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The audition 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 a specimen set of aural tests.

Harmony Test

To be taken by those applicants applying to read Music.

  • 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 a specimen set of 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.

Important dates

17 FEB

Organ Scholarships application deadline

Organ Scholarships Open Day

26 FEB
27 FEB

The Organ Scholarships Open Day will be held on the 26 February and 27 February 2019.


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

Related Documents

Organ Scholarship information

Choral and Organ Awards booklet

Cambridge Organ Scholarships Examination Specimen Aural Tests

Cambridge Organ Scholarships Examination Specimen Organ Tests

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