Organ Scholars

There are two Organ Scholars who assist the Director of Music in the running of the Choir. They accompany the Choir in its daily round of services and assist in the training of its Choristers at St John's College School. 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 please visit our Becoming an Organ Scholar page.

Alex Robson

Alex Robson
Organ Scholar

Alex is the Herbert Howells Organ Scholar at St John’s, where he studies Music in his first year. Alex found his love for music on the piano at age 6, and began organ lessons when he started secondary school. He received his ARCO diploma in 2019 and while still at school he played for the parish choir at St Paul’s, Rusthall for services, concerts and cathedral visits. He has also played the piano and clarinet in the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra and Kent Country Youth Orchestra. 

In 2021, Alex was Organ Scholar at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where he played regularly for the daily services and special events. Besides accompanying the choir, he enjoyed teaching the younger choristers in the mornings as girls were admitted for the first time, and conducting the Lay Clerks once a fortnight. Particular highlights of the year included recordings with the choir, the services in Holy Week including the Royal Maundy service, and the Garter Day service.

Alex studies the organ with Ann Elise Smoot, and the piano with Marie-Noëlle Kendall. He has given recitals in Cambridge, London and Oxford, and looks forward to the tours and recordings with the College Choir. His other interests include cross-country running and learning foreign languages.

Tingshuo Yang

Tingshuo Yang
Organ Scholar

Tingshuo is the Junior Organ Scholar at St John’s, where he studies Music in his first year. He has shown insatiable curiosity for music since his childhood, having his first piano lesson aged four. He studied at the Royal College of Music Junior Department from 2012 until 2016, attaining his DipABSRM aged 10 and LRSM two years later. He also studied at the Conservatoire de la Ville de Luxembourg with Professor Jean Muller and was the winner of annual award of “Prix du meilleur laureat” in 2019. In April that year, Tingshuo made his solo debut with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2018, Tingshuo was awarded a music scholarship to Eton College, where he studied organ with Philip Scriven and played regularly for the Lower and College Chapel Choirs. While at Eton, he attained his ARCO and in 2020, came runner up in the under-25s category of Composition Competition of the Royal College of Organists. In August 2023, he was highly commended in the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition and worked with David Hill as the organ scholar of the Charles Wood Festival in Armagh.

Tingshuo studies the organ with Colin Walsh and piano with Jenny Stern.

The Organs

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. You can find the specification of the Mander organ below. 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.

The St John's Mander Organ

The Mander Organ, St John's College Chapel

Previous Organ Scholars

  • 2021 Alex Trigg
  • 2019 George Herbert
  • 2017 James Anderson-Besant
  • 2015 Glen Dempsey
  • 2013 Joseph Wicks
  • 2012 Edward Picton-Turbervill
  • 2010 Freddie James
  • 2008 John Challenger
  • 2007 Timothy Ravalde
  • 2005 Léon Charles
  • 2004 Paul Provost
  • 2002 John Robinson
  • 2000 Jonathan Vaughn
  • 1999 Christopher Whitton
  • 1997 Robert Houssart
  • 1996 Iain Farrington
  • 1994 Peter Davis
  • 1993 Allan Walker
  • 1991 James Martin
  • 1990 Philip Scriven
  • 1988 Alexander Martin
  • 1987 Andrew Nethsingha
  • 1985 Robert Huw Morgan
  • 1984 Philip Kenyon
  • 1983 James Cryer
  • 1981 Andrew Lumsden
  • 1980 Adrian Lucas
  • 1978 Ian Shaw
  • 1976 David Hill
  • 1974 John Scott
  • 1971 Jonathan Rennert
  • 1967 Stephen Cleobury
  • 1963 Jonathan Bielby
  • 1960 Brian Runnett
  • 1956 Peter White
  • 1953 Alan Hemmings
  • 1952 David Lumsden (Assistant Organist)
  • 1951 James Bennett
  • 1947 George Guest
  • 1947 James Brown

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Latest webcast

Recorded on
19 October 2023
  • Introit - Parsons: Ave Maria
  • Responses and Preces: Radcliffe
  • Psalm 25.1-8
  • Readings: Isaiah 40, 1-11, Luke 1, 57-66, 80
  • Jackson in G
  • MacMillan: Christus Vincit
  • Voluntary: Langlais, Acclamations (Suite Medievale)

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Magnificat 3

The third installment in our Magnificat series has been shortlisted for the choral award, making it the second album to be nominated for a Gramophone Award

The contribution of Andrew Nethsingha and St John's College, Cambridge to the Evensong tradition - both in the chapel and on record - deserves great praise