Choral and Organ Scholarships

St Chad’s College Choir represents a wide cross-section of the College, welcoming undergraduates, postgraduates and members of staff alike. The Choir consists of up to 24 singers, most of whom are very informally auditioned though some previous experience of singing in a choir is desirable.

The Choir’s primary function is to sing at College Chapel Services during term time.  (Currently a Eucharist on Sunday morning, midweek Choral Evensong and Choral Eucharist or Evensong for Festivals and special College days). The choir sings a wide range of music, with settings by Byrd and Palestrina through to Stanford and Howells as well as singing new compositions and arrangements. In addition, the Choir is privileged to sing in Durham Cathedral, usually once or twice each term. The College’s annual Advent Procession in the Cathedral is undoubtedly a highlight in this respect; the annual celebration of St Chad’s Day is another.

The College values its Choir and choral tradition highly and provides it with many opportunities to play a full and central part in the cultural life of the College. This includes regular concerts and recitals in the chapel and beyond. CD recordings have been released from time to time to mark the ever evolving membership and continuing success and development. The Choir has undertaken tours both internationally and within the UK.

There is a total of 16 Choral Scholarships and 2 Organ Scholarships available each year; some of which will be awareded to existing students. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to apply for a Scholarship within their UCAS application to Durham.  More information is shown below. Scholars are selected by application and candidates willbe invited for a formal audition. These scholarships are funded through gifts from St Chad’s alumni and friends.



Level of Study: Undergraduate & Postgraduate

Domicile: Worldwide

College: Applicants must specify St Chad’s College as the preferred College on their UCAS application for Durham.

Mode of Study: Full-time or Part-time

Programmes: All programmes



Value: £500 (choral), £1000 (organ)

Duration: I year

Number: Up to 16 Choral Scholars and 2 Organ Scholars


Further Details

Successful recipients will receive £500/£1,000 plus a programme of singing/organ lessons to be agreed with the Director of Music. Funding can be used as either maintenance support or payment towards tuition fees. This is a grant not a loan and does not need to be repaid. Choral and Organ Scholars are required to be core members of the College Choir and as such must commit to sing/play at all services, concerts and rehearsals. In special personal or academic circumstances Scholars can be given leave by the Director of Music.

Choral scholarships will not all be awarded simply on the basis of musical excellence – the College is keen to encourage singers with musical potential who may not have had the opportunity to receive significant formal musical training. The College is happy to receive applications from all interested potential students regardless of their family background, level of study, nationality or schooling. It is possible to hold a choral/organ scholarship alongside other College scholarships/bursaries and there may be additional funds available in cases of genuine financial hardship.

Organ scholarships will be awarded on the basis of musical ability. Scholars would normally be expected to have achieved ABRSM Grade 7 Organ or equivalent. Experience of accompanying services is desirable.


Further Information

All Choral and Organ scholars are re-auditioned each year. Applicants must apply and re-audition for a scholarship in subsequent years of their course of study at the University.



Applicants must:

Stage 1: have submitted an academic application to Durham University via UCAS specifying St Chad’s College as their College of choice.

Stage 2: submit an application by email to: at St Chad’s College;  including a signed reference (a pdf or scan is acceptable) from your teacher or choir director (or other appropriate person) and a personal statement of not more than 1,000 words outlining:

  • how your personal musical experience makes you eligible for this award
  • how the scholarship would help you to study at Durham University
  • why you want to study at Durham University and St Chad’s College


Scholarship applications for 2020/21 accepted from: November 1st 2020

Scholarship application Deadline: February 19th, 2021

Auditions: Due to the current Covid-19 situation, audition dates for 2020/21 scholarships are postponded until the autumn.  Dates will be announced to current applicants in due course.

When candidates will hear the outcome of their application for 2020/21: To be announced



  • All eligible applications for Choral and Organ Scholarships will be considered on the basis of their personal statement, references and academic status by a panel of senior staff St Chad’s College.
  • St Chad’s College may use Acorn data to prioritise applicants from areas currently under represented in the undergraduate population.
  • Candidates who are selected will be asked to come to College for a formal audition during the March University Open Day.



For further information or advice:


Phone: +44 (0)191 334 3357