Organ Scholar

This job has now expired
£5,000 per annum

Applications are sought for the post of Organ Scholar, which is ideal for an outstanding undergraduate student, or a post graduate student taking a year out, as its status is seen by the cathedral to be commensurate with that of Second Assistant. However, all applications will be considered equally.

The appointment is from September 2024 to August 2025 with the option of a further year if progress is satisfactory.

The scholarship is worth £5000 p.a. paid by monthly instalments.

There is shared accommodation provided for choral scholars and the organ scholar in Cathedral Close. This is free, although a small monthly contribution to the bills is paid by the residents.

Interviews will be held 13th November 2023.

The Organ Scholar will be fully involved in the busy life of the Music Department, under the direction of the Director of Music, Stephen Mannings and the Cathedral Organist, Professor Ian Tracey.

The position will be particularly attractive to candidates considering a portfolio career, including some work in schools as part of the cathedral’s extensive outreach programme. In addition it is expected that the Organ Scholar will help with the training and accompaniment of the cathedrals’ supplementary choirs (as per the schedule found below)

The Organ Scholar is expected to attend and assist at all choral rehearsals and services, either as rehearsal accompanist, organist, conductor, or all three of these as per the details below.

Under the supervision of the Director of Music, the Organ Scholar is required to assist in the training and supervision of the choristers and probationers, the training of the choral students and some administrative tasks (such as assisting the librarian, assisting the choir guardians etc). Good singers may also be asked to sing in the choir at certain times of the year.

The Organ Scholar would normally be invited, by Professor Ian Tracey – Cathedral Organist - to give an organ recital in the Summer Series during their year in office.

The Organ Scholar is expected to take their place on the roster as a duty organist in holiday periods when worship is maintained by visiting choirs.

Organ Scholar weekly schedule
Monday Choir rehearsal and evensong 4.00 - 6.15pm (arrive by 3.30pm) / Liverpool64 adult community choir 6.30-8pm
Tuesday Choir rehearsal and evensong 4.00 - 6.15pm (arrive by 3.30pm)
Wednesday no regular duties
Thursday Choir rehearsal and evensong 4.00 - 6.15pm (arrive by 3.30pm)
Friday no duties
Saturday Probationers rehearsal 12.30 - 1.30pm
Choir rehearsal and evensong 2.00 - 4.00pm
Sunday choir rehearsal and eucharist 8.45 -11.45am
Probationer rehearsal 1.00 - 1.45pm
Choir rehearsal and evensong 2.00 -4.00pm

In addition, there will be a small number of occasions each term when the Organ Scholar will be asked to assist with the choral outreach programme, including the cathedral’s Junior and Youth choirs and adult community choir.

Liverpool is a very active musical centre and there are plenty of opportunities for additional freelance organ and keyboard work.

Essential requirements

  • A level music or equivalent
  • Grade 8 organ or equivalent
  • Demonstrable level of ability and experience as an organist
  • Knowledge and participation in a cathedral type repertoire
  • Knowledge and participation in concert repertoire
  • Excellent organ playing skills in both repertoire and accompaniment
  • Good sight reading ability
  • Good aural awareness and ability
  • A thorough understanding of music theory
  • A solid piano technique
  • Competent Microsoft Office skills (word and excel)
  • Good organisational skills
  • Positive outlook and integrity
  • Team player
  • Ability to take responsibility for own personal development and to respond positively to developmental feedback
  • Punctual and reliable
  • Flexible attitude to changing circumstances

Desirable Requirements

  • Degree level education
  • Organ diploma
  • Previous experience of accompanying or conducting services
  • Excellent sight reading ability
  • Excellent aural awareness and ability
  • Understanding of current trends in cathedral organ and choral music provision
  • A working knowledge of the notation package Sibelius
  • A proven ability in recent choral work with both adults and children

Encounter Liverpool Cathedral

The Cathedral Organ is a world renowned five manual 1926 Willis III instrument to which the Organ Scholar can be allowed access for rehearsal, along with the other resident Cathedral Organists, as the Cathedral diary allows. There is also a fine 2 manual 1910 Willis II, rebuilt by David Wells of Liverpool in 1993, (complete with 32’ pedal reed,) in the Lady Chapel; this is available to the Organ Scholar on a daily basis for practice and teaching.

Liverpool Cathedral is a place of spiritual and cultural significance for the city and region of Liverpool. From its foundation in the early part of the 20th century it has existed as community and building built by the people, for the people to the glory of God.

Liverpool Cathedral is more than an iconic Grade 1* listed building. It’s a vibrant, active place that the people of the city, regions and world encounter in many ways. So alongside those who come for one of our daily worship services, people may encounter us for a gala dinner or a school trip. A tourist may visit us or we could be hosting an awards ceremony or graduations. People encounter us in many ways. But in each way, we hope they encounter a warm welcome and sense of God.

As part of their visit we believe everyone will encounter:

  • Inspiring Christian worship
  • A breathtaking experience
  • A community committed to justice and mercy
  • A safe, generous place in joy and sorrow
  • A dynamic community of staff and volunteers
  • A God who knows and loves you.

Working for Liverpool Cathedral will bring you into a community that seeks to make those encounters happen. You will be someone who can subscribe to, and live out, our values of excellence, dynamic, integrity and inclusive. You will have the benefits of working in a landmark building with colleagues who are serious about the work life balance with generous holiday allowances and access to an Employee Assistance Programme. We have a strong working partnership with the Diocese of Liverpool bringing extra support to our activities.

For more information about Liverpool Cathedral go to

Liverpool Cathedral Values

Our values underpin the culture of working for Liverpool Cathedral, they are:

Integrity: This means we act honourably and truthfully and display consistency of character. We show respect to all recognising how we speak and act affects others. We uphold high standards and are accountable for our behaviour.

Inclusivity: This means we actively co-operate with one another and value our differences and solve problems by listening and finding solutions together, always treating everyone fairly and promoting participation. We create a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.

Excellence: This means we go that ‘extra mile’ and follow through on our commitments and consistently deliver the highest quality of service to all. We demonstrate professionalism and have high expectation of each other being committed to teamwork, sharing knowledge, resources and skills.

Dynamic: This means we actively embrace change, welcome progress and display enthusiasm, passion and enjoyment for our work. We are innovative, open minded and willing to adapt; and we use our drive and commitment to energize, engage and inspire others.