How to apply
The first two UK GUITAR CIRCUS ensembles launched in January 2010 in London and Birmingham, and we will be holding the next round of auditions for both ensembles in November 2011.
Application forms are available on-line here, but you can always contact us if you have any questions about the scheme, or want to discuss the audition procedure in more detail. We understand that auditioning can sound a very daunting process, but we try very hard to make it as informal as possible. Below are the answers to a few common questions about GUITAR CIRCUS to help you see how we operate.
Am I eligible?
We welcome applications from guitarists aged between 12-19 years on 1st September 2011 who have reached a standard of Grade 5 or above. Successful applicants will be offered a place in the ensemble, which will rehearse on the second Sunday every month during term time. Before submitting your application please read carefully our conditions and fees page, especially regarding your commitment to the rehearsal schedule.
What do I do next?
An on-line application form is available on this website. To confirm your audition place a £15 fee is required – cheques should be made payable to The Arts Circus, and sent to the administrator at GUITAR CIRCUS, 12 Parchment Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8AZ. You can also register your interest in auditioning and keep up to date with all announcements by signing up to our newsletter.
Closing date for London: Monday 21 November 2011
Closing date for Birmingham: Monday 14 November 2011
If you have missed the closing date, please contact us ASAP.
What happens at the audition?
Nobody likes auditions, but we aim to make the process as painless as possible. Some of it might even be enjoyable! There will be two elements to your audition:
- a performance of a short solo piece of Grade 5 standard or above in front of the panel. This will give us a general overview of your technical and musical ability.
- A 2 hour trial coaching session as part of an ensemble with the other applicants. This is partly designed to test your sight-reading ability, but more importantly it is aimed at establishing how quickly you can familiarise yourself with your part, how you respond to musical direction, and how you integrate into the ensemble.
The panel will consist of the relevant musical director (Gary Ryan: London, Mark Ashford: Birmingham) and the Executive Director of The Arts Circus: Helen Sanderson.
How long will it take?
- Applicants given a solo audition in the morning session will be required to arrive 30 minutes before their audition and remain until the end of the ensemble coaching trial at 2.30 p.m.
- Applicants given a solo audition in the afternoon session will be required to arrive at 11.15 (30 minutes before the beginning of the ensemble trial) and will be able to leave immediately after their solo audition.
All applicants will be asked to bring a packed lunch.
Where do the auditions take place?
Venues and dates for the next round of auditions in November 2011 are as follows:
Sunday 27 November 2011:
Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BS
Sunday 20 November 2011:
Birmingham Conservatoire, Paradise Place, Birmingham, B3 3HG
What happens if I am accepted?
After the audition we will write to you with the outcome and give you some written feedback on your audition. Successful applicants will be offered a place in the GUITAR CIRCUS ensemble which is subject to an annual review. Term time monthly rehearsals will take place from approx. 10.30 am – 4.30 pm on the second Sunday of each month.
Annual membership of GUITAR CIRCUS costs £255 which can be paid in termly installments of £85 per term or with Direct Debit (£21.25 per month). .
A limited number of Guitar Circus bursaries are available to assist ensemble members who are unable to meet the cost of membership. Please contact us if you require further details. Please read all the conditions and fees info.