To be considered for an audition at The Purcell School, applicants must first apply. Please see How to Apply.

The audition process takes part in two stages – the preliminary and the main auditions.

Preliminary Audition

On receipt of an application, we may recommend that an applicant take a preliminary audition, which is similar to the main audition except that the candidate will play to the appropriate Head of Department only. This is to assess the level of candidate musicianship, musicality, technique, and potential. It is a less pressurised environment than a main audition and often helps to settle nerves.

Main Audition

For a main audition, candidates will be asked to prepare and play two pieces on their first instrument and one piece on their second instrument (if relevant). The pieces are of the applicant’s own choice. Sight-reading and aural tests will be set. Candidates will be interviewed by an audition panel which will include the relevant Head of Department.

In order to best determine a suitable academic programme, candidates will sit a Reasoning Test in English and be interviewed by a senior member of staff. The Head of EAL will assess candidates for whom English is not their first language.

Following the main audition, candidates and their parents will be given a tour of the School, which for boarders will include a visit to a boarding house, and will meet with the Head and Bursar.

An audition fee of £50, payable to ‘The Purcell School’ by cheque or online, must be made and received by the relevant audition date to guarantee an audition.


Following a successful audition, the candidate will either be offered a place (normally within two weeks of the audition) or placed on a waiting list and informed if and when a place becomes available.

Auditions are held throughout the school year, generally on Thursdays. If you have any further queries about our auditions please contact the School Registrar, Ms Karen Eldridge on or 01923 331107.