Music Scholarships

Music Scholarships/Exhibitions for Entry in September 2018

Key Dates  
Entry forms deadline
(online form to be completed by your son's school)
Friday 1 December 2017
Music Scholarship Auditions Thursday 1 February 2018

Music Scholarships and Exhibitions to Abingdon School are awarded annually following a round of auditions held at the School each February, in which candidates are assessed for musical potential and not solely for actual achievement. The winning of a music award does not in itself secure a boy entry to the school; he must also meet the academic requirements for entrance in a separate examination appropriate to his age-group.

Tenure of music awards is conditional upon the maintenance of satisfactory musical and academic progress. Music scholars are expected to make the most of the opportunities offered by the school’s music activities and to be prominent in them. Awards are available to boys entering the school in September of each year, at the ages of 11 (music exhibitions), 13 and Sixth Form (scholarships and exhibitions). Additional awards may also be made at other ages to boys already in the School who have made an outstanding contribution to the musical life of the School.

The exact number of awards to be offered in 2018 cannot be estimated until the time of the auditions; in all probability there will be a number of major awards (‘Scholarships’) and several minor awards (‘Exhibitions’). The Scholarship carries an entitlement to a nominal fee remission of £300 per year. However, as is the case for all pupils, there is an option to apply for further financial assistance through a means-tested bursary. All award holders will receive free tuition in up to two instruments; to these may be added a vocal study at the discretion of the Director of Music. These lessons are given in school by members of the school’s music staff; the benefit cannot be transferred to lessons being taken outside the school’s Music Department. As well as demonstrating ability on an instrument, candidates will benefit if they can demonstrate that they possess a good voice and have some choral experience - e.g. as a cathedral/collegiate chorister. Any other evidence of musicianship (composition, a second instrument, etc.) will be taken into account, and further opportunities will be given for this during the audition. 

Current Abingdon pupils in the Lower School (Second Year for 13+ awards) and Fifth Year (for Sixth form awards), are continuously assessed and will be invited to participate by the Head following consultations with teaching staff.

For further information please contact the Admissions Officer (Events) on 01235 849041 or email

The candidate's current school will submit the completed application form, after consulting with parents and the candidate's music teachers. Deadline for entry for 2018 music scholarship and exhibition candidates is 1 December 2017.

Where possible it is extremely helpful, to both the school and the candidate, if a pre-audition can be arranged for aspiring music award candidates. Typically this should involve a couple of visits to play informally to the Director of Music in the Autumn Term of Year 7 and Year 8 - when useful advice can be sought and given. 

Auditions for 2018 will be held on 1 February 2018. Candidates should be prepared to play two contrasting pieces on their main instrument; if a second instrument can be offered, one piece should be prepared. An accompanist will be provided where required. Considerable importance will be attached to aural tests, sight-reading (in the principal instrument), and a voice test; questions will also be asked on the rudiments of music. Experienced choristers should prepare a vocal solo. Questions relating to the candidate’s musical and other interests may also be asked.