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Secondary Schools String Symphony eligibility, auditions and fees

The Secondary Schools String Symphony (SSSS) provides a tailored playing opportunity for players of string instruments in SA government secondary schools.

The repertoire includes exciting and challenging music representing a wide range of musical styles. Gaining confidence in performance is an essential part of musical learning.

The SSSS enables students to take Music Performance – Ensemble as a SACE 2 subject.

SSSS may undertake a city and/or country tour during the year.


All violin, viola, cello and double bass students in SA government secondary schools, years 8 to 12 in 2021 are eligible to apply. Entry is by performance placement assessment.

Placement will be prioritised to students enrolled in a secondary classroom music subject in 2021, and/or participating in school ensembles as required by the school.

Placement of students not meeting these criteria will be considered if positions maintaining balance within the SSSS are subsequently available.

Positions are available in all sections of the ensemble.

Performance placement assessment requirements for SSSS 2021

The standard required is beyond beginner level. The duration of each placement assessment is approximately 10 minutes.

Applicants will be asked to present the following:

  1. Scales: All to be played from memory.
    Violin, viola, ‘cello: any two 2-octave scales and corresponding arpeggios, ascending and descending, with own bowing choice – 1 scale must be in a minor key. Double bass: one 2-octave scale, one 1 octave scale – 1 scale must be in a minor key.
  2. Pieces: 2 contrasting prepared pieces of music chosen to demonstrate technical and musical ability. Not necessarily memorised. Not accompanied.
  3. All of the prepared excerpts are available to download below
  4. A small piece of sight reading, to be worked through at the assessment.

Performance placement criteria

The performance placement criteria include:

  • accurate intonation
  • strong, clear tone
  • straight bow stroke
  • reading skills - rhythm, pitch, volume
  • spiccato bowing
  • accurate rhythms
  • all assuming good posture and hold of the instrument.

Additional skills

  • Shifting for all instruments
  • Commencement of vibrato.

Booking an assessment

You can book your performance placement assessment in our online booking system

Audition places are at the Klemzig instrumental music office, 28 Hay Street, Klemzig on:

  • Tuesday 24 November 8.00am to 3.00pm
  • Friday 27 November 8.00am to 3.00pm

Online via Webex on Sunday 29 November, 2.00pm to 6.00pm. Details will be emailed prior to the day.

Print the student ensemble application form (Word 174KB) and take to your audition.

Want to be in more than one ensemble?

Opportunities to be part of Primary School Music Festival, Festival of Music Orchestras are available for 2021. More information is on the Primary Schools Music Festival website.

To audition once for more than one ensemble:

  • check the commitments outlined on this website
  • select your first choice
  • make a booking
  • indicate extra choices on the student ensemble application form
  • bookings will open on Friday 16 October 2020.

Want to apply on more than one instrument?

You must book an audition for each instrument you want to apply for. 

Expectation of members

Members are expected to:

  • participate in all programmed performances and events

  • engage positively with the entire team

  • attend rehearsals and learn music for performances – this may include up to 2 Sunday afternoon tutorials as required during the year

  • cover the costs of membership, including providing suitable performance clothing.

Attending rehearsals

Rehearsals occur approximately fortnightly from 4.00pm to 6.00pm at Mead Hall, 65 Flinders Street, Adelaide. A schedule will be supplied on acceptance.

Students are expected to attend rehearsals in school uniform.

Members are expected to learn the music before rehearsals. If necessary, they should ask their instrumental music teacher for help.

If a member can’t attend a rehearsal, they must notify the conductor.

Rehearsal and performance uniforms

Members must wear school uniform to rehearsals.

For performances, members must wear:

  • respectful black clothes
  • black dress shoes
  • black socks.

Membership fee

The membership fee is $55 per year.

Instrumental Music Leader, Learning Pathways

Phone: 0458 185 152
EmailEducation.Ensembles669 [at] schools.sa.edu.au