Music Scholarships

Music Awards for entry in September 2019

A number of Music Scholarships and Exhibitions are made annually following a round of auditions in which candidates are assessed for musical potential and not solely for actual achievement.

As well as demonstrating ability on an instrument, any other evidence of musicianship (composition, a second instrument, etc.) will be taken into account.

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.

Awards are made to candidates at 11+ (music exhibitions), 13+ (Third Year), 14+ (Fourth Year) and upon entry to the Sixth Form (Exhibitions and Scholarships).

As a guideline only, the typical minimum standard for applications is:

  • for 11+ applications, candidates should ideally play two instruments and should have reached grade 5 standard in one of them.
  • for 13+ and 14+ applications, candidates should ideally play two instruments to a standard of between grade 6 and grade 8 distinction.
  • for Sixth form applications, candidates are likely to have been studying two musical instruments to a high level - at least the standard equivalent to grade 8 or diploma level of the ABRSM. They will also have gained experience at county or national level as musicians, whether instrumental or choral.

Where possible, it is extremely helpful to both the school and external applicants, if a pre-audition can be arranged. Typically, this involves a visit to play informally to the Director of Music in the Autumn Term, when useful advice can be sought and given on the process and preparation for audition.

The Director of Music, Mr Michael Stinton, welcomes informal contact with potential candidates by emailing michael.stinton@abingdon.org.uk.

For external candidates 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.

Internal candidates will be invited to participate by the Head following consultation with the Music Department.

Music award holders are expected to make the most of the opportunities offered by the school’s music activities and to be prominent in them.  

All awards are reviewed annually, and are subject to satisfactory academic progress and behaviour. Continued tenure of music awards will be at the discretion of the Head of Department, and dependant upon continuing study of the subject.

All award holders will receive free tuition in up to two instruments and 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; and the benefit cannot be transferred to lessons being taken outside the school’s Music Department.

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.

For further information please contact the Admissions Officer on 01235 849041 or email beverley.buckle@abingdon.org.uk.

Key Dates - First Year (11+) Music Exhibitions
Entry forms deadline
(online form)
Friday 30 November 2018
Music Award Auditions Thursday 7 February 2019

Application Procedure

The application form will ask for written references from the candidate’s current school’s Head, Director of Music and individual instrument teachers, as appropriate.

As well as a completed application form and references, a musical synopsis of your son's range of experience, achievements and musical interests pursued elsewhere than at his present school will be asked for.  

Candidates will be shortlisted to attend a day of auditions in February 2019 and should be prepared to:

  • play two contrasting pieces on their main instrument; an accompanist will be provided where required
  • play one prepared piece on a second instrument if offered
  • perform aural tests (to which considerable importance will be attached), sight-reading (in the principal instrument), and a voice test
  • prepare a vocal solo if candidate is an experienced chorister
  • answer questions on the rudiments of music, the candidate’s musical and other interests.

For further information please contact the Admissions Officer on 01235 849041 or email beverley.buckle@abingdon.org.uk.

Key Dates - Third Year (13+) and Fourth Year (14+) Music Scholarships
Entry forms deadline
(online form to be completed by your son's school)
Friday 30 November 2018
Music Scholarship Auditions Thursday 7 February 2019

Application Procedure

The application form will ask for written references from the candidate’s current school’s Head, Director of Music and individual instrument teachers, as appropriate.

As well as a completed application form and references, a musical synopsis of your son's range of experience, achievements and musical interests pursued elsewhere than at his present school will be asked for.  

Candidates will be shortlisted to attend a day of auditions in February 2019 and should be prepared to:

  • play two contrasting pieces on their main instrument; an accompanist will be provided where required
  • play one prepared piece on a second instrument if offered
  • perform aural tests (to which considerable importance will be attached),  sight-reading (in the principal instrument), and a voice test
  • prepare a vocal solo if candidate is an experienced chorister
  • answer questions on the rudiments of music, the candidate’s musical and other interests.

For further information please contact the Admissions Officer on 01235 849041 or email beverley.buckle@abingdon.org.uk.

Key Dates - Sixth Form (16+) Music Scholarships
Entry forms deadline
(online form to be completed by boy’s parent/legal guardian)
Friday 12 October 2018
16+ Music Scholarship Auditions w/c 19 November 2018

Sixth form music scholarships at Abingdon provide an opportunity for enthusiastic and committed musicians to gain a high quality sixth form musical experience in a vibrant music department.

The school has a long record of successful preparation of candidates for organ and choral scholarships to university and for entry to music conservatoire to study at tertiary level. Recently these have included both organ and choral awards at St John’s College, Cambridge, at Balliol College and Magdalen College, Oxford and for composition at the Royal Academy of Music.

Application Procedure

The application form will ask for written references from the candidate’s current school’s Head, Director of Music and individual instrument teachers.

As well as a completed application form and references, a musical synopsis of your son's range of experience, achievements and musical interests pursued elsewhere than at his present school will be asked for.  

Candidates will be shortlisted to attend a day of auditions in November 2018 and should be prepared to:

  • play two contrasting pieces on their main instrument; an accompanist will be provided where required
  • play one prepared piece on their second instrument if offered
  • perform aural tests (to which considerable importance will be attached), sight-reading (in the principal instrument) and a voice test
  • prepare a vocal solo if candidate is an experienced chorister
  • answer questions on the rudiments of music, the candidate’s musical and other interests.

For further information and an application form, please contact the Admissions Officer on 01235 849041 or email beverley.buckle@abingdon.org.uk.