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The Award

The award will be free choir membership, worth up to £120, plus a maximum of £300 of master-class music lessons

Why does the choir run this scheme ?

These scholarships are part of the choir’s mission to promote music in South East Cornwall, and a fund has already been set up for them.


Who should apply

We are particularly interested in applications from those who are already showing talent in an acoustic instrument or voice, probably in school Years 9 to 12, or under 30 years old, in the autumn term (September to December) of 2024.  If you are already having formal music lessons, then we are looking for someone who has achieved the ABRSM Grade V or above, or equivalent.  However, we are also open to budding musicians who show great potential but are not taking formal music examinations. The arrangements have some flexibility, to accommodate those taking examinations.  If you have any questions, then please contact Peter Matthews at


The music lessons

The music lessons must be taught by an expert teacher – who could be of your choice, but must be approved by the choir to be of sufficient standard themselves.  If you do not know such a teacher, then we will try to find one for you.  The £300 would typically cover six lessons from such a teacher.

What we require

If you are interested in singing in a choir, then we need you to attend the choir rehearsals leading  to a concert.  If your speciality is solo voice or an instrument, then you will perform at one of our concerts.  The Christmas concert is probably most suitable – it has the widest audience, and your training and rehearsals would not interfere with school exams later in the year.  The choice of piece you would like to perform will be discussed with our musical director and scholarships coordinator as one that would be appreciated by the audience for the concert in question. 


Your application

If your interest is in choral singing, we will then invite you to one of our rehearsals which take place during school terms on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 to 9.30 pm at a venue in Liskeard, currently the Catholic church.  That is on a no-commitment basis, to see if you enjoy singing with us.  


If you think you would be suitable for the scholarship and would like to apply, then please do so via the scholarship application form.  The deadline for applications for the 2024/25 academic year will be in early September 2024.  Provided we appoint enough scholars, applications will then be closed for another year.


On the basis of your answers on the application form, we will draw up a short-list of applicants.  We will invite everyone on the short-list to an individual, informal chat at which we will discuss your skills and aspirations.  Then we will make a decision within a short time after that.


You will be presented with a scholarship certificate during the concert at which you perform.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I have to be an expert musician?

No - that's the idea of the training! However, you do have to enjoy performing music.  If you are interested in a choral scholarship , you must be able to sing in tune, and be comfortable with reading music, and music theory.

As stated above, if you take formal music examinations, guide levels are skill equivalent to ABRSM grade V or higher, and/or Grade V music theory.

Is it open to people of any age or background and to existing choir members?

Yes, although younger people and those who are not yet established choir members should find it easier to show that they are ambitious musically. In general, priority will be given to applicants who are younger and less experienced, provided they have achieved the skill level described above.


What do you mean by ambitious musically?

We are open to many types of musical ambition.  If a choral scholar, it would be good for you to want to stay in the choir, but you may want to use the scholarship for some other purpose. For example, you may want to use the training to help with an audition for another choir, band or musical show.

Do I have to be entirely classically orientated?

No - many of the best musicians like many different types of music. So there would be no objection to using the training we are offering to become a better Soul singer!

Can I choose my own teacher for the music lessons?

Yes, but with the condition that the teacher must be an expert musician - for example having trained at music college, or being a professional soloist.

What if I do not know a music teacher?


If we are able, we will arrange one for you.

I am under 18 or vulnerable - will I feel safe in the choir?

Yes - the East Cornwall Bach Choir has successfully nourished many teenage members in the past, and has an active safeguarding policy

I would like to publicise the event further - do you have any more handouts ?

Feel free to print one of the attached handouts (double on A4, single on A5) for yourself - thank you !


Feedback from Cas Smirthwaite, 2017/2018 choral scholar:


“The scholarship was a great privilege. The vocal coaching helped me to improve my singing technique and increase my range...  I had never sung classical music before and as anyone in a choir knows, it's a very different way of using your voice. 

Taking part in the scholarship has definitely furthered my musical education and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to have a singing career.”




  • Our concerts are focussed on acoustic and mechanical instruments, and our venues often do not have facilities for electronic instruments – so if, for example, you are a guitarist, you would need to perform acoustically.

  • Once awarded, ECBC reserves the right to withdraw the scholarship at any time should attendance at rehearsals and/or music lessons and/or participation within the choir be considered unsatisfactory.

  • Successful candidates should arrange their own music lessons with a music teacher with professional music qualifications.  ECBC must approve the choice of teacher.  ECBC can arrange a teacher if requested.

  • Invoices from the teacher, up to the value of £300, should be forwarded directly to the ECBC treasurer, Elizabeth Nodder.

  • Scholarships will normally be awarded in the Autumn. 

  • Music lessons should be arranged by the candidate, with the help of the scholarship subcommittee if necessary, to occur in the weeks before a concert at which the scholar will perform. 

  • Scholarships will not be carried forward to the following academic year. 

  • The scholarship team reserve the right to offer a bursary, of lower value than the scholarship, should that be deemed appropriate and acceptable. 

  • Candidates who have been in receipt of a scholarship or bursary are ineligible for further awards within this scheme. 

  • As mentioned above, ECBC has an active safeguarding policy.  Any member of the choir under the age of 18 is introduced to a member of the choir who is a child protection officer with enhanced DBS clearance.   For male minors, this is Peter Matthews, and for female minors, it is Elizabeth Nodder. Any concerns, however slight, should be reported, and action will then be taken as appropriate. 

Scholarship Form
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