New Organ Scholar

We are delighted to announce the appointment from September 2019 of Matthew Foster as St Edmundsbury Cathedral’s Organ Scholar and King Edward VI School’s Musician in Residence, a joint appointment opportunity which started in 2017.

Matthew is currently organ scholar at St Mary’s Church, Maldon, Essex, and this year is finishing his A-level studies at Chelmsford’s King Edward VI Grammar School. He succeeds Thomas Hawkes who will be leaving Bury St Edmunds at the end of the summer term.

Matthew Foster says: “I’m delighted to have been offered the Organ Scholarship at St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Musician in Residence at King Edward VI School. I’m very excited to be helping the students at King Edward VI School to excel in their musical ambitions, and I’m really looking forward to honing my skills as an organist and to be able to make the most of every opportunity available.”

Lee Walker, headteacher at King Edward VI School, says: “This important partnership between school and cathedral is very exciting and provides a wonderful opportunity for an accomplished musician to gain experience of cathedral life and of school life, sowing seeds for future musical excellence. Thomas Hawkes leaves us in the summer and has been a real asset to the school. We greatly look forward to Matthew joining us and bringing his own talents and enthusiasm to enhance our musical provision for students here.”

The Dean of St Edmundsbury, the Very Rev’d Joe Hawes, says: “More is always achieved when we work together with others. This joint appointment has been a fantastic success in enhancing music provision in the cathedral and at school, and has provided a great role model for the students and young people in our care. We’re delighted that Matthew Foster will be continuing that partnership when Thomas Hawkes leaves us this summer”.

Notes for Editors:

• Thomas Hawkes, current Organ Scholar and Musician in Residence, comes to the end of this fixed-term appointment at the end of the summer term. He has contributed a huge amount to the life of the cathedral and school and we wish him well in his future musical career.

• Matthew Foster began his musical career in 2008 as a chorister at Chelmsford Cathedral. In 2016 he was offered an organ scholarship at St Mary’s Church, Maldon. Upon this appointment, he began studying the organ under the tutelage of Laurence Lyndon-Jones, assistant director of music at Chelmsford Cathedral, whilst continuing to study the piano with Tim Carey. Since joining St Mary’s, Matthew has had the opportunity to play organ for a variety of services in venues such as Chelmsford, Newcastle, Peterborough and Coventry Cathedrals and was accompanist for St Mary’s choir tour to Bavaria, Germany in 2018. He also performed as a soloist at the Maldon Music Festival in the same year. Later this year he will accompany the choir, once again, on its summer tour to Carlisle Cathedral. Matthew is currently studying for his A-levels at King Edward VI Grammar school, Chelmsford and later plans to read music at university whilst undertaking an organ scholarship. He then aspires to take up a career as a professional organist. In addition to his skills on a keyboard, Matthew is also an accomplished saxophonist. He also enjoys other hobbies such as parkour, gymnastics coaching and photography.

• Many cathedrals offer a gap-year or post-graduate opportunity for aspiring talented young singers or organists. In conjunction with King Edward VI School who seek to have a School Musician in Residence to enhance the provision for students studying music, this annual appointment provides a wonderful opportunity for someone to gain experience and to develop their musical career, as well as enhancing and contributing to cathedral and school life.