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Oxford Ambitions for Trent College Organist


A determined Trent College musician is a step closer to achieving his dream of winning a place at Oxford University after being elected as the Organ Scholar to Queen’s College for 2016.

Matthew Gibson, who is in Year 13 at the Long Eaton school, now knows what he has to achieve in his A-levels next summer to secure his place at the college, whose eclectic alumni include World Wide Web inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, astronomer Edmond Halley, comedian Rowan Atkinson, and recent Australian PM Tony Abbott.

Earlier this year Trent College Sixth Form student and Organ Scholar Matthew proved if you are good enough you are old enough after stepping in to play the organ at Derby Cathedral after its professional Assistant Organist broke his arm.

Queen’s College chapel boasts one of the country’s finest organs. Built by the Danish firm Frobenius in 1965, it set the standard for the classical organ revival in Britain and is used for weekly recitals, services, concerts, recordings, and broadcasts.

Matthew is not the only Trent College musician with his sights on Oxford as two of his Sixth Form classmates are also both applying for musical scholarships. Rudi Reed impressed on the piano at Brasenose College and hopes to be awarded a Music Scholarship, while Chris Hill has reached the musical standard to be considered for a Choral Scholarship to Oriel College.

Meanwhile, Trent College musicians enjoyed the latest in a series of masterclasses last week as Old Trident, Edward Goater, returned to school. Edward left Trent College in 1998 and is now a professional operatic and concert tenor soloist and a member of the renowned chamber choir, the BBC Singers.

Five pupils, from Years 8 to 13, sang solos to Edward, receiving his guidance and coaching on their performances, and all of the school’s current vocal students were able to benefit as they listened to the masterclass. Edward then continued with a choral masterclass for Trent College’s Schola Cantorum or ‘school of singing’.

Mr Steven Henderson, Director of Music at Trent College, said: “The quality of Edward’s singing really impressed our pupils, and the return of an Old Trident who has become a professional singer was a particular inspiration to them.”

Trent College’s Schola Cantorum aims to challenge perceptions and present performances of the very highest quality in the very best of venues. Choristers’ experience includes free singing lessons, workshops, performances in and out of school and holiday time tours as well as recordings, broadcasts, competitions and performances in further prestigious cathedrals and other national venues.

This summer the Schola Cantorum visited Italy, singing at Mass in St Mark’s Basilica in Venice and St Anthony’s Basilica in Padua.

Mr Goater’s visit was part of Trent College’s Arts and Speakers Programme, which welcomes inspirational visitors from a wide variety of disciplines to help students embrace the academic and non-academic challenges of school, university and life beyond. It includes guests from the worlds of politics, academia, sport, the arts, industry and adventure, plus other lectures, recitals and performances

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