The annual Down & Dromore and Connor Organ Scholarship Service took place in St Anne’s Cathedral on Sunday October 1.

At the service, organ scholar David McClelland, from St Patrick’s, Coleraine, was presented with a Certificate of Completion.  David has finished his three-year course in organ tuition and choral musicianship.

It is hoped that he will soon take on a position in a church within these two dioceses, thus fulfilling the main object of the course – to provide organists to play at the services in our churches.

David’s tutor on the course, The Rev Dr Ian Mills, was present to support his former pupil, as was another tutor, Mr Michael McCracken.

Canon David Humphries, Chair of the Board of Management, welcomed six new scholars to the course, and reminded them of their good fortune in being accepted after audition some weeks ago.

The new scholars are:

  • Callum Whiteside (St Mark’s Ballysillan)
  • Victoria Irwin (Whitehouse)
  • Jane Knowles (Broomhedge)
  • Kathryn Murdie (Ballywillan)
  • Amy Norris (Kilmore)
  • Rebekah Wilson (Belfast: All Saints)

This means that the Board of Management, funded through a bequest made back in the 1970s, is currently supporting 16 scholars on the course.  Canon Humphries made mention of the support given to the scholars by their fellow parishioners.

“This is absolutely vital, and we are also grateful to the rectors, who have supported the scholars by their presence at the service, and who show such reassurance and inspiration to these mostly young people,” Canon Humphries said.

“There is nothing more important than the public worship of the Almighty, and the training of these folk in playing the organ can only enhance the worship of the people.”

David McClelland is pictured above with Canon David Humphries. Photo: David Holmes.