The Audition Process

The process of applying and auditioning for The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music is very straightforward, and has three stages:

Open Day/Advisory Audition

The Director prefers to meet prospective applicants before a full application is accepted. Most applicants take advantage of this opportunity to visit the Centre, play or sing privately for the Director and take advice as to whether to proceed to full audition. The Centre’s Open Days for the next academic year will be held on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th February 2022. There are sessions each day, commencing at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., consisting of a presentation by staff of the Centre, the Residence, and the High School and a tour of all three facilities. Prospective applicants and their parents have a chance to meet staff and students and ask any questions they have about coming to the Centre, and to have a brief advisory audition. It is only necessary to attend one of the four sessions.

Advisory auditions can be arranged by appointment. The process is very similar to the open days, but an Advisory Audition guarantees more personal attention.

Full Auditions

The final audition takes place at the Centre. Auditions will take place week commencing 14th March 2022. The applicant is required to perform 15 minutes of music of their choice. It is usually best to concentrate mainly on the first study, but there are no hard and fast rules, and the candidate has the opportunity to put together a programme which they think will best show their skills to the panel. After the musical performance, there is a short interview with the candidate, and then the applicant’s parents or guardians are invited to meet the panel and ask any questions they may have about the Centre, the High School, and the Residence. The audition panel consists of the Director, a representative of the High School’s senior management team, a specialist in the applicant’s first study discipline (usually the tutor of that discipline), and a music education specialist who, together with the Director, sees every audition and assists in the overview of the final selection process.

The results of the auditions are notified by telephone before the end of the audition week, and then formally confirmed in writing after the Easter holidays.

Induction Week

Applicants who pass the final audition are invited for an induction week, commencing 6th June 2019. The purpose of this week is to give the prospective student as complete an experience as possible of life as a student of the Centre, and usually includes a public performance.

At the end of the Induction Week each student has a short interview with the Director at which it is mutually agreed whether or not the student will take up their place. Successful applicants then commence their studies at the Centre the following August.
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