Pupils at The Hammond School in Chester, Cheshire

Entry
Upper School

Candidates wishing to enter Senior School at The Hammond are required to have 5 GCSEs graded A* to C, ( 9-4) provide a reference from their previous/current school and audition in their chosen discipline.

Audition Schedule - Candidates

08:30 Candidates are required to arrive at The Hammond and report to The Performing Arts Centre. The Hammond Principal will welcome you to the school.
9:15-10:45 Ballet auditions (including flexibility assessments).
10:45-11:05 Contemporary dance auditions.
11:05-11:25 Jazz dance auditions.
11:25-11:30 A short break during which refreshments will be provided.
11:30-12:30 Vocal warm up and solo auditions.
12:30-13:00 A light lunch will be provided. Please inform the school if you have any special dietary requirements.
13:00-13:15 Return to the studio to meet our Panel Members. In the event you are not selected for the afternoon programme, you are free to leave at this point. Please note, if you are selected for the afternoon auditions, it does not automatically guarantee you a place.
13:15-13:25 Warm up for dance solos, which comprise a prepared dance solo lasting no longer than one minute. Please record your music on a CDR or MP3 (we do not accept CDRW or tape recordings).
13:25-14:00 Dance solos to be performed individually. A second song choice may be performed at this time, if required.
14:00-16:30 Acting monologues will be performed followed by a panel interview. Candidates are required to perform a contemporary speech of their own choice from a published play (post 1960) and a classical speech from the works of William Shakespeare. If possible, these pieces should be committed to memory. Each monologue is to last no longer than one minute.

Shakespeare audition pieces include:

Romeo & Juliet

 

Juliet: Act 2, Scene 2. From line 33, "O Romeo, Romeo" to line 49, "take all myself".
Romeo: Act 2, Scene 2. From line 10, "It is my lady," to line 25, "That I might touch that cheek."

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Puck: Act 2, Scene 1. From line 24, "Thou speakest aright" to line 58, "here comes Oberon".
Helena: Act 3, Scene 2. From line 145, "Oh Spite! Oh Hell!" to line 161, "all to make you sport."

From 14:00, individual candidates will be taken for physiotherapy checks by The Hammond’s physiotherapist. This will take place in conjunction with the vocal assessments.

Candidates will have the opportunity to view our facilities throughout the day.

Audition Schedule - Parents

09:00 onwards Parents will receive a tour of the school and meet with:
  • The Artistic Faculty Manager
  • The Accommodation Officer
  • A Sixth Form Coordinator

Parents may return from 13:15 onwards following the selection process. The day will end at approximately 16:30.

Vocal Auditions

As part of The Hammond’s rigorous selection process, all candidates are required to sing. We recognise that whilst we do see many experienced singers, some candidates – particularly dancers – have little or no previous singing experience. To overcome any apprehensions in this instance, candidates can refer to our guide on vocal auditions, which aims to demystify the audition process so candidates can approach the audition with confidence and give the best performance possible.

Requirements

Candidates will be required to present two 32-bar solos from the musical theatre repertoire. Please note, candidates may not be required to perform both excerpts. Sheet music must be provided and clearly marked. Backing tracks or CDs are not accepted. Please record your music on a CDR (we do not accept CDRW or tape recordings).

Sheet Music

Musical theatre anthologies offer a great source of repertoire and the songs are in their original keys. Individual songs can also be purchased online, for example at:

Sheet music must preferably be taped concertina-style or put in a folder. If you use plastic wallets, please be aware that reflection from the lights may make the music difficult to read. All cuts must be clearly marked; do not leave it to your accompanist to remember your references and light pencil marks may be missed. Untaped music can, does and has fallen from the piano during auditions. Please ensure your music stands up and that the pages turn easily before your audition.

Warming Up

You will be led through a vocal warm up by one of our vocal tutors prior to performing your songs. This is very much a part of the audition process.

On Entering The Room

Please spend time talking through your music with the accompanist. If your music is taped, please hand it to the pianist closed so they can arrange it on the standard as they need it. Advise the accompanist of the correct tempo and any required cuts in the music. This is possibly the most important thing you can do to ensure your audition runs as smoothly as possible.

Meeting The Panel And Performing

The Panel will ask you what you are singing so be prepared to introduce your songs, including the title, show, composer and lyricist. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of musical theatre.

Let your accompanist know that you are ready. Get into character and sing your song. Once you have completed your performance, please remember to thank your accompanist. It is an easy thing to forget if you are nervous but is an important part of audition etiquette both here at The Hammond and in the professional world. Remember not to comment on your performance until you are out of earshot of the panel!

Dance Wear Requirements

Girls’ Ballet Plain leotard, pink tights and ballet shoes. If point work has not been studied, the candidate’s potential for future training will be assessed.
Girls’ Contemporary Plain leotard, footless tights and bare feet.
Girls’ Jazz Plain leotard, jazz pants of footless tights, jazz shoes or bare feet.
Boys’ Ballet Normal dance wear or leotard, dance support tights and ballet shows or unitard and ballet shoes.
Boys’ Contemporary As for ballet with bare feet.
Boys’ Jazz Plain leotard or t-shirt, jazz pants or tracksuit bottoms, jazz shoes or bare feet.
Drama
Dance
Music
Musical Theatre
Academic
Prep School