We have some great stories
One of the great things about music at St James' are some of the great people we have helped develop their talent and who have achieved here are St James' and beyond.
David Blunden received his first piano and organ lessons in Sydney. A fellowship enabled him organ studies with David Rumsey at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and a Diploma in 1997 and later as organ scholar at St James’ Church, King Street. His interest lead him to Switzerland to study at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, organ with Jean-Claude Zehnder, and harpsichord with Andrea Marcon and improvisation with Rudolf Lutz. In 2001 he was awarded first prize at the International Organ Competition in Innsbruck. As a continuo player David works with various baroque orchestras and ensembles throughout Europe and Australia. His special interest in opera led him to be musical assistant at the Basel Theatre. He continues work with the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and as organist at the Holy Spirit Church in Basel.
Sarah Kim is a musical world citizen, born in Cologne and grew up in Australia, she now resides in France. She completed studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and was organ scholar at St James’ Church, King Street. She relocated to Paris in 2006 to study for the Cycle de Perfectionnement at the Paris Conservatoire, being the first Australian to be accepted. There she studied under Oliver Latrey and Michel Bovard and graduated with high distinction and later completed a specialised Masters degree at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Apart from her role as organist at Paris churches Notre-Dame-des-Vertus and Saint George’s Anglican Church, she appears as an international recitalist in North America, Europe and Australia. Performing with the Berlin Philharmonie in 2016 in works by the legendary organist and composer Jean Gillou.
Andrej studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and won first place in the open organ section of the Sydney Organ Competition. During this time he was organ scholar at St James’ Church, King Street, where he was subsequently appointed Organist. Relocating to the United Kingdom in 2010, Andrej spent a year as organ scholar at both Salisbury Cathedral and later Westminister Abbey. Whilst at the Abbey, Andrej became an Associate of the Royal College of Organists. On return to Australia, he was appointed Organist at St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane in 2013. In early 2016, he was appointed Organist at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.
Marko gained his AMusA diploma in 2008 and was awarded the coveted LMusA diploma (with Distinction) in 2010. He later completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying under Philip Swanton. Between 2013 and 2016 he was Organ Scholar at St James’, King Street. Marko has given solo recitals around Australia, performing for the Conservatorium's Centenary Concert at Sydney Opera House featuring Leonard Bernstein’s monumental Mass. In 2016 he accompanied St James’ Choir on their European Tour, performing at various cathedrals in the UK and France. Marko won a scholarship to study organ at the Royal Academy of Music in London, which he takes up in September 2016. He will also take an appointment as Organ Scholar at the London Oratory for 2016 - 2017.
Titus Grenyer is the Organ Scholar at St James. His musical education began with the violin at age three, and soon expanded to studying piano, music composition and theory. In 2013, he was awarded the inaugural IMB Roger Soden Organ Scholarship at Wollongong Conservatorium, which began his career in organ with a recital at the end of the year. He was awarded an AMusA with distinction in 2015, as well as being selected for the young organists’ concert at St Mary’s Cathedral. Having completed the HSC, he began tertiary education at Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Organ Studies in 2016, and in the same year was appointed Organ Scholar at St Andrew’s College.
Titus has performed for multiple concerts on violin, piano and organ, including a tour to Europe with the Bluescope Youth Orchestra in 2013. He has placed many times in the Sydney Eisteddfod for composition, and the Wollongong Eisteddfod for violin and piano. He hopes to continue studying the organ for the remainder of his undergraduate studies, and then complete a masters degree.
The Margaret Norman Choir Scholarships
In 2015 The St James Foundation Ltd founded the Margaret Norman Choir Scholarships, named after a benefactor of the Foundation. Three scholarships were awarded that year; to Josi Ann Ellem, Ria Andriani and Patricia Barker.
2016 saw two scholarships given; to Lauren White and Elise Morton.
Lauren White continued her scholarship in 2017, with Conan Yu receiving the second scholarship, following Elise Morton’s departure to France.
I am currently a fourth-year Bachelor of Laws/Arts student at the University of Notre Dame, Australia. Aside from my studies, I am a freelance sports journalist based in Sydney where I have worked as an editor and writer for some of the biggest sports publications in the world. In addition, I have qualifications from the Australian Music Examinations Board in piano performance and currently hold the position of choral scholar with the acclaimed Choir of St James, King Street, Sydney.