield Cathedral as Organ Scholar, where I accompanied the choirs, conducted all services sung by the Lay Vicars Choral, and assisted in the rehearsing of the boy and girl choristers.

On leaving Lichfield, I spent a short while as Organ Scholar and Liturgy & Music Administrator at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral where I accompanied the choirs on the UK’s largest organ and assisted with the day-to-day running of the music department. I am soon to move to Boston, USA, where I have been appointed as Assistant Director of Music at St Paul’s Church, Harvard Square–attached to which is the only Roman Catholic choir school in the USA and is one of only four institutions in the country that offers a daily round of choral services. I am forever grateful to St Mary’s Ewell for the opportunities afforded me during my time as Organ Scholar – I certainly would not be where I am without them!!’

Our Choral Scholars have been equally successful. Recent examples include scholars who

  • went on to be a Choral Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge
  • did postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music.
  • studied Music at Hull University
  • went to Manchester University, achieving a first in Musicfollowed by Postgraduate Singing Studies at Trinity College, London
  • went on to be a Choral Scholar at Oriel College, Oxford
  • went on to be a Choral Scholar at Robinson College, Cambridge

Availability – Each Academic Year

Choral scholarships and organ scholarships

(values depending upon the number and quality of applicants)

  • All Scholars receive general music coaching, and help with preparation for university music scholarship examinations, or music college entrance examinations, if required.
  • Choral Scholars will also receive free vocal tuition leading to National Chorister Awards and, in addition to the scholarship, receive standard fees for weddings and funerals. (Singers who are also organists may be given free use of the organ).
  • The Organ Scholar will also receive three free organ lessons per term, plus free use of the ‘Father’ Willis organ, and the opportunity to take part in services, as appropriate.

For further information, please contact our Director of Music, Jonathan Holmes, through our Contact Us page.

NEW – Junior Choral Scholarships

Our parish choir is now offering junior choral scholarships. We are looking for children of primary school age or years 7-9 at secondary school. The duties are one service in term time on Sundays and one practice on Fridays 7pm-8.15pm. Choristers receive a first-rate musical education, which will give a lifetime’s pleasure, and membership of our choir has often led to choral scholarships at university. Junior Choral Scholars receive £300 a year scholarship. For further information, please contact our Director of Music, Jonathan Holmes, through our Contact Us page.

Recent choral scholar Matthew Smith wrote

“I am currently in the third year of a four year Physics course at Durham University and am the Decani Tenor Choral Scholar at Durham Cathedral. In addition to the eight services a week I sing in the cathedral I also sing with Durham University Chamber Choir.

“I was a Tenor Choral Scholar at St Mary’s in 2009/2010 during my final school year. I’d done a lot of singing with my school choir, singing anthems in the chapel and the occasional evensong but I didn’t have a great deal of experience with other aspects of the Anglican liturgy such as Matins and Sung Eucharist. It was the opportunity to get to grips with a wider variety of church choral music that attracted me to the scholarship. The weekly turnover of music certainly increased my sight-reading ability as well as expanding my knowledge of the repertoire. I enjoyed singing with a smaller group than my school choir as you become far more self-reliant within your part. I enjoyed the opportunities for solo singing, both in weekly services and in the occasional concert.

“When I first started at St Mary’s, everyone was very welcoming and I soon felt like one of the choir family; even now that my scholarship has finished, I still enjoy visiting during university holidays to catch up with everyone. I received very helpful advice when I applying for university choral scholarships. I have found that the experience and confidence I gained during my scholarship was invaluable when applying for choral positions. I rely on the skills that I gained at St Mary’s in the cathedral every day, particularly my knowledge of the ‘standard’ Anglican repertoire and sight-reading ability. I intend to continue choral singing after my graduation.”