Eltham College Associate Musicianship Scheme

Applications are now open for Eltham College’s Associate Musicianship Scheme, which offers local school-age musicians the chance to become fully involved with Eltham College’s prestigious Music Department. This scheme is open to pupils from Year 7 upwards who do not attend and independent school.

What will our Associate Musicians gain/do?

Associate Musicians will gain membership of Eltham College’s Symphony Orchestra, which performs throughout the year at prestigious venues such as Blackheath Halls. Our orchestra performs full symphonic repertoire to a high standard, with weekly rehearsals at the school.  Repertoire for 2023-24 has included Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, Cecilia McDowall’s Stabat Mater and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The Orchestra also undertakes biennial tours within the UK and further afield, for example our tour to Scotland and the North of England in Summer 2022.

Our Associate Musicians will also be offered membership of at least one chamber ensemble, which will be tailored to their individual level and aspirations. This will involve weekly coaching from one of Eltham’s Heads of Section, or the Director of Music.

Further benefits of this scheme include:

  • Invitations to take part in Eltham College solo events such as our Scholars’ Concerts and instrumental masterclasses;
  • Access to video and audio recordings of solo performances, both live and studio, which can be used for applications to conservatoires or for competition entries;
  • 1-1 mentoring from the Director of Music, focused on the individual pupil’s aspirations and continued musical development;
  • 2 free tickets to all performances;
  • Travel to/from Eltham College reimbursed.
What would the requirements of an Associate Musician be?

Our Orchestra rehearses every Tuesday 4-5.30pm, and our top Chamber Ensembles rehearse at the same time every Thursday. Associate Musicians would be required to attend these weekly rehearsals, with the obvious acceptance that there may be one-off events that require individual rehearsals to be missed every now and then. It is also accepted that certain pupils may struggle to arrive at Eltham for a 4pm start, and therefore arrive a little later; this would not be a problem! Our Associate Musicians would, though, be required to be present for all concert dates.


Other than this, the only ‘requirement’ is that our Associate Musicians are passionate about music making at a high level, and want to take an active role in high-quality large- and small-scale ensemble performance.

What level do I need to be to apply?

This scheme is open to musicians who are currently working towards, or have already achieved, their Grade 8. It is therefore assumed that applicants would have already achieved Grade 7 at a minimum level, or be working at or beyond this level if they haven’t entered formal exams. The Director of Music is always happy to speak to potential applicants individually if there is any doubt about the current level!

How do I apply?

Applicants should complete the application letter on Eltham College’s website. Selected applicants will then be invited to an individual audition, at which they will be asked to perform two contrasting pieces on their instrument of application. This audition will also involve an informal conversation to assess the pupil’s interests and previous musical experiences.

Is there an application deadline?

So that we are able to have our first Associate Musicians in place for the new academic year, the deadline for applications is Friday 31st May 2024.

When does the scheme run?

The Associate Musicianship Scheme follows the standard structure of the academic year. Pupils will not be required to re-audition for subsequent years; their position will be guaranteed until they reach the end of Year 13 should they wish to maintain it.

What next?

All of us in the Music Department at Eltham College hope that this scheme will be of interest, and that, having read this information, you will submit an application. The Director of Music, Mr Sebastian Johns, is always happy to speak to individuals to answer any specific questions that they may have; he is contactable on [email protected].


By filling in, and submitting, this form, you consent to us holding information on your personal email address and phone number until such time as we either invite your child to audition, and therefore ask for further information, or inform you that your application has not been successful, at which point we will delete this personal information.

Associate Musician Scheme 2024