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Choral Awards application timeline 2020 entry




27 April 2019

Choral Awards Open Day

Meet Directors of Music and hear different choirs sing

Late September/early October 2019

Vocal Assessment Days

Sing to different Directors of Music and receive informal advice on which choir to apply to based on your voice

15 October 2019

University application deadline Submit application to UCAS
15 February 2020

Choral Awards application deadline

Submit Choral Awards application, to be officially auditioned

Mid-March 2020

Choral Trials

Auditions take place in Cambridge and results are given soon after

Choral Awards Open Day

The Open Day in late April or early May is an excellent opportunity to learn more about Choral Awards at Cambridge in advance of the applications process. There are talks by an Admission Tutor and the Co-ordinator of the Awards Scheme as well as opportunities to sing together in one of the chapels, to meet up to three Directors of Music, and to listen to several of the choirs in rehearsals and services. 

Vocal Assessment Days

In late September you may wish to attend the Vocal Assessment Days in order to gain an informal assessment of whether your voice and singing ability are suitable for the College choirs you are most interesting in joining. Attendance is not mandatory, but the process is designed to help you decide which single College to apply to via UCAS before 15 October. Feedback is sent to applicants after the Vocal Assessment, but this neither constitutes an offer of a place in a College nor a guarantee of a Choral Award.

Candidates not attending the Vocal Assessment may signal an interest in applying for a Choral Award on the Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA).

However, all applicants to Cambridge who receive an academic offer in January will be asked if they wish to apply for a Choral Award, and there is no disadvantage to declaring an interest at this later stage.

No Choral Award applications can be made or will be considered before the academic assessment of applicants has been completed.

Choral Trials application deadline

If you are successful in gaining an academic offer at a College which offers Choral Awards you may then apply for an Award by 15 February, listing the College that has offered you an academic place as your first choice. (If you have gained academic offer as a result of being placed in the Winter Pool then you should read the further advice given under Pooled Applicants. You are strongly encouraged to list several Colleges on your application form, in order to increase your chances of receiving a choral place.

Choral Trials

Choral Trials are held in mid-March. You will be considered for a Choral Award and/or choral volunteer place according to the order of College preference which you express on the application form.

  • Those offer-holders who are successful will be given a Choral Award by their first-choice College (College A).
  • If another College (College B) (i.e. one further down your preference list) wishes to offer you a place in its choir, one of two things can happen:

1) If College B wishes to offer you a Choral Award, and if you have ticked the first box indicating a willingness to be transferred academically, discussions will be begun between Colleges A and B to see if such a transfer is possible. If it is, you will become a full member of College B instead, even though you were not interviewed there.

2) Or, if you have ticked the second box (stating that you do not wish to be considered for an academic transfer), or in cases where you have ticked the first box but such an academic transfer is not possible, you will be offered a volunteer place in College B’s choir, but will remain a member of College A.

In some cases, your first-choice College (which must be the College that has made you an academic offer) may call you for auditions anytime between the Choral Awards application deadline and mid-March.

Those holding offers for deferred entry should apply for a Choral Award at the same time as the non-deferred entry applicants, rather than during their gap year.

We anticipate that each applicant’s audition should be completed in a single day. Should you need to travel a significant distance to get to Cambridge and will therefore require overnight accommodation, please contact your first-choice College.

Please note candidates cannot apply for admission to both Cambridge and Oxford.


Co-ordinator of the Inter-Collegiate Choral Awards Scheme:

Catherine Groom, Fitzwilliam College

Key Dates

  • 27 April 2019: Choral Awards Open Day
  • 15 February 2020: Choral Awards application deadline
  • 16-18 March 2020: Choral Trials