All Saints Margaret Street

Seeking Organ Scholar Sept 2019

Wednesday 29th May 2019




Applications invited for the Dr JOHN BIRCH ORGAN SCHOLARSHIP at ALL SAINTS MARGARET STREET tenable from September 2019

Deadline for applications: Friday 14 June 2019

Since its foundation in the 1850s as the model church of the Catholic Revival in the Church of England, music has been central to the life of All Saints. Until 1968 through its Choir School, and since then with its excellent choir of men and women, it has sought to enhance the celebration of the Anglican liturgy in Butterfield’s stunningly beautiful church with the riches of Western church music. Each Sunday High Mass and Evensong and Benediction are sung, and High Mass on major weekday feasts. The repertoire is wide: plainchant and polyphony, Baroque and Victorian, Latin and English, complemented by vigorous hymn singing and accompanied by a fine Harrison & Harrison organ which had major restoration in 2002. 

Although the resident population of the parish is small, All Saints continues to draw large congregations from across London and beyond. It is no Sunday-only church. Its doors are open from 7am to 7pm daily with Morning and Evening Prayer and three celebrations of the Eucharist each day to meet the needs of those who work in the West End. In this as in other things, All Saints seeks to remain faithful to its calling to be a centre of Christian presence and mission in London; a place of Christian teaching, pastoral care and spiritual guidance. 

The commitment of All Saints to excellence in church music was reinforced some years ago by the establishment of the All Saints Choir and Music Trust Fund, and also by the foundation of an Organ Scholarship established by a legacy from the estate of Dr John Birch (Organist of All Saints’ 1953- 1958) and augmented in 2018 and 2019 by other sizeable donations, which we hope will benefit not only All Saints’ music but also that of the wider Church. 

The Revd Alan Moses, Vicar


Details of the scholarship 

The Organ Scholarship offers training to a high level in service playing and voluntaries, drawing on a diverse repertoire of Anglican canticles and anthems, alongside those of the Eucharistic rite, prepared to accomplished standards. It also offers experience in accompanying chant and liturgical improvisation, and opportunities to work with the Choir, under guidance. 

Within this framework there is the opportunity for the Organ Scholar to advance particular musical interests and skills, and liturgical discernment. The music of the church is centred on the 1910 Hill/Harrison 4-manual instrument, regarded as a superb and vintage instrument. 

Jeremiah Stephenson, the Acting Director of Music, provides ongoing support and guidance for the Organ Scholar throughout the tenure; suggestions for solo repertoire, assistance with preparation for ARCO and FRCO, and other diplomas and examinations.  

Terms and Conditions

Length of tenure

For one year, renewable by invitation for an additional year, running 1 September 2019 to
31 August 2020.

(a) Those in ‘gap’ year between school and university;

(b) Those undertaking undergraduate or postgraduate study in or near London.

All candidates will be expected to be available to be present at All Saints for audition. Speculative recordings will not be accepted. 

Duties and Attendance

Attendance is expected at all choral services and practices, including Christmas, Holy Week and Easter. The Organ Scholar learns both through observation and active participation in music making at All Saints. 

Holiday periods

Absences after Christmas, Easter and during the summer holidays are arranged in consultation with Acting Director of Music, Jeremiah Stephenson, and in consideration of the wider Music team. The Organ Scholar is expected to be present to provide cover during their holiday times, but there will be opportunities for days off in lieu. 

Remuneration and other benefits

(i) The annual remuneration for academic year 2019 is currently £3,600 payable in monthly instalments of £300 each, reviewed by the PCC annually in November.  Extra fees are payable for special events and services when the Organ Scholar acts as the Assistant Organist. There is also the possibility of discretional limited assistance with exam fees or other legitimate study costs and travel costs from outside London.

(ii) Free use of the four-manual Harrison organ and the Choir Room Steinway at agreed times. 


Informal telephone conversations with Jeremiah Stephenson are welcome at any time – T. 07979 505913. Formal applications should be sent by Friday 14 June 2019 to the Vicar: Fr Alan Moses by emailing, with ORGAN SCHOLAR as subject heading. Hard copies of submissions are not required. Please include the names of two referees, and a brief indication of the post’s attraction, particularly in reference to the Anglo-Catholic liturgical tradition at All Saints, and how the scholarship might therefore benefit your progress and development. 

Auditions and interviews

We intend to hold auditions in late June 2019 conducted by the Acting Director of Music. Candidates are invited to play two contrasting pieces, one of which must be from the Baroque period, lasting no more than 15 minutes. In addition there will be sight-reading and transposition tests, and the candidate will be asked to improvise briefly.

The expected minimum standard is from ABRSM Grade VIII to ARCO, but candidates will also be assessed on their potential and musical aptitude. There will also be a brief informal interview with Fr Alan Moses, Vicar of All Saints Margaret Street.                       

May 2019

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