The Northumbrian Organ Scholarships and Education Trust (NOSE)


Brainchild of former NDSO Chairman, Charles Wooler, with support from current Chairman Andrew Hamnett, NOSE aims, in their words, to answer the critical question asked by organists’ associations up and down the UK:

“Where will the next generation of organists come from?”


There have been several excellent recent Organ Days, in which those thinking about taking up the instrument or extending their skills could obtain hands-on experience and advice. However, no musical instrument can be learned quickly, and for those starting to take lessons, or wishing to improve their musical skills, there are considerable financial demands as well as demands on time and commitment. We will not have a new generation of church organists unless we can find ways of sustaining our young people with financial as well as moral support, and the NOSE project has recently been created to provide such financial support to young organists across our region.


Newcastle has the potential to be a most exciting city for organists. A fine collection of thoroughbred instruments has recently been joined by the significant new Kenneth Tickell organ in St Mary’s RC Cathedral. Plans for other new installations in The King’s Hall, University of Newcastle and Newcastle Anglican Cathedral along with the proposed restoration of the organ in the City Hall have the potential to place the city in the same category as Edinburgh, Birmingham and Bristol to name a few. In the wider region there are also many fine instruments and churches with a lively musical tradition, but all are experiencing a serious shortage of young organists to carry on these traditions to the next generation.


The approach:

To form a charitable trust prior to launching a large-scale funding appeal (to include private donors and other fund awarding, educational bodies) with two specific aims:

* To fund educational projects to introduce young people (aged 10-16) to the organ, inspire them to learn to play, to sustain their interest and to support them in their studies. 

* To part-fund scholarships for young musicians who have begun their studies on the organ and have recognised ability to progress on the instrument. 


The trust would award funding to young people to work alongside Directors of Music at churches within the region, able to offer a high degree of training and also to contribute some funding towards a scholarship. A key partner in this strand will be the Music Department of the University of Newcastle.


Progress so far:

* A trust fund has been set up to enable us to raise money and distribute it according to the stated aims of the trust. 

* Five trustees have been appointed:

Andrew Hamnett (formerly Vice-Chancellor of Strathclyde University, responsible for the installation in their Barony Hall)

James Lancelot (Master of the Choristers and Organist, Durham Cathedral)

Tom Bell (International Concert Organist and tutor for RCO Academy, Oundle for Organists and many others)

Michael Stoddart (Organist and Master of the Music, Newcastle Cathedral)

Magnus Williamson (Senior Lecturer in Music, University of Newcastle upon Tyne)


 How can you help?

* Attend the launch recital to show your support for securing the future of the organ and its music in the region.

* Make a donation. No matter how large or small- it will make a difference. Why not consider making a standing order? And remember, if you are a UK tax payer then the trust can recover 25p in every £1 from the treasury. If 25 people in the region were willing to gift aid a £10 per month donation, we would raise £3750 per year to aid the training of young organists. 


Want to know more?

Contact Charles Wooler ( or Andrew Hamnett ( who will be delighted to give you more details.