Jennifer Bate Organ Academy

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

The next Jennifer Bate Organ Academy will take place from Tuesday 2nd to Saturday 6th April 2024.  It is an amazing opportunity for young women aged 13-21 to develop their all-round musicianship.  Taught by a team of outstanding specialists, our Academy honours the legacy of internationally acclaimed virtuoso Dr Jennifer Bate OBE.  The application form will be uploaded later in the year. Please email us if you would like any further information. 

2024 JBOA Flyer Application Form 2024

Dr Jennifer Bate OBE

St Catherine’s mourns the loss of Dr Jennifer Bate OBE (11th November 1944 - 25th March 2020), 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.

On Saturday 16th October 2021 there was a Jennifer Bate Memorial Concert which was arranged by the Society of Women Organists.  This event features some of the St Catherine's alumnae.  Click here to view the concert. 

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

The Organs of St Catherine's School, Bramley Recent Course Tutors have included:

  • Jennifer Bate OBE – international recitalist and recording artist - Masterclasses in Ensemble Performance and Romantic / 20th century repertoire.
  • Anne Page – international recitalist, Professor of Organ and Harmonium, Royal Academy of Music – Masterclasses in Baroque repertoire and Harmonium
  • Thomas Allery – Teacher of Continuo at the Royal College of Music, organist, choral conductor and harpsichordist in Ensemble Hesperi – Masterclasses in Continuo, Figured Bass and Ensemble Performance
  • Sarah Baldock - former Organist and Master of the Choristers, Chichester Cathedral - Masterclasses in Choral Direction
  • Gerard Brooks – Professor of Organ, Royal Academy of Music – Masterclasses in Improvisation and French Romantic Repertoire
  • Terence Charlston – Chair of Historical Keyboard Instruments, Royal College of Music – Masterclasses in Continuo and Figured Bass
  • David Davies - Organist of Buckfast Abbey and the University of Exeter - Masterclasses in Improvisation
  • 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
  • Anne Marsden Thomas MBE - Teacher of Organ at The Royal Academy of Music and Director of Music at St Giles Cripplegate Church – Masterclasses in Romantic/20th Century Repertoire
  • Francesca Massey – Freelance organist, choral conductor and former cathedral organist – Masterclasses in Choral Conducting and Service Accompaniment
  • Joseph McHardy – Director of Music, Chapel Royal – Masterclasses in Continuo and Figured Bass
  • Margaret Phillips Former Professor of Organ, Royal College of Music – Masterclasses in Baroque Repertoire
  • Timothy Uglow - Director of Music at Worksop College - Masterclasses in Continuo and Figured Bass

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

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

Reflections from JBOA alumnae

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
Assistant Master of the Music, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh
Jennifer Bate Organ Scholar,
St Catherine’s School 2013 - 2017
Former Organ Scholar, Durham Cathedral
Organ Scholar, Peterborough 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 Gull
Organ Scholar, Christ's College Cambridge 2008-11
JBOA tutor in Choral Direction