Scholarships

SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME
The freshness and sonority of St Michael’s choir is enhanced by our Music Scholars from the University of Exeter who join us each year. In recent years St Michael’s music team has also run a successful Scholarship scheme for budding conductors and organists.

Our Scholarships are for young people with a keen interest in music within the liturgy, and who are preferably able to read music, with good sight-singing skills. Scholars will require the commitment and enthusiasm to sing at the weekly practice, Sunday service(s) and for Feast Days and other celebrations at St Michael’s. For the Academic years 2015-7 we have appointed an Ouseley Scholar (click picture 4 below) and are looking for new Senior Choral Scholars (Basses & Sops only this year). (Click link & Refresh window, or click 1st picture below.)  We would also like to offer one or more Junior Choral Scholarship (2nd picture below).

The the repertoire of music at St Michael’s is wide-ranging, from Plainchant, Renaissance Polyphony, Baroque and Romantic styles, to exciting contemporary settings.

HOW TO APPLY
Interested singers and musicians are warmly encouraged to come to a Choir Practice held on Tuesdays at 7pm, or to contact Erika Borley.  We hope to meet you!

For more details and to register your interest, please send a message via the contacts page, or email music@stmichaelsmountdinham.org.uk  For a map and directions, click here to find us.

Successful candidates are offered musical training with our Director of Music, Erika Borley, or Organist, Dr Nigel Browne, and students may take singing lessons at the University.

If you would like to support the running of this diverse church community by making a donation to St Michael’s, please use the MyDonate option below.  Thank you.

Our Scholars

Senior Choral Scholarships

Senior Choral Scholarships

For Students or Graduates with good sight-reading, able to contribute to a friendly and active liturgical choir with possibly the widest musical repertoire outside the Cathedral.

Up to three Senior Choral Scholars (ideally Basses and Sopranos this year) to be appointed following an audition process in September, preferably before or after choir practices on Tuesdays. Please contact Director of Music, Erika Borley, for details.

Senior Choral Scholars will be students from the University of Exeter, and will be required to:

  • Sing with the choir for rehearsals and services during term time, including (but not limited to):

    • Rehearsals – Tuesday, 7:00-8:30pm

    • Mass – Sunday, 10:00am-12:15pm (approx.)

    • Evensong and Benediction – first Sunday of every month, 4:45-7:00pm.

    • Feast Days and special services – in accordance with the St Michael’s calendar

  • Provide a strong lead in their section, ensuring that they are familiar with all music in advance of the service at which it is being performed

  • Undertake solo and/or semi-chorus roles as requested by the Director of Music

  • Support the Director of Music with the administrative running of the choir, for example by assisting with the maintenance of the music library

Senior Choral Scholars will be awarded an honorarium of £400 per annum, renewable without re-audition for a maximum of three years.

Junior Choral Scholarships

Junior Choral Scholarships

Up to three Junior Choral Scholars (voice parts depending on ability and choir needs) may be appointed following an audition process in September, preferably before or after choir practices on Tuesdays. Please contact Director of Music, Erika Borley, if interested.

Junior Choral Scholars will be upper secondary school or sixth form students from the local area, and will be expected to:

  • Sing with the choir for rehearsals and services during term time, including (but not limited to):

    • Rehearsals – Tuesday, 7:00-8:30pm

    • Mass – Sunday, 10:00am-12:15pm (approx.)

    • Evensong and Benediction – first Sunday of every month, 4:45-7:00pm.

    • Feast Days and special services – in accordance with the St Michael’s calendar

  • Ensure that they are familiar with all music in advance of the service at which it is being performed

Junior Choral Scholars will be awarded an honorarium of £200 per annum, renewable without re-audition for a maximum of three years.

Miranda Fern - Ouseley Scholar 2015-7

Miranda Fern - Ouseley Scholar 2015-7

Hi, I’m Miranda, and I’ve been singing at St Michael’s on and off since 2013. I originally came along to sing the Faure Requiem in 2013, fully intending it to be a one-off, but the atmosphere was so lovely I’ve been here as often as possible ever since!

I come from a very large family who all enjoy singing, so it was inevitable that I’d end up being involved with music somehow. Before university, I sang in a number of different choirs and choral societies both inside and outside school, and when I arrived at Exeter I joined the University Chapel Choir, University Singers, the A Cappella Society and took up a choral scholarship at St Peter’s Church, Tiverton. In my second year I began singing at St Michael’s whenever I had a Sunday off from Tiverton, and the rest is history.

I’m in my final year at Exeter studying History and Ancient History, as well as studying German as an extra option. From 2014-15 I spent a year in the Netherlands on a study abroad placement; this was a brilliant experience but it’s also really nice to be back in familiar Exeter. As well as singing and doing my degree, I’m a leader at a Brownie and Guide group in Exeter and enjoy swimming, cycling and cooking.

I’m very excited to be a full-time scholar at St Michael’s for the coming year and am looking forward to great things to come!

Ouseley Trust Scholarship

Ouseley Trust Scholarship

St Michael’s Choir is very pleased and grateful to have been awarded funding for this Scholarship for 2015-17 by the Ouseley Trust, a charity set up to promote and maintain choral services to a high standard.

Our first Ouseley Scholar was appointed in September 2015. This scholarship is funded by a grant from the Ouseley Church Music Trust.

The Ouseley Scholar will be a student from the University of Exeter, and will be required to:
 Sing with the choir for rehearsals and services during term time, including (but not limited to):
o Rehearsals – Tuesday, 7:00-8:30pm
o Mass – Sunday, 10:00am-12:30pm (approx.)
o Evensong and Benediction – first Sunday of every month, 4:45-7:00pm.
o Feast Days and special services – in accordance with the St Michael’s calendar
 Sing with the choir for services during Holy Week (including Easter Sunday), including when this falls outside the university term
 Conduct and/or accompany the choir for occasional rehearsals and services, as agreed with the Director of Music and Organist
 Provide a strong lead in their section, ensuring that they are familiar with all music in advance of the service at which it is being performed
 Undertake solo and/or semi-chorus roles as requested by the Director of Music
 Support the Director of Music with the administrative running of the choir, for example by assisting with the maintenance of the music library
The Ouseley Scholar will be awarded an honorarium of £600 per annum, for a fixed period of two academic years in accordance with the conditions of the Ouseley Trust grant.

Amy Down - Scholar 2015-6

Amy Down - Scholar 2015-6

“Moving to Exeter unexpectedly in September 2015 I quite by chance found myself living next door to a church in which I’d sung a concert with the Chapel Choir of The Queen’s College Oxford earlier that summer. A look at the website introduced me to the choir and less than 24 hours after moving house I’d been to Mass and become a member of St Michael’s Choir!

The madness hasn’t stopped since then and I now can’t imagine a life in which St Michael’s doesn’t play a huge part. Everyone involved in the church is so friendly and welcoming and the best friends I’ve made this year are those at church. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the church calendar this year and am looking forward to being confirmed at St Michael’s in November.

As well as being a scholar at St Michael’s I’ve had enormous fun prancing around the Northcott Theatre in the Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s production of Princess Ida, and singing with Exeter Chorale. In my spare time I enjoy sewing and baking, dog walking around Exeter and frequent trips to the Boardgame Café! I’ve just completed my MA in Classics and Ancient History at the university but am thrilled to be working in Exeter for the next year (at least!) and can’t wait for another year of St Michael’s madness!”

Vicki Brammall - scholar 2011-15

Vicki Brammall - scholar 2011-15

Choral Scholar

Hi, my name's Vicki and I'm currently studying for an MMath at the University of Exeter. I'm originally from the seaside town of Gorleston-on-sea, Norfolk, and I've been singing with the choir of St Michael and All Angels since September 2011. I only started singing in a church choir when I was seventeen, so by the time I got to applying for universities I certainly didn't have experience on my side. Despite my original intention of applying for a choral scholarship at the University of Cambridge, they saw fit to not let me in, so I ended up several hours away in the lovely city of Exeter. I remember the first time I came to St. Michael's was just before my university Post Offer Day in March, and I went to Vespers (not quite realising that there would be a twenty-five minute meditation in the middle!) then choir practice. It can't have put me off too much however, as once I started my degree I contacted the church again, had an audition and was accepted, despite being struck down with Freshers' Flu at the time.

I've absolutely loved being a scholar at St. Michael's as it's really given me the chance to improve my technique and expand my repertoire. The choir are all lovely and the standard is really high, and it's been great to be involved with something outside of university life. My favourite times of the year have to be either Advent, or Holy Week and the few weeks that succeed that with the big services such as Ascension and Trinity Sunday, I love singing big Victorian anthems so that time of year really lends itself to it!

Aside from my singing, I'm very active in the religious side of the University, having recently been elected President of the Methodist and Anglican Society. I'm also an avid knitter and sewer, and despite suggestions (mainly from my mother) that I should apply for the Great British Sewing Bee, I much prefer to take a leisurely approach to these sorts of things!

Here are some links to me singing on the St Michael's Soundclick page;

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12306145

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11944018

Marianne Connors - scholar 2010-2015, still in the choir

Marianne Connors - scholar 2010-2015, still in the choir

Choral Scholar I've been singing with St. Michael's since September 2010, having moved on from the University Chapel Choir. I already had friends at St. Michael's, and wanted to be part of a more permanent community. The choir here are a really lovely group of people, and definitely the heart of the church. We spend a lot of time together, and enjoy socials such as bacon sandwiches after the Ascension Day dawn service, pancakes after choir practice on Shrove Tuesday and Prosecco after, well, every major church festival or event! We've had some fantastic trips away, including a week in Fulda & Blankenau, Germany, in 2012. However, the choir's passion is for bringing music to rural churches who do not normally get to enjoy the likes of Stanford, Tallis & Byrd. These frequent evensongs and concerts are extremely rewarding, and usually involve a lot of time in the pub! It is a real pleasure to sing in a relaxed and welcoming environment with people who care so much about their music.  In fact my husband and I chose St. Michael's for our wedding last year because it feels so much like home!

Rebecca Vinnicombe - scholar 2012-15

Rebecca Vinnicombe - scholar 2012-15

Choral Scholar

Hi, I’m Rebecca and studying for BSc Mathematics at Exeter University.

When I’m not in Exeter, home is way down in the far west of Cornwall. I’ve been a choral scholar at St Michael’s since the first week I started university and I’ve never looked back. Singing is something I have been involved in from a very young age but I only discovered the world of choral singing around the age of 16. When I got my offer to come to Exeter, I was certain that I wanted to try for a scholarship and on my arrival I had scheduled three auditions with local churches. My first was at St Michael’s and I found it so friendly, supportive and welcoming that I cancelled the other two!

Life as a scholar at St Michael’s has been the most amazing enhancement to my time at university. Yes, at times it can be hard, with challenging repertoire, sight reading skills are certainly put to the test, but with the whole choir being supportive and talented, it’s impossible not to enjoy every second.  Personally, I have also loved learning a lot more about the Christian calendar, with special services throughout the year, allowing the choir to sing whole requiems and large anthems as well as have the opportunity to improve on both my technique and confidence.

Outside of choir, I have recently been appointed Vice-President and Treasurer of the Methodist and Anglican Society as well as being a very keen baker and cake decorator.

 

The Choir

The Choir

 

St Michael’s Choir has around 20 singers. Its main duties are singing for weekly Mass and monthly Evensong at St Michael’s Church, with occasional festival days. The choir also visits nearby churches to give concerts or sing services, and tours each summer.

The Choir really values the contribution of  our Choral Scholars and the link it fosters with the University, and our Scholars seem to enjoy the wide-ranging music, from Plainsong and Palestrina to Paul Mealor, and the relaxed atmosphere of this talented Choir.