So you have visited the RNCM, perhaps you’ve attended our Open Day, and know that you want to make an application.

This section will take you through application methods and the audition process. If you have any further questions, please email admissions@rncm.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0)161 907 5260/5210.

Admissions Process

Applications for most RNCM programmes are made through the Conservatoires UK Admission Services (CUKAS) website. The RNCM’s Code is R57.

Courses with a different application method:

International Artist Diploma (IAD)
If you are interested in IAD Solo Performance, please download the application process from the menu on the left hand side. For 2014 entry, please ensure the application materials for shortlisting arrive at Admissions by 31 January 2014. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a live audition on 11 or 12 March 2014.

Applications for PGCE Int PGCE in Specialist Instrumental Teaching (SIT)
Applications should be made through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR), Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, GL52 3LZ, Customer Service Unit: T +44(0) 871 468 0 469. Teaching Information Line: 0845 6000 991. Application Deadline: 1 December.

Postgraduate Diploma in Performing Arts Leadership (PAL)
This programme is delivered by ARTIS and validated by the RNCM. Applicants should visit www.artiseducation.com for more information.

General Audition Information

Entrance auditions and interviews normally take place during December. The audition date and time will be allocated to you on CUKAS. You will NOT receive an audition invitation letter from us so please check your application via ‘Track’ on a regular basis.

To access ‘Track’, you need to log on CUKAS in the same way as you did while you were working on your application. The allocated time and date cannot be altered. If you cannot attend due to illness then a doctor’s note must be provided, in which case an alternative date can be arranged.

A non-refundable audition fee must be made via CUKAS before an audition can be arranged. All applications auditioned during the main audition period will have a decision on CUKAS before Christmas. Successful candidates will also receive an offer letter by email or post. If an audition is delayed there is the risk that places for your instrument will already be taken.

For all courses except PGDip/MMus in Chamber Music, details of what will be expected of you in your particular specialism can be found by expanding the relevant section below.

Applicants for the 1 year PGDip/MMus Chamber Music pathway must apply and attend a group audition as a pre-existing ensemble. The members of the ensemble must be specified within their individual personal statements on CUKAS. Candidates are required to present a 40 minute programme of music in a variety of styles from which the panel will choose up to 15 minutes. The audition will last between 15 and 20 minutes and you will have 20 minutes warm up time. There will be a short interview focused on the development of your group to date and also a chance to talk about your future aspirations together.

Applicants who are invited for a live audition must also read the notes attached to the reply sheet, which you can download from the link in the menu on the left hand side. It is essential that you send the reply sheet to admissions@rncm.ac.uk as soon as possible.

BA Popular Music Performance Audition Requirements

BA (Hons) Popular Music Performance

Please read the audition requirements on the Access to Music website.

RNCM School of Composition Audition Requirements

Audition Criteria
• Originality of idiom
• Compositional technique
• Writing for instruments/voices
• Analysis
• Harmonisation
• Interview

Audition Process

First round
Both undergraduate and postgraduate applicants are required to submit three scores in manuscript and, where possible recordings (normally CD) by 1 October (recordings without manuscripts cannot be considered). (Please see below for Admissions’ postal address). These are first assessed by a small selection panel.

Second round
Selected candidates will be invited for a second round audition in person. This consists of an interview with the Head of School and one other member of the Composition tutorial staff.

There are two formal elements:
• A viva voce in music analysis (30 minutes’ preparation time)
• A free harmonisation for Undergraduates
During the interview you will also be asked to talk about your background, work and study aims, as well as to discuss your portfolio. You will have the opportunity to ask any additional questions about composition at the RNCM. The audition/interivew will last approximately 30 minutes and you will have half an hour’s preparation time beforehand.

Reply to audition invitation
Applicants who are invited for a second round audition must also read the notes attached to the reply sheet (which you can download from the link in the menu on the left hand side). It is essential that you send the reply sheet to  admissions@rncm.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Overseas candidates
The audition requirements for overseas candidates are the same regarding the 1st round. Where candidates are selected for a second round audition but it is not possible or practical for them to attend it in person, a telephone interview will normally be given along the same lines as above.

All portfolios and recordings should be posted to: Admissions, RNCM, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, UK, M13 9RD.

RNCM School of Keyboard Studies Audition Requirements

Audition Criteria
• Posture
• Technique/Facility
• Tone
• Pedalling
• Rhythm
• Stylistic awareness
• Memory

Audition Process (2014 Entry)

Undergraduate piano (BMus, GRNCM/MusB (previously known as ‘Joint Course’))
You are required to prepare three or four pieces contrasting in both period and style.  You are encouraged to perform all your pieces from memory. However, one piece must be performed without the score.

Round 1 (morning): Lasts approximately 10 minutes and you will be asked to play two contrasting pieces from your programme chosen by the auditioning panel. You will have 10 minutes to warm up.
Round 2 (afternoon): Lasts approximately 15 minutes and the repertoire to be performed will be selected by the panel.

There will be some sight-reading and an interview focused on the repertoire that you have performed (preparation, challenges, technique and style) and also a chance to talk about your future aspirations. You will have 15 minutes to warm up.

Undergraduate applicants; all instruments: The panel may choose to work with you on some of your repertoire as if in a lesson; and may request a short additional test e.g. sight reading or providing a musical response to a phrase.

Postgraduate piano (MPerf, MMus and PGDip)
You are required to present a 40 minute programme of music in a variety of styles. All pieces should be performed from memory unless they are written after 1945 where it is at the candidate’s discretion.

Round 1 (morning): Lasts approximately 10 minutes and you will be asked to play two contrasting pieces from your programme chosen by the auditioning panel. You will have 10 minutes to warm up.
Round 2 (afternoon): Lasts approximately 15 minutes and the repertoire to be performed will be selected by the panel. There will be some sight-reading and an interview focused on the repertoire that you have performed (preparation, challenges, technique and style) and also a chance to talk about your future aspirations. You will have 15 minutes to warm up.

Undergraduate organ (BMus, GRNCM/MusB (previously known as ‘Joint Course’))
You are required to present three pieces contrasting in both period and style. The audition will last 15-20 minutes and you will have 20 minutes warm up time. There will be some sight reading and an interview focused on the repertoire that you have performed (preparation, challenges, technique and style) and also a chance to talk about your future aspirations.
Before your audition, please read the Organ Specification document which you can download from the link in the menu on the left hand side.

Postgraduate organ (MPerf, MMus and PGDip)
You are required to submit a 30 minute programme of music in a variety of styles including a major work by J. S. Bach and an important romantic or 20th century work. Up to 15 minutes will be selected at audition which will last between 15 and 20 minutes and you will have 20 minutes warm up time. There will be some sight reading and an interview focused on the repertoire that you have performed (preparation, challenges, technique and style) and also a chance to talk about your future aspirations.

Before your audition, please read the organ specification document which you can download from the link in the menu on the left hand side.

Postgraduate accompaniment (MPerf, MMus and PGDip)     
You are required to present, from your own choice, an etude or a solo piece as well as a movement from a duo sonata (strings or wind), and Lied or French/English Song. You are required to bring your own duo partner. You will also be required to undertake some sight reading and a quick study (given approximately half an hour prior to the audition). The accompaniment auditions will last between 25 and 30 minutes duration and you will have 30 minutes preparation/warm up time.

If you are interested in repetiteur (operatic repertoire) training, please consult the School of Vocal Studies and Opera Audition Requirements.

Junior Fellowships in Accompaniment
Each year the College offers a number of Junior Fellowships in Accompaniment. These fellowships entail accompanying students across all schools within the college in return for a stipend and principal study tuition. To be considered for one of these Fellowships you will normally be required to present at audition a group of songs (2 or 3), a movement of an instrumental sonata, a solo piece (etude or similar) and two pieces of sight-reading, one given in advance of the audition (quick study), the other during the audition itself. Prospective applicants should note that there is an expectation that the applicant will currently be completing a PG course or will already have completed one. A strong emphasis is placed on professional experience and sight-reading ability. For more information, please visit the School of Keyboard Studies page.

Undergraduate harpsichord (BMus and GRNCM/MusB (previously known as ‘Joint Course’))
You are required to present three pieces contrasting in both period and style. The audition will last between 15 and 20 minutes and you will have 20 minutes warm up time. There will be some sight reading and an interview focused on the repertoire that you have performed (preparation, challenges, technique and style) and also a chance to talk about your future aspirations.

Postgraduate harpsichord (MPerf, MMus and PGDip)
You should submit a 40 minute programme of music containing repertoire from the 16th, 17th, 18th and 20th centuries. Up to 15 minutes will be selected at audition which will last between 15 and 20 minutes and you will have 20 minutes warm up time. It is expected that you will have experience of continuo playing although this is not essential. There will be some sight reading and an interview focused on the repertoire that you have performed (preparation, challenges, technique and style) and also a chance to talk about your future aspirations.

Reply to audition invitation
Applicants who are invited for a live audition must also read the notes attached to the reply sheet, which you can download from our website. It is essential that you send the reply sheet to admissions@rncm.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Auditions by recording
International students who are unable to attend a live audition can send a recording (DVD-R preferred) instead. For all instruments except accompaniment, you will need to record the entire programme that you would submit to the panel for selection at a live audition. For example, a postgraduate piano applicant should record 40 minute programme of music in a variety of styles. Accompanists need to record all the pieces that you intend to perform at a live audition.

All audition recordings (except those for shortlisting of the GRNCM/MusB) should arrive at the following address by 15 November: Admissions, RNCM, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, UK, M13 9RD.

RNCM School of Strings Audition Requirements

Audition Criteria
• Technique
• Posture
• Tone/Bowing
• Intonation/Vibrato
• Rhythm
• Musicality

Audition Process
For all string instruments, except double bass, guitar and harp, the audition has two parts. All candidates will take part in round one, after which selected candidates will go through to round two. An accompanist will be provided for the audition, where appropriate.

Both rounds take place on the same day. Candidates chosen to play in round two will be notified at lunchtime. Candidates are advised that auditions are highly competitive and that, on average, only half of the candidates heard in the morning will be selected for round two.

There may be exceptional circumstance – e.g. late auditions outside the dedicated audition period, when an audition will consist of one round only when both pieces of repertoire should be presented. In such cases, the auditions will last approximately 20 minutes and candidates will have 20 minutes warm up time. If your audition is one round only, it will be clearly noted on CUKAS when your audition time is allocated.

Round one (morning) for Cello, Viola and Violin (10 minutes with 10 minutes warm-up time)

Please select one option from the following and play the Cadenza where appropriate.

Cello

Haydn: Movement I or III from Concerto in C or D
or Boccherini: Movement I from Concerto in G
or Bach: two contrasted movements from Bach Suites for Solo Cello to include a Prelude

Viola

Hoffmeister: Movement I or III from Concerto in D; Movement I from Concerto in Bb
or Stamitz: Movement I from Concerto in D
or Bach: two contrasted movements from viola transcription of Bach Suites for Solo Cello to include a Prelude

Violin

Mozart:  Movement I or III from Concertos in G, D or A
or Haydn: Movement I from Concerto in C
or Bach: two contrasted movements of unaccompanied Bach, from solo sonatas or partitas

Round two (afternoon) for Cello, Viola and Violin (15 minutes with 15 minutes warm up time)

A choice of repertoire that contrasts with that in round one, and a brief interview.

Double Bass (one round only, 20 minutes with 20 minutes warm up time)

Please select one option from the following and another piece of your own choice, contrasting in style:

Cimador: Concerto in G: 1st movement
or Bottesini: Concerto in a minor 1st movement
or Dittersdorf: Concerto no.2 1st movement

or two contrasted movements from:
Vivaldi: Cello Sonatas (Transcribed Zimmermann)
or Marcello: Sonatas Op. 2
or De Fesch: Sonata in G

Harp and Guitar (one round only, 20 minutes with 20 minutes warm up time)

You will need to play two contrasted pieces. Playing from memory is not a requirement.

Undergraduate applicants; all instruments: The panel may choose to work with you on some of your repertoire as if in a lesson; and may request a short additional test e.g. sight reading or providing a musical response to a phrase.

Reply to audition invitation

Applicants who are invited for a live audition must also read the notes attached to the reply sheet (downloadable from the link from the menu on the left hand side). It is essential that you send the reply sheet to admissions@rncm.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Auditions by recording
International students who are unable to attend a live audition can send a video recording (DVD-R preferred) instead. You will need to record all the pieces that you would play at both rounds in a live audition.

All audition recordings (except those for shortlisting of the GRNCM/MusB) should arrive at the following address by 15 November: Admissions, RNCM, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, UK, M13 9RD.

RNCM School of Vocal Studies and Opera Audition Requirements

Audition Criteria

• Vocal quality
• Breathing
• Pronunciation
• Characterisation
• Musicality
• Support
• Intonation
• Clarity of text
• Communication skills

Audition Process

For all programmes, with the exception of Repetiteurs:

You will need to prepare in advance:
• three pieces of your own choice totalling not more than 12 minutes and contrasting in period and style, to be sung from memory
• a short (maximum two minutes) spoken piece of poetry or prose in Standard English, to be recited from memory or read
There may also be a test of sight-reading ability.
Auditions will normally be held in two rounds. An accompanist will be provided for the audition. Candidates chosen to play in round two will be notified at lunchtime.

Candidates are advised that auditions are highly competitive and that, on average, only half of the candidates heard in the morning will be selected for round two.

First round (morning)
(Approximately 10 minutes with 10 minutes warm up time)
Candidates will sing one piece, selected by the panel. There may also be a test of sight-reading ability.

Second round (afternoon)
(Approximately 15 minutes with 15 minutes warm up time)
The panel will select two pieces and hear the prepared spoken piece. There may also be a test of sight-reading ability.

There may be exceptional circumstance – e.g. late auditions outside the dedicated audition period, when an audition will consist of one round only when both pieces of repertoire should be presented. In such cases, the auditions will last approximately 20 minutes and candidates will have 20 minutes’ warm up time. If your audition is one round only, it will be clearly noted on CUKAS when your audition time is allocated.

Undergraduate applicants: The panel may choose to work with you on some of your repertoire as if in a lesson; and may request a short additional test e.g. sight reading or providing a musical response to a phrase.

Repetiteurs (postgraduate):
One round only, approximately 30 minutes with 30 minutes warm up.

You will need to play:
• Piano solo of own choice (5 minutes maximum) from the Early Romantic or Romantic period
• Two operatic excerpts of own choice (10 minutes maximum) containing more than one character (sing in vocal parts optional)
You will be required to sight-read a selection of operatic repetoire.

There will also be a brief interview.

Reply to audition invitation
Applicants who are invited for a live audition must also read the notes downloadable from the website. It is essential that you send the reply sheet to admissions@rncm.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Auditions by Recording
International students who are unable to attend a live audition can send a video recording (DVD-R preferred) instead.

For all programmes except Repetiteurs, you will need to record 3 contrasting pieces sung from memory, totalling no more than 12 minutes.

For Repetiteurs (postgraduate), you will need to record all the pieces that you would perform at a live audition.

All audition recordings (except those for shortlisting of the GRNCM/MusB) should arrive at the following address by 15 November: Admissions, RNCM, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, UK, M13 9RD.

RNCM School of Wind, Brass and Percussion Audition Requirements

There are around 200 students in the School of Wind, Brass and Percussion, with the equivalent of a symphonic wind, brass and percussion section being admitted annually. In each instrumental discipline approximately four students are normally accepted in each year, and admission standards are correspondingly high.

Audition Criteria

A balance of:
• Technical security
• Musicality
• Communication
• Potential

Audition Process

All woodwind and brass players
Candidates should prepare two contrasting pieces, at least one of which must be accompanied. The total time of the two pieces should not exceed 15 minutes. An accompanist will be provided for the audition.

Bassoon, cor anglais (postgraduate only), oboe, French horn, tuba, cornet, tenor horn, baritone horn and euphonium
The audition will consist of one round, lasting approximately 20 minutes including a brief interview. Both pieces will need to be presented and you will have 20 minutes to warm up before your audition.

Bass clarinet (postgraduate only), clarinet, flute, trumpet and trombone
Unless specified in the audition comments on CUKAS when your audition time is allocated, the audition has two parts. All candidates take part in round one, after which selected candidates will go through to round two.

Round 1 (morning):
(Maximum 10 minutes with 10 minutes warm up time)
The panel will ask you to perform one piece.

Candidates chosen to play in round two will be notified at lunchtime. Candidates are advised that auditions are highly competitive and that, on average, only half of the candidates heard in the morning will be selected for round two.

Round 2 (afternoon):
(Maximum 15 minutes with 15 minutes warm up time)
The panel will hear the second piece which will befollowed by a brief interview. Sight-reading may also be given.

There may be exceptional circumstances – e.g. late auditions outside the dedicated audition period, when an audition will consist of one round only when both pieces of repertoire should be presented. In such cases, the auditions will last approximately 20 minutes and candidates will have 20 minutes’ warm up time. If your audition is one round only, it will be clearly noted on CUKAS when your audition time is allocated.

Saxophone
Unless specified in the audition comments on CUKAS when your audition time is allocated, the audition will be in two parts, as above. You will need to prepare two contrasting pieces, one of which must be accompanied. As an indication of the required standard, candidates should consult the following list:

Paul Creston – Sonata
Phil Woods – Sonata
Paule Maurice – Tableaux de Provence
Amy Quate – Light of Sothis
Jean Absil – Fantaisie Caprice
Jolivet – Fantaisie
Gotkovsky – Brillance
Milhaud – Scaramouche

Candidates are advised that performance of two jazz-based pieces is not acceptable.

There may be exceptional circumstances – e.g. late auditions outside the dedicated audition period, when an audition will consist of one round only when both pieces of repertoire should be presented. In such cases, the auditions will last approximately 20 minutes and candidates will have 20 minutes’ warm up time. If your audition is one round only, it will be clearly noted on CUKAS when your audition time is allocated.

Percussionists: please read the Percussion audition requirements document which you can download from the menu on the left hand side.

Undergraduate applicants; all instruments: The panel may choose to work with you on some of your repertoire as if in a lesson; and may request a short additional test e.g. sight reading or providing a musical response to a phrase.
Auditions by Recording

International candidates who are unable to attend a live audition can send a video recording instead (DVD-R preferred). For all instruments except percussion, you will need to record a programme of about twenty minutes duration to include at least three pieces contrasting in style.

RNCM Conducting Audition Requirements

Undergraduate
The College does not offer Principal Study in conducting at Undergraduate level. However, a conducting option is available in the Undergraduate Professional Skills scheme. The College also offers a range of external conducting courses which many undergraduates participate in.

Postgraduate
The audition consists of a preliminary video selection round followed by a day of live auditions which will be a three-stage process.

First round:
All candidates should supply 20 minutes of uninterrupted and unedited footage of their conducting. Ideally, this should be a fairly equal mixture of rehearsal and performance. The camera should be positioned so that the candidate’s face and upper body is clearly visible. The recording (DVD-R preferred) should arrive at Admissions by 15 October. (Please see below for Admissions’ postal address.)

Second round:
Selected candidates will be invited for an audition and interview in person.
Candidates will be required to conduct a small ensemble (wind or string) in a rehearsal situation for 10 minutes.
These auditions will be followed by an interview with a panel led by Clark Rundell.

Third round:
A number of the candidates will be invited to rehearse a soloist and accompanist in a standard concerto on the same day after the interviews.

Final round:
Some candidates will be invited to stay for the final round in the evening.

Repertoire for second, third and final rounds

The repertoire for the second, third and final rounds will be notified to you in advance. For 2014 entry, the pieces chosen are:

•    three movements of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale: Marche du Soldat, Pastorale & Marche Royale

•    Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.1, 1st movement

•    Haydn’s Symphony No.6 ‘le Matin’

Applicants are required to bring their own music for all three works.

Audition reply
Applicants who are selected for a second round audition must also read the notes attached to the reply sheet, which you can download from our website. It is essential that you send the reply sheet to admissions@rncm.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Auditions by recording
Attendance at the live auditions is very much recommended but international students who are unable to attend a live audition can send a recording only (DVD-R preferred) for our consideration. In this case, you will need to record a 20 minute rehearsal and a 20 minute performance each consisting of two contrasting pieces. These footages should not be edited and should clearly show your face and upper body.

All recordings should be posted to: Admissions, RNCM, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, UK, M13 9RD.

RNCM International Artist Diploma

An exceptionally high level of performing ability is expected of applicants, who should be on the brink of a professional performing career. Applications are invited for the International Solo Artist Course, the International Chamber Music Course, and the RNCM Opera and Voice Studio. Students will normally have already completed postgraduate studies in performance at a conservatoire or similar specialist environment. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 student visa must also meet the minimum English requirement, IELTS 5.5 in each component, set by the UK Border Agency.  Candidates shortlisted for an audition must attend a live audition; DVD auditions are not accepted.

If you are interested in IAD Solo Performance, please download the application process from the menu on the left hand side. For 2014 entry, please ensure the application materials for shortlisting arrive at Admissions by 31 January 2014. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a live audition on 11 or 12 March 2014.

Download information on the application process by clicking here.