Schools Spectacular

Student orchestra and stage band

Applications for this category will close at 5:00 pm Monday 18 March 2024.

The student orchestra and stage band are the two main instrumental forces that provide the accompaniment to the music in the Schools Spectacular. The student orchestra is comprised of approximately 65 auditioned Years 7 to 12 students from NSW Public Schools on string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. The stage band is made up of approximately 18 auditioned Years 7 to 12 students from NSW Public Schools who play saxophones, trombones, trumpets, piano, bass, electric guitar, and drum set. Students are auditioned individually.

Audition process

The student orchestra and stage band audition occurs in two parts:

  • online application
  • video audition round.

Students must be in Years 7–12 and be advanced instrumentalists (minimum 6th grade AMEB) to apply for the student orchestra and stage band.

Online application

1. Submit an application form

Students who play trumpet and trombone may audition for both the orchestra and stage band. If successful with their auditions, they will be placed in one ensemble at the discretion of the musical director.

2. Email confirmation

Students will receive a confirmation email once their application has been submitted. The student's parent/carer and school principal will also receive an email asking them to endorse your application. Please note, that endorsement from the student's principal and parent/carer is required to be considered for the Schools Spectacular orchestra and stage band.


Video audition round

Students will be sent the set excerpt two weeks before the audition closing date. This is to assess the student's ability to learn material quickly, which reflects the skills required to be a part of the student orchestra and stage band.

1. Record the audition videos

Students are asked to present three videos that will allow the audition panel to assess the details of their work, especially the audio. The audition will consist of:

  • scales
  • prepared piece; own choice
  • set excerpt; this will be emailed to you two weeks before the video audition closing date.

Please note that the quality of your audio in the video must be clear.

2. Upload videos and submit an application form

3. Notification of results

All applicants will be notified of their final results by the end of Term 2 Week 8.

Key dates for orchestra and stage band

Date Time Details Venue
Mon 29 Jan   Applications open  
Mon 18 Mar 5:00 pm Applications close  
Wed 10 Apr   Student orchestra and stage band audition excerpts sent  
Mon 6 May 5:00 pm Student orchestra and stage band video auditions due  
Fri 21 June   Video audition results sent  
Sat 16 Nov 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Student orchestra rehearsal The Arts Unit, Lewisham
Sun 17 Nov 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Student orchestra and stage band rehearsal The Arts Unit, Lewisham
Sat 23 Nov TBC Student orchestra rehearsal
Student stage band sitzprobe
Fairfield RSL
Sun 24 Nov 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Student orchestra sitzprobe Fairfield RSL
Tues 26 Nov TBC Show week sound checks Qudos Bank Arena
Wed 27 Nov TBC Second combined rehearsal day 1 Qudos Bank Arena
Thu 28 Nov TBC Second combined rehearsal day 2
Dress rehearsal
Qudos Bank Arena
Fri 29 Nov 11:00 am and 7:00 pm Schools Spectacular performance Qudos Bank Arena
Sat 30 Nov 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm Schools Spectacular performance Qudos Bank Arena

Cost

The costume and prop fee will be $100 per student.

Costume and prop costs will be direct debited from the student's school. Students will need to pay the costume and prop fee directly to their school once they are notified of their acceptance into the production.

Some assistance may be available for students with financial hardship in extenuating circumstances. Following discussions with the school, if students require further support, please email enquiries to schoolsspectacular@det.nsw.edu.au.

Audition tips

  • Make sure the balance between the soloist and the accompaniment (such as the backing track, piano and band) is correct. It is critical that the person auditioning can be clearly heard.
  • The panel recommends not using a concert video as your audition video.
  • Students should discuss and review the audition video with their school music teacher prior to submitting it.
  • Record the audition in a room with a neutral acoustic. The school hall or auditorium will often have too much echo to record a video. The school’s music classroom will normally have the best acoustic for recording your audition.
  • Performance presentation and ability to captivate and entertain an audience will be taken into account when evaluating auditionees.
For more audition tips, visit Top tips for auditioning.