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Secondary Schools String Symphony (SSSS)

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 2020 are eligible to apply. Entry is by performance placement assessment.

Placement will be prioritised to students enrolled in a secondary classroom music subject in 2020, 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 2020

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 scales and arpeggios are to be played from memory.

    • violin, viola, 'cello – any two 2 octave scales and corresponding arpeggios, ascending and descending, with own bowing choice

    • double bass – one 2 octave scale, one 1 octave scale

    • please note it would be wise to choose contrasting scales – major/minor, sharps/flats.

  2. Two contrasting prepared pieces of music chosen to demonstrate technical and musical ability.

  3. All of the relevant prepared excerpts. Select the relevant instrument to download your excerpts:
  4. A small piece of sight reading, provided 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

Students wanting to present for a placement assessment must contact the IM Leader, Learning Pathways on 0458 185 152 to arrange a booking for Sunday, February 16, 2020 from 4.30pm at the Klemzig Instrumental Music Office, 28 Hay Street, Klemzig.

All applicants must print and complete the student ensemble application form (PDF 194KB) and bring it to the audition. You must complete all fields.

Want to be in more than one ensemble?

Opportunities to be part of Primary School Music Festival, Festival of Music Orchestras are available for 2020. More information is on the Primary Schools Music Festival website.

To audition once for more than one ensemble:

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 should 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 (pro-rata).


Instrumental Music Leader, Learning Pathways

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