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Oxbridge hopefuls, including organ scholar, as Concord reaches 100 places in five years

Thursday October 15, 2020

With the record-breaking A level results of Concord’s 2020 leavers, the college has reached a fantastic milestone of 100 Oxbridge places in just the last five years. Oxford and Cambridge continue to be top university choices for Concord students – and in addition to those who receive places, the college has a particularly strong record of placing students into engineering, economics and maths courses as well as into the UK medical schools. 15 students from the Class of 2020 are now attending the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge – studying a variety of disciplines. And Concord has many more hopefuls this year – “73 students including a small handful of alumni too”, according to Concord’s Assistant Principal (Careers & University Admissions), Dr Rob Pugh. “73 applications highlights the prominence of such prestigious institutions and the ever-high aspirations of Concord students. “Students are applying to a variety of fields, such as architecture, biomedical sciences, computer science, chemistry, natural sciences, human, social and political sciences, English and more. “Very popular choices this year include economics and management, engineering and mathematics.” One student, aspiring mathematician Davon, from Concord’s 6.2, has been elected to a prestigious organ scholarship at the University of Cambridge – a first for Concord! Highly sought after with just limited places – every two years in selected colleges – Davon recently competed remotely against a competitive field to win a scholarship at Christ’s College, Cambridge, despite only taking the organ up in January of 2018. The vigorous four-day audition involved pre-testing, aural and keyboard tests, submitting two video recordings of playing, as well as online interviews with the Directors of Music from three university colleges: Christ’s, Magdalene and Homerton. Benefits of the scholarship include a dedicated boarding room at the college with a piano, with space for practising his music, as well as organ and singing tuition fully paid for, and additional support for building a library of scores. Davon will also be the recipient of £450 to put towards other resources for his music or studies. Having received the sought-after scholar election, Davon said: “I am proud and very fortunate for the support I have received at Concord.” Said Dr Rob Pugh: “We are all immensely proud of Davon for his success in the Cambridge Organ Trials and for meeting the standard required by Christ’s College, Cambridge to achieve an academic offer. “Davon is the first to realise that there is still work to do to achieve the offer conditions, but this success alone deserves to be celebrated. “Davon is amongst a 2020-2021 cohort with a lot of new challenges on the horizon. “The impact of the pandemic on numbers of university applications and places is difficult to gauge, so students will need to be at the top of their game to give themselves the best chance of success. “Then there is the prospect of interviews being online this year, which will really change the experience of the applicant.” He added: “We are hoping that our students feel more comfortable demonstrating their knowledge in the virtual world after Concord’s remote learning programme in lockdown, and hybrid learning at the start of this term.”