Jennifer Bate Organ Academy

Welcome to the Jennifer Bate Organ Academy, inspiring young women organists for over a decade

  • The 16th Jennifer Bate Organ Academy
  • St Catherine’s School, Bramley
  • Tuesday 31st March – Saturday 4th April 2020
  • Supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation

Whether you are considering a university or conservatoire organ application, an RCO or ABRSM exam, or have just started taking your first steps as an organist, JBOA will help you explore wider performance skills, broadening your experience and helping you achieve your musical goals. Classes are offered in

  • Repertoire
  • Improvisation
  • Ensemble Performance
  • Choral Direction
  • Continuo
  • Service Accompaniment

Recent Course Tutors have included:

  • Jennifer Bate OBE – international recitalist and recording artist - Masterclasses in Ensemble Performance and Romantic / 20th century repertoire.
  • Terence Charlston – Chair of Historical Keyboard Instruments, Royal College of Music – Masterclasses in Continuo and Figured Bass
  • Katherine Dienes-Williams – international recitalist, Organist and Master of the Choristers, Guildford Cathedral – Masterclasses in Choral Direction
  • Stephen Farr – international recitalist, Director of Music, St Paul’s, Knightsbridge – Masterclasses in Baroque repertoire
  • Roxanne Gull – Musical Director, Leicester University Chamber Choir – Masterclasses in Choral Direction
  • Ronny Krippner  – prizewinning improvisation specialist and Organist and Director of Choral Music, Croydon Minster – Masterclasses in Improvisation
  • Joseph McHardy – Director of Music, Chapel Royal – Masterclasses in Continuo and Figured Bass
  • Anne Page – international recitalist, Professor of Organ and Harmonium, Royal Academy of Music – Masterclasses in Baroque repertoire and Harmonium

The Jennifer Bate Organ Academy is a residential course which prides itself on its warm and supportive atmosphere, based within in the friendly surroundings of St Catherine’s School. Applicants are encouraged from all ability levels.

This year's Jennifer Bate Organ Academy has been postponed due to the Covid-19 Government guidance; however,  further information about the course can be found below.

Application Form - JBOA 2020 Flyer - JBOA 2020 

The course fee for JBOA 2020 is £430, which is fully inclusive of all aspects of the course, including all accommodation, meals, masterclasses and excursions. Thanks to the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation means tested bursary assistance is available for suitable candidates and we welcome applications. 

For further information about the Jennifer Bate Organ Academy, please contact Matthew Greenfield, Director of Music t: 01483 899647 | email:


I first attended the Jennifer Bate Organ Academy back in 2011 when I had only been playing the organ for a year and a half. As a new, rather nervous organist, the course gave me the opportunity to explore my organ playing and conducting with world-class tutors, giving me the confidence to pursue the organ more seriously. Jennifer served as a fantastic role model for female organists both on the course and after it had finished; I know I am not alone in having kept in regular contact with her, and have seen her for several organ lessons since. I have no doubt that the skills developed over two years of attending her Academy were instrumental in me being awarded the Organ Scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, the first female to have attained this position. I would thoroughly recommend this course to any young female organist; whatever your standard, it is not only a valuable musical experience, but an opportunity to make new friends and contacts within the organ world. 

Anna Lapwood
Director of Music, Pembroke College, Cambridge
Former Organ Scholar, Magdalen College, Oxfo


Coming on JBOA gave me a chance to develop new skills and enhance my playing in a friendly, fun, and non-competitive environment. I would highly recommend it to any girl of any standard of playing.

Imogen Morgan
Jennifer Bate Organ Scholar,
St Catherine’s School 2013 - 2017
Organ Scholar, Durham Cathedral

I attended JBOA three times, in 2006-08. The breadth of skills covered in the course and the supportive, non-competitive atmosphere, were a winning combination. JBOA inspired me to pursue an Oxbridge Organ Scholarship, and also helped me to take my first steps with choral directing,which is now a major part of my work. I can't recommend the course highly enough.

Roxanne Summerfield
Musical Director,
Leicester University Chamber Choir
Accompanist and Vocal Coach,
De Montfort University Chamber Choir
Teacher of Organ,
English Martyrs' School, Leicester
Co-Founder, Leicester MusicFest
Organ Scholar, Christ's College Cambridge 2008-11

During my long career I have had opportunities to do most things open to an organist: in addition to solo and concerto repertoire, I have accompanied soloists and choirs, taught improvisation, played harpsichord continuo, and conducted from the keyboard.

I always found that each new experience added another dimension to whatever I had achieved previously. In setting up the Academy, I wanted to create a special course, led by a team of experts, which gave young women a taste of these different subjects at a professional level. We ensure a happy, supportive and collaborative atmosphere, with everyone presenting different repertoire.

The results over the years have been very exciting for us all.  Many return to the course and a substantial number have been inspired for life by this voyage of discovery

Dr Jennifer Bate OBE
11th November 1944 - 25th March 2020


St Catherine’s mourns the loss of Dr Jennifer Bate OBE, patron of our Organ Scholarship and Academy for 16 years, who sadly lost her battle with cancer in March 2020. A leading expert on Olivier Messiaen, Jennifer’s remarkable career as an international recitalist spanned over 50 years, during which she also made a number of recordings including the complete works of Messiaen, Franck and Mendelssohn. She was very proud of her association with St Catherine’s and was a dear friend to us. Always generous with her time, she gave so much encouragement to young women organists: her legacy lives on in them.