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Organ Trials Process for 2024

Ear Tests

  • 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.

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

Please note that the following keyboard tests have been updated:

  • sight-reading: presented on three staves. Simple registration changes may be required
  • hymn: playing of a hymn composed in four parts, preceded by a 'play-over'
  • transposition: a few phrases of a hymn-like passage in a major key, presented on two staves, to be transposed up or down a tone or semitone. The use of pedals is required
  • four-part score-reading: without the use of pedals.

Download specimen keyboard tests.

College organ playing auditions

All candidates will be required to attend a second audition with the Director of Music of their preference College during the course of the Organ Trials. Candidates may also receive further such invitations from Directors of Music at any other College(s) named on their preference list.

These auditions will involve the following:

  • 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 also ask you to improvise, and/or to harmonise a melody or to play a psalm.

Some candidates may also be invited to meet with the Chaplain or Dean of any College(s) named on their preference list.

Conducting audition

Applicants will be required to conduct a six-minute choir practice. Music will be distributed at a 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

Organ Scholarship Open Day

PDF icon Draft open day timetable 2024

Our next Organ Scholarship Open Day will be on Tuesday 5 March 2024. Applications have now closed.