Ensemble and choir information
Ensembles cost is $115.00 per 9 week term (inclusive of GST)
BrainWaves Stroke Survivors Choir - Free of charge
Conservatorium Concert Band
Wednesdays 5:00pm - 6:30pm
For players aged 11 to 19 who have been learning for at least two years or have reached a standard of grade four. The Concert Band repertoire covers many different styles of music ranging from original wind band repertoire through to popular and jazz pieces especially arranged for this type of ensemble.
Conservatorium Junior Concert Band
Wednesdays 5:00pm - 6:30pm
For children between 8 and 14 years of age who have been learning for at least 18 months. Beginner Concert Band performs regularly and also competes in local contests.
Conservatorium Vocal Ensemble
Mondays 4:00pm - 5:00pm
The Conservatorium Vocal Ensemble (formerly known as the Youth Choir) endeavours to nurture young voices and foster excellence in musicianship. It is open to young people from the community 8 years of age to 17 from public and non-government schools and welcomes new members at any time throughout the year. No prior musical experience is necessary. The only requirements are a sense of fun and enthusiasm for singing! Members can expect to perform in a wide range of Conservatorium and community events often in collaboration with the Conservatorium's other choirs. The choir experiences music from a variety of cultures, exploring many styles and incorporating different musical and vocal techniques.
Conservatorium Songshine Choir
Saturdays 9:00am - 11:00am
Songshine is a lively and adventurous group of singers who enjoy a wide repertoire - from Mozart to the Beatles and beyond! Aimed at the 'young at heart' (50+), Songshine offers a warm and welcoming environment where everyone is comfortable no matter what their musical background. You don't need to know how to read music but simply be able to hold a tune!
Conservatorium Callaghan Singers
Tuesdays 5:30pm - 7:30pm
The Callaghan singers provide a fun and social environment in which people can develop their singing, harmonisation and musical skills. The choir is open to enthusiastic singers of all ages from the community as well as students and staff of the University. Members enjoy singing a variety of styles from madrigals to pop music ensuring that rehearsals are both fun and informal. Performances include singing at community events whenever the opportunity arises. Although you don't need to be able to read music a sense of fun and a willingness to learn are essential.
Conservatorium Contemporary Guitar Ensemble
Saturdays 10:00am - 11:00am
This ensemble is for guitarists of all types to enjoy ensemble playing. The class encourages you to come along and "jam" with fellow guitarists. It is essential that you bring with you your portable amp and guitar.
University of Newcastle Jazz Orchestra
Mondays 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Our jazz orchestra is in the traditional big band format that explores all styles of large jazz performance from traditional to contemporary. If you play alto/tenor/baritone sax, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, piano, guitar, bass (electric or double), or drum kit you are welcome to attend an audition. To join the ensemble you must have sound instrumental playing and music reading skills. Experience with jazz styles is ideal but not essential as this will be developed as part of your ensemble experience. Improvisation skills are also highly regarded but not essential. Our jazz orchestra has developed into a genuine collective of enthusiastic musicians.
The Jazz Orchestra rehearses during University semester dates, not Conservatorium terms. Members are charged the ensemble fee ($110) three times per year.
Conservatorium Community Strings
Conservatorium Strings is an ensemble based program for school children, offering musical opportuinites to string students. Entry into the Conservatorium Strings is by audition and students are placed into one of the four string ensembles depending on their ability.
Junior String Ensemble
Tuesdays 4:00pm - 5.30pm
This ensemble offers training in the rudiments of ensemble playing and musicianship and is open to primary school children up to and including Year 6. Entry to this ensemble is by audition.
Intermediate String Ensemble
Tuesdays 4:00pm - 5.30pm
This orchestra offers the next stage in string orchestra playing. Approximate minimum entry level is grade 3. Players are introduced to more advanced aspects of ensemble playing and the repertoire includes a range of colourful pieces for string orchestra. Students must be Year 6 or above to be eligible for this orchestra.
Senior String Ensemble
Tuesdays 4:00pm - 5:30pm
This ensemble is the most advanced orchestra in the Hunter Strings. Approximate entry level is grade 6 depending also on orchestral experience and sight-reading ability. Students must be in Year 7 or older to be eligible for this ensemble.
University of Newcastle Orchestra
Tuesday 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Orchestra Newcastle is for players 16 and over. It is brand new, providing orchestral performing opportunities for musicians, amateur and part-time performers in the Hunter Region. Be part of an orchestral community of mentors, enthusiasts, professionals and internationally acclaimed music staff at the Conservatorium of Music, Newcastle.
Conservatorium Percussion Ensemble
Monday 7:00pm - 8:00pm - Newcastle Conservatorium
The Conservatorium Percussion Ensemble nurtures percussionist's performance skills through a variety of small ensemble works. Members are required to have a fundamental rhythmical understanding of either tuned or un-tuned percussion instruments. Percussionists who specialise in un-tuned percussion (drum kit) are highly encouraged to consider this group. Rehearsals are musically rewarding and enjoyable, particularly for those who are interested in refining their performance and ensemble skills.
University of Newcastle Wind Orchestra
Wednesdays 7:00pm - 9:30pm
For players above the age of 16 and who have reached an approximate standard of grade 6 or equivalent. Membership is by audition.
The Wind Orchestra rehearses during University semester dates, not Conservatorium terms. Members are charged the ensemble fee ($110) three times per year.
Conservatorium Flute Choir
Tuesdays 7:00pm - 8:30pm
If you play the flute and have reached the level of grade 6 or equivalent, why not consider the Conservatorium Flute Choir? You will play challenging repertoire, develop ensemble techniques, perform at the Con and in the community , and form friendships with like-minded people from school age to retirees.
Conservatorium Breast Cancer Choir 'The D Majors'
Saturday 12:00pm - 2:00pm
The D Majors choir welcomes women who have been touched by cancer to join them in an environment of music, fun and friendship. Joining the choir offers opportunities to embrace the joy of making music as well as learn more about singing and performing. The songs are fun and the company is warm. No previous music or singing experience necessary.
Adult Cello Choir
Join with other cellists and have fun playing in an ensemble. This group welcomes all late-starters as well as those who perhaps haven't played in a while and would like to brush the dust off their cello. Rehearsals will be held 3 times each term. Click here for more details.
The Conservatorium Saxophone Ensemble
Do you have an interest in saxophone? Do you want to improve your playing? The Conservatorium of Music is starting a saxophone ensemble. Open to all ages, we look to develop all musical abilities. Lead by Shane Landry, BMus, MMus(Perf), you will perform repertoire that will explore various genres of music in repertoire that is fun and challenging, taking your saxophone playing to a new level! Click here for more details
BrainWaves Stroke Survivors Choir
Saturdays 11:30am - 1:30pm
BrainWaves is a choir for people who have survived a stroke and their partners or carers. It was started as an initiative of Hunter New England Health’s Community Stroke Team and became the basis of Bernadette Matthias’ PhD research project into stroke recovery. Bernadette has a background in speech pathology as well as music – a professional singer and choir director. The BrainWaves research has been supported by the National Stroke Foundation.
The choir was established – in 2 groups – in early 2012. After baseline assessments of well-being, quality of life, depression, social participation and communication, Group A participated in 12 weeks of 2-hour choir rehearsals. Following further assessment for all, Group B received the same.
The first choir performed publicly in December 2012 and the second in June 2013. A combined public performance was held at the University of Newcastle’s Conservatorium of Music in December 2013. The choir also enjoyed national exposure on SBS TV’s Insight program (September 2013). Insight: Strokes
While the results of the study are yet to be published, choir members and their carers have reported benefits in communication skills, socialisation, mood and wellbeing.
With the assistance of private donor, Jennie Thomas, BrainWaves was established in 2014 as one of the Community Choirs of the University of Newcastle’s Conservatorium of Music. It has grown into a talented and inspiring group where warm friendships and fun are as important as the music that is made. The Conservatorium BrainWaves Stroke Choir operates under the patronage of the Stroke Recovery Association.
Director: Bernadette Matthias
Donations to help ensure the future of the BrainWaves choir are welcome through the University of Newcastle Office of Alumni and Philanthropy. Phone: (02) 4985 4297
There is no fee to attend.
Ensemble & Choir fees
Ensembles rehearsals occur once per week for various lengths of time. The fee payable for ensemble participation is $115.00 per 9 week term, inclusive of GST.