Congratulations to our latest two Blue Coat School Organ Scholars Year 9 student Alexandra Somova, and Charles Fisher, from Year 8, after a closely contested audition of five candidates.
Alexandra and Charles are only the second pair of organ scholars since the scheme was launched in 2019, with students Olivia Stone and George Ke, who are both now in Year 10 and making amazing progress.
Auditions took place in the School Chapel, with candidates playing a prepared organ piece Camidge’s Gavotte, a piano piece of their own choosing and being interviewed on their musical background, their reasons for wanting to learn playing the organ, and their commitment to a five-year course.
The judging panel consisted of Mr Emery, Blue Coat School Director of Music; Old Blue Mr Ward, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral Director of Music, who is the Scholarship Lead Tutor; and Old Blue Dr McElroy, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Director of Music, and the Scholarship’s Supervisor.
Mr Emery, who chaired the panel, said: “It was a very difficult choice as the standard of candidates was so high. Our congratulations to Alexandra and Charles and our commiserations to the other candidates who were so good.”
On hearing the news that he had been successful, Charles said: “I am delighted to have become the latest Blue Coat School Organ Scholar. I fully appreciate the chance to start learning more about the organ and I can’t wait to play Liverpool Anglican Cathedral’s Grand Organ!”
Alexandra remarked: “I am so grateful to be chosen for the organ scholarship. I look forward to beginning lessons and learning about this wonderful instrument. It will be great to get the chance to work with so many amazing and talented musicians. I will try and do my best to live up to expectations.”
The two Organ Scholarships are made possible by the generosity of the Eric Thompson Charitable Trust’s £10,000 award for this purpose.
The Blue Coat School Organ Scholarship is unmatched in the UK, as it involves tuition on the two School organs, Shirley Hall’s newly restored historic Father Willis and the Chapel’s Walker, and their two ‘big brothers’ – the Anglican Cathedral’s Grand Willis (the UK’s biggest organ) and the Metropolitan Cathedral’s magnificent Walker.
Our thanks also to the other shortlisted candidates James Chou, Shamal Harave and Amy Li for their time and efforts. It is planned to offer free organ workshops to all our organists led by OB Daniel Greenway, Liverpool Cathedral Organ Scholar, after the Easter holidays.