Conservatorium symphonic ensembles

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

Students who play an orchestral instrument and wish to enrol or participate in the following ensembles are required to audition:

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Symphony
  • Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Concert Band
  • Brass Ensemble
  • String Ensemble

Eligibility to participate in a symphonic and/or chamber 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. In some cases, participation in multiple ensembles will be required, as directed by the appropriate academic staff.

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

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 2021 Symphonic Ensembles Code of Conduct and the 2021 Symphonic Ensembles Rehearsal and Performance Schedule for their ensemble of interest. 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.

2021 Symphonic Ensembles Code of Conduct

2021 Rehearsal & Performance Schedule - Semester 1

2021 Rehearsal & Performance Schedule - Semester 2

2021 Proposed Repertoire

Performance Dress Code

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 using the appropriate form.

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

Any student who wishes to participate not-for-credit, does 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 2021 Symphonic Ensembles Code of Conduct and 2021 Symphonic Ensembles Rehearsal and Performance Schedule.

From 2020 any Breadth students who wish to participate specifically in the Concert Band will be required to audition in addition to having an equivalent of AMEB Grade 7 or high grade for VCE solo performance. If you are a breadth student who would like to be considered for an ensemble other than Concert Band, you will be required to audition as per usual. As per the University handbook, the breadth subject is a Level 2 subject.

Both String and Brass Ensemble auditions are held at the same time as the Symphonic Ensemble auditions. Any questions regarding String Ensemble, please contact A/Prof. Curt Thompson. Any questions regarding Brass Ensemble, please contact A/Prof Don Immel.

Please contact Joseph Lallo for information regarding saxophone placements in any large ensemble or if you are interested in auditioning for the Conservatorium Big Band. There are no planned saxophone parts in the Symphony or Philharmonic Orchestra repertoires in 2021 but saxophone students can audition to be part of the Wind Symphony or Concert Band.

All Percussion students enrolled in BMus or postgraduate courses (where percussion is the main study instrument) are encouraged to participate in Percussion Ensemble.  No audition is required.

Admittance to Percussion Ensemble may be granted to Diploma in Percussion and Percussion Minor Practical Music students by audition and/or the Head of Department's approval.

Any questions regarding Percussion Ensemble please contact Acting Convenor of Percussion Brent Miller.

Audition registrations have now closed for semester 1.

Music students - please contact your Head of Instrument if you have not applied for an audition.  Non-music students - if you are a double reed player and interested in participating  in an ensemble please contact Edwina Dethridge, Orchestral Coordinator

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation students who have applied to audition will be kept up to date with developments via their university email.

Monday 15 & Tue 16 Feb - no auditions
Wed 17 Feb - Double Bass then Saxophone RECORDED AUDITIONS
Thu 18 Feb - Cello then Viola RECORDED AUDITIONS
Fri 19 Feb - Clarinets then Oboes  
Mon 22 Feb - Low Brass
Tue 23 Feb - Bassoons then Flutes 
Wed 24 Feb - no auditions 
Thu 25 Feb -  Horns then Trumpets
Fri 26 Feb - Violin
Mon 1 Mar - Harp 
Fri 5 Mar - Percussion

Mid-year recorded auditions are also held and information regarding this will be released in late May 2021.

If you are interstate or overseas during the audition period (but are intending to be in Melbourne for semester 1), or you have been instructed to complete a recorded audition due to Covid restrictions, you must apply and submit a recorded audition.

Symphonic Ensemble Absentia Auditions – Guidelines

2021 Orchestral Ensembles Audition excerpts are listed below:

Violin & Concertmaster



Double Bass


Flute & Piccolo

Oboe & Cor Anglais

Bassoon & Contrabassoon





Tenor Trombone

Bass Trombone




Contact us

Please contact Edwina Dethridge, Orchestra and Wind Symphony Coordinator, for all other questions.