Go to top of page

Primary Schools String Orchestra (PSSO)

The Primary Schools String Orchestra (PSSO) provides a tailored playing opportunity for players of string instruments in SA government primary schools.

The PSSO aims to help members:

  • foster a love and understanding of music
  • develop skills in ensemble playing
  • build friendships with other musicians from a broad cross-section of SA government schools
  • perform in concerts and at high-profile venues.

Repertoire for this orchestra includes exciting and challenging music representing a wide range of musical styles. Gaining confidence in performance is an essential part of musical learning.

The PSSO is a touring ensemble (metro and country areas). Tour dates are Tuesday 2 April to Friday 5 April 2019.


All violin, viola, cello and double bass students in SA Government schools, years 5 to 7 in 2019 are eligible to apply. Entry is by audition. Students auditioning for this ensemble might consider also auditioning on the same instrument (in the one audition) for the Primary Schools Music Festival Orchestras.


Positions in PSSO for 2019 are now complete.

Audition dates for PSSO 2020

Information regarding PSSO 2020 will be posted on this site in mid-September, 2019; auditions will take place in November, 2019.

Audition requirements

Students auditioning should currently be in year 4, 5 or 6, and planning to attend a department school in 2019.

Students learning from private or department instrumental music teachers are encouraged to audition.

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

Applicants will be asked to present the following:

  1. Scales: All scales and arpeggios are to be played from memory.

    • Any two octave scale and its arpeggio detaché whole bows.

    • Any one octave scale and its arpeggio, demonstrating knowledge of flats, slurred two notes to a bow.

  2. A prepared piece of music chosen to demonstrate current technical and musical ability.

  3. All of the relevant prepared excerpts (these will change for 2020 auditions but give you an idea of the standard):
  4. A small piece of sight reading, provided at the audition.

All applicants must print and complete the student ensemble application form 2019 (PDF 136KB) and bring it to the audition. 

Audition criteria

Orchestra members will be selected based on their ability in these areas:

  • accurate intonation

  • strong clear sound

  • spiccato bowing

  • accurate reading of rhythm, pitch and volume variation

  • good, healthy, accurate posture and hold of the instrument and bow.

Additional skills

  • Shifting for violins and violas to 3rd position, cellos to 4th position

  • Commencement of vibrato (for violins, violas and cellos)

Expectations of members

Ensemble members are expected to:

  • participate in all programmed performances and events

  • attend rehearsals and learn music for performances

  • cover the costs of membership, including providing suitable clothing

  • engage positively with the entire PSSO team.

Attending rehearsals

Rehearsals will commence in term 1, week 1, 2019. Rehearsals are on Tuesdays from 4.00pm to 5.45pm, at Mulberry Hall, Norwood Primary School, Osmond Terrace, Norwood.

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 should notify the conductor.

Rehearsal and performance uniforms

Members should wear school uniform to rehearsals.

Students must purchase the PSSO uniform top (approx. $45). These will be ordered at the start of the school year.

For performances, members must provide their own performance uniform – plain black pants, socks and shoes.

Membership fees

The membership fee for the PSSO is $55 per year.

Instrumental Music Leader, Learning Pathways

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