The Festival of Instrumental Music - Strings



Public schools are invited to enter string players up to Year 6. Schools new to the program are encouraged to apply. Comprehensive support materials and professional learning workshops are available for any school that applies.

  • Successful schools are selected for one performance only.
  • Individual students may only be nominated for one combined ensemble - either strings or recorders.
  • A non-refundable participation fee of $37.00* (plus GST) per student will be payable upon acceptance into the program.
  • This festival allows students and teachers to access the 2019 repertoire and teaching CDs.
  • One teacher from each accepted metropolitan school MUST attend the Teachers’ Workshop at the Conservatorium of Music on Thursday 14 February 2019. All NSW public schools will have access to comprehensive teacher professional learning. Teachers may opt to attend only the professional learning component of the program. The 2019 Festival of Instrumental Music String Teachers' Information Book and Repertoire Book will be available at this workshop.
  • Participating metropolitan schools must attend a preliminary rehearsal at Croydon Public School, Monday 24 to Thursday 27 June 2019, 9.15 am - 1.00 pm.

* As part of the Arts Unit's support of the Department of Education's Rural and Remote Education blueprint for action, we are excited to be able to offer a Participation Subsidy of $20 to students from rural and remote schools to participate in the Festival of Instrumental Music. If interest exceeds available funds, allocation of the subsidy will be prioritised on remoteness. Subsidies will be confirmed with acceptance notification. 

The 2019 Repertoire

The 2019 string repertoire explores a number of styles of music and includes Vortex by Robert Longfield, Adagietto by Hans Scheepers, Danza Hellenica by Loreta Fin, and, finally, Andrew Robertson has composed a light hearted new jazz work, Blues for Suz, for the Combined Recorder and Combined String concert finale. 

String Standard

Music for the Combined String Ensemble is usually around Grade 2 - 2.5 ensemble standard. As a guide, students nominated for the Opera House concert should be at a minimum of AMEB Grade 1 level and should be able to play with all fingers in flat and sharp positions. The Violin 1 part also includes some sections in 3rd position.

The Ensemble is made up of six sections: Violin 1, Violin 2, Violin 3 (Viola treble clef), Viola, Cello and Double Bass. Schools should attempt to nominate a balanced ensemble in order to give their students the optimum experience, especially during school-based rehearsals.

Soloist Applications

In 2019 we will feature a violin soloist in Vortex - apply here

Instrumental and Vocal Individual Items

All primary and secondary schools are encouraged to submit outstanding music groups or soloists for inclusion in the Music Festivals. The item(s) may be vocal or instrumental, small or large e.g. a soloist, string quartet, concert band, percussion ensemble or vocal group. Applications open Monday 29 April and close Friday 31 May 2019.

For further information concerning the 2019 Music Festivals, please contact Ian Jefferson, Student Music Programs Officer (K-8) at The Arts Unit, on 8512 1181 or email