Conservatorium Symphonic Ensembles

Eligibility, registration, program and audition information for students wishing to participate in Symphonic Ensembles at the Conservatorium.

Eligibility and Ensemble Overview

Students who play an orchestral or wind band instrument and wish to enrol or participate in the Symphonic Ensembles subject are required to audition. The following ensembles are included in the subject:

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Symphony
  • Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Concert Band

Eligibility to participate in a symphonic ensemble will be determined by live audition, held before the beginning of semester 1, or a recorded audition if you are unable to attend the live auditions. Recorded auditions are also held for semester 2 entry.

At the completion of the semester 1 audition process, students will be placed by staff in up to two ensembles from the list above (unless the student requests to be in three ensembles). Once rostered there is no flexibility for negotiating a change, without the consent of the Head of Instrumental Area and the subject coordinator. Please also note rostering and assignments are subject to change throughout and between semesters, and students cannot nominate their preferred ensemble. It is understood that your combined rehearsal/performance times will not exceed the maximum time commitment as defined by the 2023 Unimelb Handbook.

The minimum level of performance required for this ensemble would be equivalent to AMEB grade 8 or a very high grade for VCE solo performance (grade 7 for breadth students).

To learn more about the ensembles within the Symphonic Ensembles subject, please read the Ensemble Overview.

Registration, Enrolment and Program Information

This subject is conducted on-campus at Southbank. There is no online alternative, unless Covid-19 restrictions will mandate a change in subject delivery.   

Before auditioning, students must read through the 2023 Symphonic Ensembles Code of Conduct and the 2023 Symphonic Ensembles Rehearsal and Performance Schedules. These documents outline the time commitment and expectations of participation at The University of Melbourne. By applying to audition you are agreeing to these terms:

2023 Symphonic Ensembles Code of Conduct

2023 Current Rehearsal & Performance Schedule - Semester 1

2023 Current Rehearsal & Performance Schedule - Semester 2

Performance Dress Code

Proposed repertoire as of 19/12/22

Information on how to enrol, enrolment and re-enrolment can all be found on the student enrolment and re-enrolment page.

As a student, it is your responsibility to ensure that you complete the administrative requirements of your degree. This includes ensuring your enrolment is finalised prior to the census date of each subject.

After receiving specific ensemble placements in week one of the semester, Honours and Masters students must register their ensemble participation on LMS.

Any student experiencing enrolment issues relating to the Symphonic Ensembles subject must contact STOP1 for further assistance.

All 1st year BMus Performance students (excluding voice, guitar, piano, jazz & improvisation and interactive composition students) are required to audition for the Symphonic Ensembles program, regardless of how students intend to fulfil the large ensemble component of their degree.

1st year Percussion students have the option of either participating in the scheduled live audition (with optional timpani) or requesting that the panel use their entrance audition report (and/or video) in place of a formal audition. if you wish to do this please email Edwina Dethridge and please still complete the application form below and tick 'Percussion -  Recorded Audition (1st year student)' under instrument.

Non-enrolled participating students do so with prior understanding that they cannot be enrolled retrospectively in the subject at any time after the census date, and must still audition and adhere to the 2023 Symphonic Ensembles Code of Conduct and 2023 Symphonic Ensembles Rehearsal and Performance Schedule.

Other  Ensemble Information

Any questions regarding String Ensemble, please contact A/Prof. Curt Thompson. Any questions regarding Brass Ensemble, please contact A/Prof Don Immel. Although both String Ensemble and Brass Ensemble are separate subjects from the Symphonic Ensembles subject, placement in these is covered within the same audition process. String Ensemble is held Fridays 9-11am and Brass Ensemble is held Fridays  11.30am-1.30pm.

Please see this page for information on other Conservatorium ensembles.

Instrumental Ensembles at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

2023 Semester 1 Audition Dates & Application Form

2023 semester 1 auditions have now concluded but there are still spots available for oboe and double bass. Please contact Edwina Dethridge for more information.

Note: mid-year recorded auditions are also held for those commencing in semester 2. Information on this will be released on this page in late May 2023.

Recorded Auditions

If you are interstate or overseas during the audition period (but are intending to be in Melbourne for semester 1) and cannot attend your respective instrument's audition day, you must apply and submit a recorded audition. Please read the instructions below:

Symphonic Ensembles Absentia Auditions - Instructions

Contact us

Please contact Edwina Dethridge, Orchestral Coordinator, for all other questions.