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.

George Herbert

George Herbert
Herbert Howells Organ Scholar
2019

George is the Herbert Howells Organ Scholar at St John’s. Following two years as a Music student, George is now in his final year studying German. Born in Manchester in 2001, his passion for music was kindled in earnest when he started singing in Manchester Cathedral Choir aged nine.

He joined Chetham’s School of Music at this time too, where he studied trumpet after leaving the cathedral’s choir. During this time, formative experiences included playing in a fanfare brass group alongside the Gabrieli Consort in their recording An English Coronation, involvement with the school’s orchestras and big bands, and participation in music therapy and community music projects. He focused on organ and singing in his time in the school’s Sixth Form, and returned to Manchester Cathedral as Organ Scholar. He played Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with Chetham’s Chamber Orchestra, and enjoyed working closely with his peers as an accompanist.

He now studies organ with Colin Walsh and piano with Keval Shah. In his first two years he was a pianist in Pembroke College’s Lieder Scheme, where he participated in masterclasses with accompanist Joseph Middleton. He has been the co-musical director of the Gentlemen of St John’s since his second year.

George is a passionate environmentalist, and is studying for a dissertation on environmental policy and foreign relations in Cold War East Germany. An article he wrote arguing for more sustainable musical touring practices was published by Varsity newspaper last year.

Alex Trigg

Alex Trigg
Organ Scholar
2021

Alex joins us at St John’s after a year spent as Organ Scholar at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Although much of his year in Windsor was affected by lockdowns, Alex worked regularly with the choir probationers, as well as occasionally accompanying and directing the choir. In January 2021, he was awarded his FRCO (playing) under the tutelage of Ann Elise Smoot.

Alex’s first experiences of choral music were as a chorister at King's College, Cambridge. He started playing the organ at the age of 14, at St Lawrence Church, Seal Chart, where he remained Organist for four years. During this time he gained the highest marks in the country for his playing in the ARCO examination, while studying with Robin Walker. When he was 16 years old, he founded The Tudeley Singers, and has since conducted them in services at several different cathedrals (including Westminster Abbey, where he was the youngest person ever to conduct a service). He has also organised and directed a number of concerts with the choir, which have included works by Fauré, Duruflé and Britten.

Heavily involved with local music, Alex was associated with over a dozen amateur ensembles during his time in Kent, including as Manager of The Lydian Orchestra. A firm believer in the positive impact music can have on society, Alex has raised over £7,000 for various charities through his music making, and has worked with several local primary schools to inspire musicians of the future.

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

  • 2017 James Anderson-Besantw
  • 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

Share this

Latest webcast

Recorded on
7 October 2021
  • Responses and Preces: Ayleward
  • Psalm 88 vv.1-9 (Prendergast)
  • Weelkes (Sixth Service)
  • Tye: Praise ye the Lord, ye Children
  • Hymn 476

Latest news

Choristers facing the Bridge of Sighs

St John’s College will continue its reputation for musical excellence by featuring male and female voices – both adults and children – in its world-renowned choir for the first time

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

Gramophone