The Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music offers a wide range of ensembles and workshop opportunities for the benefit of its students and local residents to suit all levels of learning. Participation in the Ensembles Program enhances learning and performance experience, plus develops confidence and teamwork skills.
The Ensembles Program is offered to all students and the public in the Upper Hunter region and includes the following ensembles:
Cessnock Guitar Orchestra
Cessnock Guitar Orchestra (CGO) provides group music training for guitarists of all ages who want to learn world music and the Spanish finger style. The ensemble rehearses under the direction of Tristan Bradley.
- Wednesday, 6:00-7:00pm: LEAP Centre, Mount View High School
Concert Band and Jazz Band
The Upper Hunter Concert Band is made up of woodwind, brass and percussion players from the Upper Hunter areas. Participants in this ensemble perform repertoire ranging from traditional concert works, to popular modern music. More advanced students are invited to take part in the Jazz Band, which plays standard big band music. Students wishing to play in this ensemble must be of at least Grade 3 AMEB standard or equivalent. This ensemble rehearses under the direction of Samuel Kennedy.
- Tuesday, 4:30-5:30pm: Scone Grammar School (Concert Band)
- Tuesday, 5:30-6:00pm: Scone Grammar School (Jazz Band)
Come together and share your love of singing with other like-minded people. A great opportunity for singers of any age to perform. Previous highlights include performances of Handel's Messiah, and Hydrology - a work commissioned especially for the choir. Membership is open to all students of the Conservatorium, and members of the Upper Hunter Community. This ensemble rehearses under the direction of Sheriden Sommerley.
- Tuesday, 7:00-8:00pm: Atherstone Room, Upper Hunter Conservatorium building
In this ensemble you'll play many different styles of music from the guitar ensemble repertoire. Including classical and contemporary works, the ensemble is the ideal opportunity for guitarists to make music in a group. This ensemble rehearses under the direction of Shaun Danger and David Harvey.
- Thursday, 6:00-6:45pm: Function Room 2, Upper Hunter Conservatorium building
Upper Hunter String Orchestra
The UHCM String Orchestra is a two-tiered ensemble-based program for students of all ages and experiences. Students begin with Junior Strings, which offers training in the rudiments of ensemble playing and musicianship of Preliminary to Grade 2 AMEB (or equivalent). Upon graduation from Junior Strings, students enter the Senior Strings which offers more advanced aspects of ensemble playing and repertoire choices. The String Orchestra is open to students of the Conservatorium, as well as Community members. The Junior Strings rehearse under the direction of Gillian Miles, and the Senior Strings rehearse under the direction of Jennifer Kershaw.
- Thursday, 4:15-5:00pm: Function Room 2, Upper Hunter Conservatorium building (Junior Strings)
- Thursday, 4:15-5:00pm: Atherstone Room, Upper Hunter Conservatorium building (Senior Strings)
Upper Hunter Orchestra
The Upper Hunter Orchestra comprises of string, wind, brass and percussion instruments. Students are given the opportunity to develop ensemble skills in a supportive and enjoyable environment. Performances include exciting and challenging repertoire. Participants will be expected to have attained a minimum of Grade 3 AMEB or equivalent. Open to students of the Conservatorium and members of the community. This ensemble rehearses under the direction of Samuel Kennedy and Jennifer Kershaw.
- Thursday, 5:30-6:45pm: Atherstone Room, Upper Hunter Conservatorium building
The Wind Quintet consists of Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and French Horn. It is possibly one of the oldest music ensembles with the earliest quintets appearing from 1811. The Upper Hunter Wind Quintet performs regularly at Conservatorium concerts and performs in the Upper Hunter Eisteddfod. This ensemble rehearses under the direction of Janelle French.
- Thursday, 7:00-8:00pm: Atherstone Room, Upper Hunter Conservatorium building
The Ensembles Program aims to achieve the following outcomes, for the benefit of local music students in regional areas:
- Develop an appreciation of orchestral music through active participation
- Extend knowledge and performing experience in students' chosen instruments
- Experience music performance in a supportive environment
- Improve and further develop students' intonation, rhythm and listening skills
- Develop musicality
- Facilitate social interaction and teamwork between musicians with similar interests