Instrumental Music Ensembles

How To Be Involved

Membership is by audition. Membership is open to students in Years 5 - 12 attending government primary, secondary and central schools.  

Applications have now closed. For information regarding a late application please contact Scott Ryan on scott.ryan15@det.nsw.edu.au

Audition requirements are available here.

NSW Public Schools Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SWE)

The NSW Public Schools Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SWE) is one of the premier student wind ensembles in Australia. The ensemble proudly celebrates a long history of high achievement in national and international competitions and festivals including a performance at the 2007 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. In 2012, SWE won the Junior A grade division of the Australian National Band Championships in Melbourne.

SWE rehearses Monday afternoons 4:30pm – 7pm at The Arts Unit.

NSW Public Schools Symphonic Wind Orchestra (SWO)

The NSW Public Schools Symphonic Wind Orchestra (SWO) was formed to offer students an extension to their school band program and a training ground for SWE. The ensemble performs regularly at the Sydney Opera House and Town Hall and undertakes an annual tour to regional NSW where it presents concerts and workshops to regional students.In 2012, SWO won the Junior B grade division of the Australian National Band Championships in Melbourne.

SWO rehearses Monday afternoons 4:30pm – 7pm at The Arts Unit.

NSW Public Schools Symphony Orchestra

The NSW Public Schools Symphony Orchestra offers students a rare opportunity to play orchestral repertoire to the highest standard. The orchestra is well known to concert audiences at the Sydney Opera House where it performs regularly as part of the Festival of Instrumental Music and Festival of Choral Music. The Orchestra also travels regularly both within Australia and internationally where it performs some of the most challenging repertoire to critical acclaim.

Symphony Orchestra rehearses Thursday afternoons 4:30pm – 7pm at The Arts Unit.

Watch the orchestra's performance on Monday 13 May 2013 at the Sydney Town Hall with conductor: Stephen Williams

La Forza del Destino - Verdi from The Arts Unit on Vimeo.

NSW Public Schools String Sinfonia

The String Sinfonia is a complementary ensemble to the Symphony Orchestra. The Sinfonia offers opportunities for students from metropolitan primary and secondary schools to extend their playing experience. The ensemble provides students with challenging and enjoyable repertoire which is performed regularly in a variety of performances including concerts at the Sydney Opera House. The Sinfonia also performs at numerous high profile public events including the opening of Education Week by the Minister for Education and Communities.

String Sinfonia rehearses Thursday afternoons 4:30pm – 7pm at The Arts Unit.

NSW Public Schools Jazz Orchestra

The NSW Public Schools Jazz Orchestra is one of the state’s leading student big bands. As regular participants in the Generations in Jazz Festival held annually in Mt Gambier, the Jazz Orchestra has enjoyed great success and gained critical acclaim for their high standard of performance. The Jazz Orchestra undertakes a busy schedule of performances annually including appearances at the Sydney Opera House where it accompanies the spectacular massed recorders of the Festival of Instrumental Music and performs as a featured ensemble. The Jazz Orchestra also tours regional NSW on a regular basis where it presents concerts and workshops to students in rural centres. Students in the Jazz Orchestra also have the opportunity to develop their improvisational skills and explore more diverse techniques and repertoire through participation in the smaller Jazz Ensemble.

Jazz Orchestra rehearses Tuesday afternoons 4:30pm – 6:30pm at The Arts Unit.

NSW Public Schools Stage Band

The NSW Public Schools Stage Band is an adjunct to the Jazz Orchestra and augments the jazz ensembles program offered by The Arts Unit. The Stage Band is a regular featured ensemble at the NSW Public Schools' Opera House concerts where it also provides accompaniment to massed singers and instrumentalists. The Stage Band also performs regularly in a range of jazz festivals and events both here in Sydney and further afield. The ensemble has also enjoyed many regional tours and highly successful performances at the Generations In Jazz festival held annually in Mt Gambier.

Stage Band rehearses Tuesday afternoons 4:30pm – 6:30pm at The Arts Unit.

NSW Public Schools Millennium Marching Band

Formed in 1999 to train young musicians in preparation for their performance in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games opening ceremony the Millennium Marching Band is one of Australia's premier and dynamic ensembles. It provides opportunities for instrumentalists, dancers and rhythmic gymnasts of all standards. Interested students may apply for membership during the year.

Contact: jennifer.gregory2@det.nsw.edu.au

Further Information

Enquiries concerning the Instrumental Music Ensembles program should be directed to Steve Williams, Student Music Programs Officer (5-12), Conducting Coordinator, at The Arts Unit on 02 8512 1186 or Scott Ryan, Instrumental Music Programs Assistant on 02 8512 1188.