Homerton College welcomed its first Organ Scholar, Ian Howard, in 2011. Having joined the University Organ Trials, the College subsequently appointed Jonathan Huse and now Chris Baczkowski.
Chris Baczkowski, in his second year of the Historical Tripos, writes:
The Organ Scholarship at Homerton College involves accompanying the rehearsal and weekly service at St John the Evangelist’s Church on Hills Road, as well as other events that are part of the Charter Choir’s commitment to the wider musical life of the College. The Charter Choir sings a broad repertoire: from the early music of Victoria and Bach’s famed cantatas, to works by the great English composers such as C.V. Stanford, Herbert Howells, Herbert Brewer and E.C. Bairstow. The repertoire also extends to new premiers: at the end of Michaelmas term 2017, we enjoyed the first performance of a work composed by former student, Coleman Chan.
Before coming to Homerton College I spent a year as Organ Scholar at Wakefield Cathedral, and it’s great to once again be part of an exceptional musical team. I collaborate closely with the Director of Music over important issues such as termly music lists and the annual Organ and Choral Trials for new applicants, as well as grittier practical arrangements such as the logistics of rehearsals and concerts. The Organ Scholar is an important link between the Choir and the Director of Music, helping everyone feel they are working towards the same goal.
For me, the Scholarship is a perfect fit: I can spend time enjoying my music and being a part of the wonderful choral scene in Cambridge, but it isn’t overbearing. I still find time to socialise with friends over a game of pool, go to talks or networking events, and fit all this around my degree!
Being Homerton College’s first Organ Scholar chosen through the University trials was a wonderful experience. It gave me once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, like playing in Canterbury Cathedral and St John the Divine in New York, as well being played on BBC Radio Three. It gave me great joy, to be able to consistently make high quality music and to see the ability of the Charter Choir rapidly develop over my three years. It gave me challenges; it was a cornerstone to my Cambridge career; and it gave me friends for life!
Jonathan Huse, History 2013