skip to content

The audition at the Organ Trials will involve: 

Ear Tests       

To be taken by all applicants.

  • dictation of a melody
  • dictation of a four-part chorale (the soprano part will be given throughout)
  • recognition and correction of mistakes of pitch and rhythm in a score heard three times.

 Download specimen aural tests.

Harmony Test

To be taken by applicants applying for our undergraduate Music course.

  • harmonisation of a Bach chorale (the soprano part given throughout) without the aid of a keyboard

Organ playing audition

A page turner will be provided.

  • prepared piece: applicants are required to play one of the following trio movements (please note that the third and fourth trios listed are new options):
    • J S Bach Trio No. 1 in E flat major - BWV 525 (first movement only)
    • J S Bach Trio No. 4 in E minor - BWV 528 (first movement only)
    • J S Bach Trio on Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend - BWV 655
    • J S Bach Trio on Nun komm der Heiden heiland - BWV 660
  • sight-reading: on three staves, some simple registration changes may be required
  • transposition: hymn-like passage on two staves, up or down a tone or semitone, use of pedals is required
  • four-part score-reading: without the use of pedals. 

 Download specimen keyboard tests.

College organ playing auditions

  • Second piece: all applicants must prepare and bring a second, contrasting piece, which they may be asked to play at College and further auditions. The piece must be of a grade 8 standard or above, and should be of a contrasting mood/tempo to the Trio Sonata
  • Some Colleges may ask you to improvise, and/or to play a hymn or psalm.

Conducting audition

Applicants will be required to conduct a six-minute choir practice. Music will be distributed at the meeting for all applicants at the beginning of the trials. It will be a short, unaccompanied anthem, and applicants can expect the choir to know the notes. The choir will be a friendly and informally constituted ensemble of current choral scholars and organ scholars. A keyboard or piano will be provided for giving starting notes to the choir.

Organ Scholarships film


Mr Andrew Arthur
Organ Scholarships Co-ordinator
Director of Music
Trinity Hall
Cambridge CB2 1TJ
T 01223 332549

Open Day 2020

The Organ Scholars Open Day will be held on the 3 & 4 March 2020.