Parry Wood Organ Scholar, Sungjoon Park
Sungjoon Park is the Parry-Wood Organ Scholar at Exeter College, Oxford and is responsible for running and directing the choir for their busy schedule of 3 services each week. Alongside his duties as an organ scholar, he is a second-year undergraduate student at the University, reading Music.
His exposure to choral music began from an early age, as a chorister of King’s College Choir, Cambridge from 2012-17. As a member of the choir, he was taught under the directorship of Sir Stephen Cleobury and the organ scholars, singing six services per week, and travelling abroad for tours. After King’s, Sungjoon attended The Perse Upper School, having been awarded a music scholarship. There, he continued to sing in choirs, and continued his piano education with Andrew Bottrill. During this time, Sungjoon pursued solo performance, competing in piano competitions in London, winning the Beethoven class of the North London Piano Festival. Soon after, he began learning the organ with Silas Wollston and achieved grades 6, 7 and 8 within the span of 3 months, attaining distinction throughout.
Having also learnt the violin, cello, and flute, Sungjoon’s understanding of music is broad and encompasses a variety of genres. He is currently taught the organ by William Whitehead, and as an aspiring conductor, is taught conducting by Benjamin Nicholas (Merton College, Oxford) and Nicholas Cleobury.
Graduate Organist, Michael Koenig
As a doctoral candidate in Music and Global History at the University of Oxford, Austrian-born organist Michael Koenig also holds the Graduate Organist’s position at Exeter College. Previous musical affiliations included St Paul’s Knightsbridge, All Saints Fulham, St Alban’s Anglican Church, Copenhagen and Holy Trinity Jesuit Church, Innsbruck (Austria). Michael is a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (RCO) and a recipient of the Silver Medal of the Musicians’ Company.
After earning degrees in organ performance and music education as a student of Otto Bruckner in Graz and Michael Radulescu in Vienna, Michael completed over two dozen extended trips to Kenya and Nigeria as a visiting organ teacher and recitalist. This experience not only inspired him to pursue an MA degree in African Studies at Copenhagen University and an MA degree in World History and Cultures at Kings’ College London but also formed the background for his current doctoral research. Furthermore, since 2021, Michael has been the programme coordinator and producer of the RCO’s Organ Show, a series of lively video webcasts about various aspects of organ music and organ building inspired by the BBC’s The One Show.
Assistant Organist, Joe Barber
Joe Barber is an organist based in Oxford, where he is Assistant Organist at Exeter College. He took up the Organ Scholarship at Balliol College in 2015 alongside a degree in Classics, which he completed with a double first in 2019. Having subsequently obtained an MPhil in Cuneiform Studies with distinction, Joe is now studying for a DPhil in Classics. He researches the poetry, mythology, and religion of Archaic Greece and the Ancient Near East and is writing his dissertation on myths about disappearing and dying gods in Greek, Mesopotamian, Hittite, Hebrew, Ugaritic, and Egyptian mythology.
In his time at Oxford, he has been Director of Music at All Saints Church Highfield and St Margaret's Church, as well as secretary of the Balliol College Musical Society and Organ Scholar for the Frideswide Voices. In 2022 he was awarded his ARCO diploma from the Royal College of Organists along with the Sawyer-Durrant Prize for performance. Joe is also a keen violinist and violist performing in numerous chamber ensembles and orchestras, such as the Oxford University Philharmonic as principal violist.