Organ scholar steps into the breach

A broken arm has given Trent College teenager Matthew Gibson the chance to take a leading role at the keyboard of Derby Cathedral

An aspiring young Trent College musician is proving the old adage that “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough” after stepping into the breach to play the organ at Derby Cathedral after the cathedral’s professional assistant organist broke his arm.

Trent College sixth form and Derby Cathedral organ scholar Matthew Gibson, 17, has assumed extra responsibilities as regular organist Tom Corfield recovers from his injury. 

Matthew found himself preparing music to accompany the choir and congregation at short notice and acting as a guide to other organists who helped out, including the cathedral’s new director of music.

Steven Henderson, director of music at Trent College, says: “This opportunity is a testament to Matthew’s hard work and commitment. As a school it is fantastic to be able to support and allow accomplished musicians to flourish in this way and pursue these sorts of opportunities. 

‘Matthew is passionate about succeeding as a musician. He can be found practising in the Trent College chapel before 6am every morning and has already taken the initiative to meet and play for several prominent organists and directors of music throughout the country as he prepares to take the next step.”

During the Christmas period, Matthew played at Westminster Abbey as part of Derby Cathedral Choir’s visit while last summer he visited the orchestra pits during performances of several West End musicals and even recorded some organ music for the touring production of ‘The Sound of Music’.

At school Matthew takes a prominent role, playing at the weekday morning chapel services and Sunday services. He can be heard with the Trent College Symphony Orchestra in Faure’s Requiem and Saint-Saëns’s Organ Symphony at Nottingham’s Albert Hall on 6 March.

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