• Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

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Learning the organ is no longer a pipe dream thanks to school offer

YOUNG musicians are being offered the chance to fulfil a pipe dream as a school launches a scheme to promote the virtues of the mighty chapel organ.

The Young Organist Scheme offers two places to students, from years 7-10 and one from years 11-13, to learn the historic instrument free of charge. Musicians would be offered the chance to play the chapel’s 19th century organ, built by ‘Father’ Henry Willis, who also built organs for the Royal Albert Hall and St Paul’s Cathedral.

There would also be opportunities to play organs further afield in a scheme overseen by Barnard Castle School’s director of music Richard Dawson.

He said: “I started learning to play the organ when I was 13 and it is a very exciting and powerful instrument.

“Current piano and keyboard players might be best suited as you have to play with both hands and feet. We are looking for young people who are dedicated with a natural curiosity for learning.

“Our chapel organ lies at the very heart of a wide range of music including hymns and choral performances.”

Successful candidates will undergo an audition and interview, with the scheme starting in January, when they will also sing in the Chapel Choir to connect their organ playing with the choral tradition of the school.

By French