Music Scholarships | Streatham & Clapham High School

Music Scholarships | Streatham & Clapham High School
I don’t think any other school would have given me the opportunity to perform on stage at the Royal Opera House at the age of 12

Adrianna Forbes-Dorrant

What it Means to be a SCHS Music Scholar

Our scholars are girls in whom we see exceptional talent or potential – whether they instrumentalists or singers or both. Our music scholars are invited to participate in scholar-specific concerts and workshops as well as all SCHS music events, which include:

  • Termly ensemble concerts
  • Regular choral collaboration with Trinity School
  • Our annual Carol Service at Southwark Cathedral
  • Annual Evensong with Cambridge and Oxford Colleges
  • Collaborations with the Royal Opera House and other professional companies
  • Regular talks with major performers, composers and conductors

Just as we nurture their musical talent and provide unique, door-opening opportunities, our scholars also serve as role models to inspire and encourage others in the school and the wider community, whether its leading our House Music competitions or hosting choral clubs and special assemblies.

What we expect

Music Scholars have a very important role within the music department and wider community. Naturally talented and hard-working musicians, Music Scholars act as role models for younger pupils and contribute widely to the school’s music. Music Scholars take a full and active part in any music activities open to them throughout their school career, including concerts, productions, clubs, tours and competitions.

Music Scholars are in regular discussion with the music department to discuss their development and to make sure that they are being stretched and challenged in their music-making. Scholars come together in the Michaelmas Term for a workshop and showcase concert. They are also likely to play a large role in their house music activities. Opportunities for the participation in specialist ensembles are also provided and Music Scholars actively seek every opportunity to perform with other musicians, not necessarily specialist scholars. Music Scholars develop their individual solo performing skills to the highest possible level, and a standard of Grade 8 and above in at least one instrument is attained by the Upper Sixth.

Music scholar responsibilities

  • To be an active member of the musical life of the school.
  • To represent the school in a variety of musical ensembles and as a soloist.
  • To practice and become the best musician that you can be, with an aim of achieving Grade 8 or beyond.
  • To be a subject role model to peers and other students, showing what hard work and practice can achieve and sharing that musicianship with others.
  • To attend Scholars’ meetings and workshops and develop ideas for music-making within the school.
  • To help out on Open Days and take an active role in promoting the school.
  • To enter competitions and involve themselves in music-making beyond the school gates.


  • Individual practice rooms
  • Music technology suite
  • Vast array of instruments including an Organ
  • Two performing arts spaces with professional lighting and sounds systems

Our staff

The music department is under the Directorship of Mrs Elizabeth Esser, a talented singer, violinist and pianist. She pursued her musical studies at Selwyn College, Cambridge where she was also awarded a Choral Scholarship. Prior to joining SCHS, Mrs Esser held the position of Head of Academic Music at Hampton School.

Matthew Gibson has recently started as Head of Academic Music. His background as an organist at Oxford and as a Music Director in the West End brings a wealth of knowledge in a variety of genres. As a composer, his works have been performed by groups such as the Villiers String Quartet, London Sinfonietta, and BBC Singers.

How To apply — 11+

Applicants should be of Grade 4 standard or higher in one instrument or voice.

A second instrument (or voice) is desirable but not essential.
Candidates are expected to have performed in ensembles and sung in choirs.
Short-listed candidates will be invited to a live audition, in which they will be asked to perform and do a few tests, before an informal discussion.

The deadline for specialist scholarships is Thursday 31 October 2024.

The music scholarship assessment will be held on Thursday 9 January 2025. Candidates will be sent confirmation once the application deadline has passed.

Start your application now

How To Apply — 16+

Applicants should be of Grade 6 standard or higher in one instrument or voice.

External candidates should also submit evidence/details of the following:

  • GCSE MUSIC predicted grade and mock examination result.
  • Any additional relevant qualifications (either achieved or currently studying.
  • A written reference from their school Music teacher of no more than 200 words.
  • Evidence of music/performances outside of school (e.g. photos, programmes, newspaper articles etc.)

Start your application now

Music Scholarships | Streatham & Clapham High School
Meet one of Our Music Scholars: Adrianna

Adrianna, joined SCHS in the Upper Third as a music scholar. Now in the Lower Sixth she is an accomplished singer, pianist and violinist. Adrianna is a member of Junior Trinity and the National Youth Choir. Along with other SCHS musicians, Adrianna has performed in the chorus of Carmen at the Royal Opera House and as Flora in Garsington Opera’s Turn of the Screw.

Performing on stage at Garsington Opera was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. It opened my mind and changed my outlook on Music. The experience was one of a kind.

Adrianna Forbes-Dorrant

Music Scholarship Application Checklist
In order to apply, we kindly ask you to check through the list of requirements for a successful submission below.

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