To learn all about your audition, and how to give your best, watch our cartoon guide above and take the time to read this page...

We ask you to arrive around 30 minutes in advance of your audition time to allow for any delay. Upon arrival, you'll be met by our administrator. Take a seat and relax. You'll then have up to ten minutes to warm up your voice with our accompanist; many have worked with NYCGB for years so know how the process runs and will put you at ease. The accompanist will then take you into the audition room. The audition itself, with our two panelists, lasts for around ten minutes - but we pack a lot in!

What you'll be expected to do depends on your age, but there are four stages for everyone: two prepared pieces (one accompanied, one unaccompanied), a vocal assessment, and musicianship tests. Here's how it works:

1. First prepared piece (Accompanied)
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The first song that you perform is your own choice. It is best to select something that contrasts to the second piece to demonstrate a range of abilities. However, this should be something that you know well and that offers a suitable level of musical challenge, rather than something overly ambitious.

You will only need to perform around a minute of the piece in total and our NYCGB accompanist can help you select the most appropriate minute-long section when you warm-up before your audition.

2. Second prepared piece (Unaccompanied)
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You will sing your unaccompanied song from memory (without a score/music) and we recommend choosing a folksong or an appropriate song specifically composed without accompaniment. Applicants in School Years 9 and above can select a song of their choice. For applicants in School Years 5-8, this must be one of the set pieces listed below (older applicants should feel free to sing one of these too if they wish).

Downloadable scores are provided below and you may sing in a key of your choice.


Scarborough Fair


O Waly Waly


She's Like The Swallow


My Grandfather's Clock


Manx Lullaby


Early One Morning




 The Salley Gardens

3. Vocal Assessment
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After you have performed your two prepared pieces, you may be led through some vocal exercises to demonstrate your tone and range. You may also be asked to perform a section of one of your prepared pieces again after receiving coaching from a member of the audition panel. This will allow us to assess your responsiveness and vocal flexibility.

4. Musicianship tests
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You'll also be asked to demonstrate your musical skills and understanding so ask your school music teacher, choir master or singing teacher to help with your sight reading. The level of challenge will depend on your age and experience. You'll find some helpful examples of previous tests below.

School Years 5-8          



 Clap a simple rhythm at sight


 Pitch any note within the C major scale from the tonic


 Identify common musical symbols and markings


School Year 9 and above



Sing a simple melody from sight (unaccompanied)


Identify key signatures up to five sharps or flats


Identify musical symbols and markings


Sing a named note from a given named note e.g.: "This is an F, please sing a Bb above."

Sing a named interval from a given unamed note e.g.: "Please sing a major third down from this note."

Click on the examples of previous tests below so you know what to expect.

2015 Rhythm Reading Test for candidates in School Years 5-8

2014 Rhythm Reading Test for candidates in School Years 5-8

2015 Sight Reading Tests for candidates in School Years 9 and above

2014 Sight Reading Tests for candidates in School Years 9 and above

2013 Sight Reading Tests for candidates in School Years 9 and above

Please note that candidates in School Years 5-8, who demonstrate sufficient aptitude, may be asked by the panel to take some of the tests for those in School Year 9 and above.

Read the most common Auditions questions and answers

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We are proud that the Royal Albert Hall is the Principal Supporter of NYCGB's Auditions Programme.