Senior School Music
At Ascham, we offer many opportunities to encounter and appreciate music in a wide variety of forms and styles. Of equal importance, we encourage girls at all levels to participate actively in the musical life of the school, in a range of vocal and instrumental ensembles working towards performances in assemblies, recitals and formal concerts.
Music in the Senior School
Senior Classroom Music (academic)
The classroom music program places a strong focus on participation in performance, singing and group work. Music literacy is progressively acquired and internalised. Courses are streamlined to meet the girls’ needs.
Instrumental Ensemble Program (co-curricular)
Students learning an instrument or voice at Ascham are encouraged to participate in an ensemble. The aim of our program is to give every student the experience of playing or singing with others. At Ascham, there is an ensemble for every girl who wants to perform. Students are able to participate in more than one ensemble.
Private lessons are offered in the following instruments:
• Double bass
• French horn
For information regarding applications for instrumental lessons please contact the Music Administrator on 02 8356 7052.
Many other learning and performance opportunities are available to girls at Ascham. Visiting conductors and performers are often invited to work with an orchestra, choir or ensemble. Girls participating in choirs and instrumental ensembles attend the Annual Senior Music Camp in Term 2, which culminates in the first major concert of the School year.
Other performance opportunities include an annual Strings, Brass and Woodwind and Choral Concert, twilight concerts, Vocal Recital and chamber concerts. There is also a biannual Senior Musical involving visitors from other boys' schools.
The symphony orchestra is an auditioned ensemble that consists of the more advanced players from many of the other ensembles in the School. The Symphony Orchestra rehearses every Wednesday afternoon.
Ascham Strings is an orchestra open to string players from approximately Entry is by audition in which players need to demonstrate competent reading skills, intonation, rhythm and tone. Ascham Strings rehearse one morning per week.
Sinfonietta is an orchestra open to string players from approximately . Entry is by audition in which players need to demonstrate competent reading skills, intonation, rhythm and tone. Sinfonietta rehearse one morning per week.
Camerata is a chamber string orchestra. Entry is by audition in which players need to demonstrate competent reading skills, intonation, rhythm and tone. Camerata is made up of advanced players and the repertoire undertaken by this group of musicians is more challenging. Camerata rehearse one morning per week.
In Guitar Orchestra girls are able to develop their ensemble skills by playing a wide range of music. The ensemble uses different types of guitars including Bass and special Treble instruments. They rehearse one morning every week.
Brass and Woodwind
Concert Band is a large ensemble that rehearses one morning per week. The group consists of more a range of intermediate to advanced wind and brass players. Stage Band is a smaller ensemble that specialises in the performance of Jazz and other similar music styles. This auditioned ensemble rehearses during lunchtime once a week.
Ascham also offers a vibrant chamber music program for a large range of instruments and will create an ensemble for a particular combination of girls if required. We encourage our pianists to join in chamber groups to broaden their ensemble experience. The Piano Department also runs a Music Club which meets weekly at lunchtime.
Junior and Senior Choirs
At Ascham, we offer all Senior students the opportunity to participate in Junior Choir (years 7-9) or Senior Choir (years 10-12). Auditions are held for voice placement only and all students are offered a place. Each of these choirs averages approximately 70 students and rehearsals are held in a performance period in the middle of the day. These choirs often participate in the annual Sydney Eisteddfod
Junior, Intermediate and Senior Madrigal
Ascham offers three auditioned chamber ensembles for voice. These girls perform at a high level and rehearse once a week. They frequently perform in concerts and eisteddfods. Girls in these ensembles are also members of Senior or Junior Choir.
This is an auditioned ensemble that consists of dedicated choristers from Years 6–12 who commit extra time to their vocal work. The ensemble rehearses every Friday afternoon. This group is regarded as one of our flagship choral groups and enters eisteddfods. This group has toured overseas as well.