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Revised Process for Organ Trials 2020

Organ playing auditions (all candidates)

Candidates will be required to submit separate video recordings** of each of the following by 12.00pm (noon) on Sunday 20 September. Later submissions will not be accepted:

i) A trio sonata movement by J.S. Bach, chosen from the set list.

  • 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

ii) A second piece of the candidate's choice: the piece should be of a grade 8 standard or above and should be of a contrasting mood/tempo to the Trio Sonata movement.

Keyboard tests (all candidates)

Keyboard tests consisting of Sight-Reading, Transposition and Score-Reading (PDF file) will be released to all candidates at a specified time during the afternoon/evening of Sunday 20 September. Candidates will be required to download and print the PDF file prior to commencing the test. As candidates' ability to gain access to an organ at the specified time may vary, the above tests will, this year only, be devised for a single keyboard (with no pedals) in order that candidates will have the option to sit these tests using either an organ, a piano or an electric keyboard. Candidates will be required to submit a video recording** of their 'answers' within two hours of the paper/recording having been released.

Given the extended time available this year, candidates should treat all keyboard tests as 'quick study' exercises to be practised prior to recording, as opposed to being recorded 'at sight’.

** Guidelines for submitted video recordings:

a) Video recordings should be set up in such a way that the candidate and the organ console are clearly visible at all times.
b) The angle/frame of the captured video image should be consistent (i.e. stationary) throughout.
c) Candidates should introduce themselves by name and announce the piece that they are about to play prior to commencing their performance.
d) It is well understood that the quality of instruments accessible to candidates may vary considerably, as may the quality of the audio recording itself. Neither of these factors will form any part of the examiners' adjudication.

 Download specimen keyboard tests.

Ear tests (all candidates)       

Recorded ear tests (audio file), together with a test paper (PDF file) will be released to all candidates at a specified time during the afternoon/evening of Sunday 20 September. Candidates will be required to download both files and print the PDF file prior to commencing the test. Upon completing the test, candidates will then be required to photograph and upload their completed answers as either a JPEG or PDF file within one hour of the paper having been released.

 Download specimen aural tests.

Further auditions/meetings (all candidates)

All candidates will be required to attend (online) a further audition/meeting 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. Such online auditions/meetings will, wherever possible, take place on either Monday 21 September or Tuesday 22 September. However, candidates are also asked to keep the morning of Wednesday 23 September free in case they should be required. Candidates should have ready access to either an organ, piano or electric keyboard for all such meetings. Directors of Music may follow-up on any aspect of candidates' submitted videos and some may ask you to improvise, and/or to play a hymn or psalm.

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

Choral conducting auditions

There will be no centrally organised choral conducting element to this year's Organ Trials.

Academic interviews

All academic interviews will be conducted remotely during the Organ Trials process at times to be advised by the preference College. Wherever possible, these will take place on Monday 21 September. Full details will be provided in mid-September.

Harmony test (only candidates applying to study Music)

Harmonisation of a Bach chorale (the soprano part given throughout): The test paper (PDF file) will be released to all candidates at a specified time during the morning of Monday 21 September. Candidates will be required to download and print the PDF file prior to commencing the test for which, this year only, a keyboard may be used. Upon completing the test, candidates will then be required to photograph and upload their completed answers as either a JPEG or PDF file within 90 minutes of the paper having been released.

Other at-interview assessments

Candidates applying to read the following subjects will be required to sit an at-interview written assessment during the organ trials process:

  • Archaeology, Architecture, Classics, History and Modern Languages, History of Art, Law, Linguistics, Modern and Medieval Languages, Philosophy, Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion
  • Applicants for History, History and Politics and HSPS may be asked to do so, if specified by the preference College.

The assessment paper for each subject will be released to the relevant candidates at a specified time in the morning of Monday 21 September. Candidates will be either be required to view the question, or download and print a PDF file. Upon completing the assessment, candidates will then be required to photograph and upload their completed answers as either a JPEG or PDF file within 90 minutes of the paper having been released. Candidates taking these assessments will be remotely proctored. Further information on these assessments can be found on our admissions assessments pages.

Pre-interview assessments

Candidates applying to read the following subjects will be required to sit a pre-interview assessment.

  • Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, English, Engineering, Land Economy, Medicine, Natural Sciences, Veterinary Medicine

These take place on Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 November (applicants should check their course carefully for the relevant date), and candidates will need to be registered by their schools by 15 October (1 October for Medicine) for the appropriate assessment. Further information can be found on our admissions assessments pages.

N.B. As these pre-interview assessments take place after the interviews held during the Organ Trials process, candidates who are successful at the Organ Trials will be required to achieve a satisfactory performance in the pre-interview assessment as part of their conditional academic offer.

Organ Scholarships film


Contact

Mr Andrew Arthur
Organ Scholarships Co-ordinator
Director of Music
Trinity Hall
Cambridge CB2 1TJ
T 01223 332549
E organsch@hermes.cam.ac.uk

Open Day 2020

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

**BOOKING CLOSED**