William Wallace – Senior Organ Scholar
William Wallace is the Senior Organ Scholar at Christ Church, Oxford and a third-year undergraduate studying Music at the University of Oxford. His musical training developed from his time as a chorister at Chichester Cathedral, where he was Head Chorister and took up organ lessons with Mark Wardell, at the age of twelve. William went on to become a music scholar at The Portsmouth Grammar School, continuing to receive organ tuition from James Lloyd Thomas. Whilst in the Sixth Form, he was also the Organ Scholar at Portsmouth Cathedral, became an Associate of the Royal College of Organists and an inaugural holder of the College’s Dr John Birch Scholarship. After completing his A Level exams, William spent a gap year as the Organ Scholar at Canterbury Cathedral, combining this with a position in the Music Department at The King’s School. Notably, one of his responsibilities in Canterbury involved accompanying the newly founded Cathedral Girls’ Choir, with whom he featured at their debut concert and on their CD release of choral music by Henry Purcell. In September 2015 he resumed his academic studies upon moving to Oxford, to become an organ scholar at Christ Church and begin working towards his bachelor’s degree. William has studied organ performance and technique with internationally renowned concert organists including Christian Wilson, Stephen Farr and Margaret Phillips, and has given recitals at venues such as St Lawrence Jewry and St John’s Smith Square, as well as a number of English cathedrals.
Makoto James – Junior Organ Scholar
Makoto James started his musical career at the age of seven as a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. While there he began to study the organ with cathedral organists Tim Wakerell and Jamie Mcvinnie. At the age of thirteen he won a music scholarship to Eton College where he continued his studies with David Goode. During that time he gave recitals in venues such as Reading Town Hall and St Paul’s Cathedral. He also gave a performance of Handel’s 2nd Organ Concerto with Eton’s chamber orchestra. Between Eton and Oxford Makoto spent two years in France studying the harpsichord and forte piano with Yasuko Bouvard, and receiving a diploma in organ with the ‘Prix Vidal’ from the Toulouse conservatoire, under Michel Bouvard and Jan Willem Jansen. During his time in Toulouse he also performed regularly with the Maîtrise de Toulouse, including performances of the Fauré and Duruflé requiems. Makoto moved to Oxford in September 2016 to take up his appointment as Junior Organ Scholar at Christ Church and to begin studying for a degree in Music.
There are vacancies for 2018 and 2020. For further details please see THIS WEBSITE. The Organ Scholar is normally required to read for the Honour School of Music. He/she assists the Organist with running the music in the Cathedral and attends most practices and services. The opportunity exists to give recitals in the Cathedral, and to conduct the choir in practices and services. The Organ Scholar is expected to play a prominent role in the musical life of the College and University.
Previous Organ Scholars
Alexander Pott (Organ Scholar 2012-2015)
“I came up to Christ Church in 2012 having spent a gap year at Chelmsford Cathedral. I had a fantastic time at Christ Church and greatly enjoyed working with Stephen Darlington and Clive Driskill-Smith. I certainly worked very hard, especially to begin with – balancing playing for three or four of the services every week plus my music degree work was tough – but it’s perfectly manageable if you’re prepared to be organised. I learned so many skills from my organ scholarship that I now use regularly – not only organ repertoire and accompaniment but directing a choir and teaching children. After three years at Christ Church I went to Westminster Cathedral to be organ scholar, and have now returned to Oxford as Assistant Organist and Tutor to the Choristers at Magdalen College.”
Ghislaine Reece-Trapp (Organ Scholar 2011-2014)
“I was Organ Scholar at Christ Church from 2011 to 2014, before staying on as Assistant Organist for a year after graduating as an Academic Scholar. The countless opportunities and responsibilities given to me over my four years at the Cathedral have without doubt shaped my career as a professional musician. Learning a vast and varied repertoire to a high standard for daily services and live radio broadcasts has broadened my musicianship, improving my ability to sight-read, refine and interpret music of all genres. Furthermore, the challenge of balancing a heavy academic and practical musical workload instilled in me early on a discipline which has enabled me to build a rich and fulfilling portfolio career. I currently teach academic music at Eltham College, where I am heavily involved in the lively extracurricular life of the school; I perform recitals across the UK and abroad, and will be participating in the St Alban’s International Organ Recital Series this summer; I teach on organ courses for the Royal College of Organists, am a Consultant for the Royal School of Church Music and a Yeoman of the Worship Company of Musicians; and I am a keen composer, reaching the Finals of the BBC Radio 3 Carol of the Year Composition Competition and the Northern Ireland International Composition Competition. I look back on my time at Christ Church with fondness, and am eternally grateful to Stephen Darlington for his commitment, passion, support and high expectations in making my experience there a special one.”
- Michael Heighway
- Ben Sheen
- Edward Tambling
- Henry Parkes
- Elizabeth Burgess
- Christian Wilson
- Neil Gaston-Nash