I note I am required to put my own college choir as first choice on the application form, but the weekly routine is more / fewer hours than I would like to commit to a choir. Can I apply for a volunteer place in a choir with fewer / more weekly rehearsals / services?

Students are encouraged to sing in their own college choir where possible, but we recognise that there are occasions when this would not be appropriate. If you feel this is the case, you should wait until you receive your academic offer, and then contact your own College’s Director of Music in the first instance; they will be pleased to advise and can help to facilitate auditions for other Choirs in Cambridge.

My College does not participate in the Intercollegiate Scheme; can I still apply through the Scheme, but name another College as my first choice?

If your College does not participate in the Scheme, you are not eligible to apply for a Choral Award via this route; however, this does not mean that your College lacks a thriving Choir and music scene! Many colleges in this situation offer their own internal Choral and / or Instrumental Awards; you should contact your own College’s Director of Music for information on this and other choral opportunities in Cambridge.

What standard do I need to be to sing in a chapel/college choir?

Singing in a choir draws on all sorts of skills: sight-reading, aural, general musicianship, and so on. We recognise that not everyone will be strong in all of these areas, but they are all things which can be improved on very easily, with practice. If you have some experience singing in any type of choir, and are interested in applying – go for it! Equally if you are an instrumentalist and read music fluently but have never sung in a choir – don’t let this stop you! Generally you should be able to read music, and have some basic aural skills. The best thing to do is to contact the director of the choir in which you are interested. It is important to consider how much time and effort you are prepared to invest on a weekly basis outside rehearsals, as well as time spent with the choir.

How many vacancies generally remain after the March Choral Trials? If I am unable to participate in the Intercollegiate Scheme (for whatever reason) will I still find a place in a college choir?

Vacancies remaining after the Trials for the forthcoming academic year tend to vary from year to year; however, it would be highly unlikely that you would be unable to find a place in a choir. Our Twitter feed is kept as up-to-date as possible with regards to vacancies.

I am unable to attend the March Choral Trials as I am resident overseas. Can I still audition?

Of course! There is an opportunity on the application form to request an online audition.

I notice the Choral Trials run over a three-day period. Can I choose which day I attend for audition?

Timetabling the Choral Trials is an extremely complicated process. If there is a particular day you absolutely cannot make, for example due to a school examination, you may make a request for that day to be avoided; however, any requests received after the application deadline are unlikely to be accommodated due to the complexity and number of factors involved in constructing the timetable.

I applied to a particular College largely because I wanted to sing in that Choir, but I have been pooled. What are my options?

It would be courteous to contact the Director of Music at the college at which you hold an academic place, and to explain the situation. While students are encouraged to sing in their own college choirs, we recognise that this may not always be the best thing for you. Either way your own College’s Director of Music will be very happy to talk things through with you and facilitate contact with other Directors of Music.

I have been pooled to a college which does not participate in the Choral Awards Scheme, but I am very keen to sing in a choir. What should I do?

It is entirely possible to sing in another college’s choir as a volunteer. As above, you should contact your own College’s Director of Music for advice.

I have tried to email my video submission but the file is too big. What should I do?

Please email your College Admissions Office and explain. They will be more than happy to facilitate submission via another means, for example Dropbox or WeTransfer.

I applied for a Choral Award but was undecided at the time as to whether this is the right thing for me, and I now wish to withdraw. What should I do?

A large number of people put in a huge amount of work between the application deadline and the Trials themselves, and withdrawals are understandably frustrating for all of us; they also create more work! It is better to think very carefully about your application before you submit it, and make sure you understand the requirements, including potentially travelling to Cambridge on the set dates to audition. If, however, circumstances are such that a withdrawal is unavoidable, you should email your college admissions office.