There are two Organ Scholars who assist the Director of Music in the running of the Choir, attending the daily rehearsals for the Choristers at the School, and accompanying the services in Chapel. St John's boasts an impressive line of former Organ Scholars – see below and on our alumni page.
If you are interested in becoming an Organ Scholar and wish to find out more, please contact Andrew Nethsingha to arrange a meeting. Mr Nethsingha would be happy to meet and hear your playing at any time of year. Organ Trials are held in mid-September each year. Further information about Cambridge Organ Scholarships can be found on the University Organ Awards pages.
Freddie James began his musical education at Southwark Cathedral where he was a chorister for seven years. He was a music scholar at Westminster School during which time he was Organ Scholar at Croydon Minster. After leaving Westminster School he spent a year studying organ at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Prof. Jacques van Oortmerssen and was Assistant Organist of the Basilica of St Nicholas, Amsterdam. His studies in Amsterdam were assisted by a Nicholas Danby Trust bursary and a grant from the Eric Thompson Trust. Freddie is currently in his third and final year as organ scholar of St John's and is a foundation scholar of the college. Freddie has given many recitals, including at the Hereford Three Choirs' Festival, Westminster Abbey, Southwark Cathedral, St Peter's Cathedral, Belfast, St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Grote Laurenskerk, Rotterdam and King's College, Cambridge. He was also the soloist in the Saint Saens Organ Symphony and the Poulenc Organ Concerto in St John's Smith Square and Westminster Abbey respectively with his school orchestra. Freddie won all the prizes in the Fellowship examinations of the Royal College of Organists and was awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
Edward Picton-Turbervill began his musical education as a Chorister at Winchester Cathedral under David Hill and Andrew Lumsden. He learnt the organ with Sarah Baldock and gained a music scholarship to Eton College, where he continued his studies with David Goode. Subsequently Edward became an Associate of the Royal College of Organists. Edward had his gap year in New Zealand, spending half of the year in Auckland Cathedral and the remainder of the year in Christchurch Cathedral.
St John’s has two organs. The main organ was built by Mander and Sons in 1993. Although largely new, the instrument incorporates parts of the previous Hill organ and subsequent alterations, including the famous Trompetta Real, several Swell stops and much of the Pedal division. See the specification of the Mander organ here. There is more information on this organ on the St John's College website. In addition to the main organ, a three-stop transposing chamber organ for smaller scale repertoire was completed by Vincent Woodstock in 2010.