Festival of Choral Music

Years 3 to 6 students and teachers

The Festival of Choral Music (FoCM) brings students from across NSW to perform selected repertoire in combined mass choirs guided by specialist choral teachers.

Together with outstanding instrumental and vocal items from across NSW, the festival provides the opportunity for schools to access and perform repertoire curated for students and valuable teacher professional learning opportunities.



    Applications are now closed

    • Performance dates – Monday 17 to Tuesday 18 October (Term 4 Week 2) and Tuesday 25 October to Wednesday 26 October (Term 4 Week 3) 
    • Teachers online professional learning – 3 March 4:30 pm (Term 1 Week 6)
    • Rehearsals at Salvation Army Congress Hall – 12 to 15 September (Term 3 Week 9)

    Please be aware that this Festival will be contingent on advice provided by the Department of Education in consultation with NSW Health, and can change at short notice.

    Department of Education latest information on COVID-19 advice.

    Applications are now closed

    2022 concert dates at the Sydney Opera House

    • Argyle concert: Monday 17 October 2022, 7:00 pm
    • Australis concert: Tuesday 18 October 2022, 7:00 pm 

    ​​​​​​​2022 concert dates at the Sydney Town Hall

    • Bennelong concert: Tuesday 25 October 2022, 7:00 pm 
    • Endeavour concert: Wednesday 26 October 2022, 7:00 pm

    How to apply

    Applications for the Festival of Choral Music 2022 are now closed.

    To apply for the Festival of Choral Music 2022 complete the online application form via The Arts Unit Community.

    We are using a new online portal, The Arts Unit Community to receive 2022 school applications. Adding 'The Arts Unit Community' tile in your 'Essentials - Inside the department', you can edit your forms and communicate with us. 

    If you need IT assistance with your application in the TAU Community portal, please log an EDConnect remedy request or email tausupport@det.nsw.edu.au.

    Applications are now closed

    The NSW Department of Education will present 4 concerts in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.  School choirs made up of students from Stage 2 and/or 3 that are capable of singing in 2 parts will form part of a combined choir of 700 voices for each concert. Signing choirs (deaf and hard of hearing students) are also encouraged to participate – these teachers should contact Ian.Jefferson@det.nsw.edu.au for details.

    There will be no audition required for the combined choir in 2022.

    • All public schools that apply will be accepted.
    • A maximum of 30 students per school will be considered, although this number may be capped/reduced depending on how many schools apply.
    • If you wish to nominate more than 30 students from your school, you will be able to indicate this on the application form.


    The 2022 repertoire - similar to the pieces that were selected for the (cancelled) 2020 festival - includes 11 songs carefully selected from a variety of genres such as folk and musical theatre, as well as traditional choral repertoire. The pieces have been arranged for unison and 2-part singing and include Australian compositions and arrangements. Signing choirs can access the resources for three of the pieces that have been developed for deaf and hard of hearing students.


    Preliminary rehearsals at the Salvation Army Congress Hall - mandatory (metropolitan schools only)

    • Argyle rehearsal: Monday 12 September 2022, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm 
    • Australis rehearsal: Tuesday 13 September 2022, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm 
    • Bennelong rehearsal: Wednesday 14 September 2022, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm 
    • Endeavour rehearsal: Thursday 15 September 2022, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm

    Cluster rehearsals - mandatory (non-metropolitan schools only)

    • Non-metropolitan schools must host or attend a 4-hour cluster rehearsal with other nearby participating schools during Term 2 or 3 (if COVID-safe guidelines allow), as negotiated with Ian Jefferson.


    • Participation fee of $37.00 per student will be payable upon acceptance into the program.  
    • A rural and remote subsidy of 25% will be offered to all students attending from rural and remote schools as identified by the Department.
    • In the event of a COVID-19 related withdrawal from the festival performance, schools will be refunded 50% of the participation fee paid.

    Professional learning and resources

    • It is mandatory that at least one teacher from each participating school attend the Festival of Choral Music - teachers’ professional development webinar on Thursday 3 March 2022, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.
    • All teachers from all public schools – regardless of their involvement in the festival - are welcome to attend this webinar. Please register by Friday 11 February 2022 to receive your complimentary copy of the 2022 Festival of Choral Music repertoire.
    • A range of online repertoire resources will become available upon registration.
    • Each participating student will receive a 2022 Festival of Choral Music repertoire book.
    • Extra copies of the repertoire book can be ordered for non-participating students/schools at $20 per book. Teacher copies are complimentary.
    • Each participating student and teacher will receive a specially designed T-shirt to wear at the performance.

    Individual school instrumental and vocal items

    In 2022 performance opportunities are available for outstanding individual school instrumental and vocal items at the Festival of Instrumental Music, Festival of Choral Music and Primary Proms. These opportunities are open to all public school students (Years K to 12) and can include music ensembles of all sizes, large or small – including soloists. Application by video audition. Applications are now closed.


    For further information concerning the 2022 Festival of Choral Music please contact Ian Jefferson, Student Music Programs Officer (K-8) at The Arts Unit – email: Ian.Jefferson@det.nsw.edu.au or concerts.artsunit@det.nsw.edu.au

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