Our ensembles

Our ensembles2020-05-17T18:58:26+10:00

Senior Wind Ensemble

NSSWE’s Senior Wind Ensemble (SWE) is our flagship ensemble and is well recognised for its high level of musicianship and its excellence in performance. They play a wide range of professional grade repertoire and challenges its musicians to develop their sound and ensemble techniques. It features over 50 talented musicians from the Northern Sydney region many of whom go on to study music at a tertiary level.

In 2016 NSSWE commissioned The Magic of This Dawn by Christopher Sainsbury, an Australian composer, which premiered at our Spring Festival and was  performed whilst on tour in Japan.

The Senior ensemble is open to students from Years 10 through to 12 and school leavers up to the age of 22 who are still actively playing their instrument.

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NSSWE Senior Tours

Our senior musicians undertake annual retreats and have toured both nationally and internationally. In 2019 they toured the USA. Highlights included; San Francisco, Washington DC, New York and Chicago where they performed at The Midwest Clinic.

Tour Highlights include:

Intermediate Wind Ensemble

The Intermediate ensemble is our second most senior ensemble. These musicians practise and perform challenging and rewarding repertoire that is intended to prepare them for our flagship ensemble.

You can hear them perform at our Community concerts, Spring Music Festival and end of year Showcase Concert.

The Intermediate ensemble is open to students in Years 8 to 10.

If you are interested we invite you to apply … Learn more about NSSWE audition process

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NSSWE Intermediate Tours

Each year the intermediate musicians are offered an opportunity to tour regionally or interstate. In September 2018 they toured Northern NSW and performed at the Bellingen Music Festival. They are currently preparing to tour to Melbourne in September 2019.

Past tours have included:

  • Bellingen Music Festival (2018)
  • NSW South Coast (2017)
  • NSW North Coast (2016)
  • Gold Coast (2014)
  • Melbourne (2013)

Junior Wind Ensemble

The Junior ensemble is our youngest high school ensemble. It is designed for musicians in years 7 and 8 and also talented students in year 6 and provides an important transition from primary to high school. This ensemble plays a variety of repertoire from 20th century film scores to core symphonic wind standards from composers such as Grainger and Ticheli which are intended to inspire and extend them.

These musicians perform at our Community Concerts, Spring Festival and Showcase and also extensively whilst they are away on tour.

If you are interested we invite you to apply … Learn more about NSSWE audition process

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NSSWE Junior Tours

Our junior musicians undertake an exciting annual tour. In 2019 they toured the Snowy Mountains and Canberra.

Past tours include:

  • Snowy Mountains and Canberra (2019)
  • Bellingen Music Festival (2018)
  • Snowy Mountains (2017)
  • NSW South Coast (2016)
  • Canberra (2015)

Primary Wind Ensemble

Our youngest ensemble is the Primary Wind Ensemble (PWE), consisting of students in years 4-6. This ensemble provides younger musicians with the opportunity to develop their instrumental technique and ensemble skills and prepares them to transition to our high school bands. They play a varied program of wind band music which extends them beyond their school band program.

They perform in our seasonal concerts four times a year in varied professional venues sharing their music with family and friends. They also attend an annual regional tour performing for local schools and to the wider public developing their confidence and performance skills whilst sharing their love of music.

If you are interested we invite you to apply … Learn more about NSSWE audition process

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NSSWE Primary Tours

Our primary musicians undertake an exciting annual tour. In 2019 they toured the NSW Central Coast.

Previous tours have included

  • NSW Central Coast (2019)
  • NSW South Coast (2018)
  • Port Stephens and Nelson Bay (2016)
  • Blue Mountains, Bathurst, Dubbo and Jenolan Caves (2015)
  • Shoalhaven and Jervis Bay (2014)


NSSWE Plus aims to provide you with essential skills and knowledge to help you to develop as a professional musician once you have left school. It is designed for musicians who intend to continue with music in a range of capacities, as teachers, conductors, stage and recording technicians, reviewers, event managers and professional performers. It will also suit advanced musicians who wish to continue their music in the community in a non-professional capacity. The program will be delivered in a small, focused group, and will include practical, theoretical and fun sessions with your NSSWE friends.

The program will explore the following topics:

  • How to teach a musical instrument to students in a professional manner
  • How to conduct an ensemble using basic conducting techniques
  • How to run engaging and productive rehearsals and sectionals
  • Mastering the art of practising an instrument at an advanced level
  • Developing effective audition techniques
  • Planning and delivering musical events and performances
  • Participating in master classes
  • Developing skills in leadership including managing conflict, motivation, giving praise and criticism, communication and problem solving

NSSWE Plus is run for an hour after each Thursday rehearsal, with Artistic Director Patrick Brennan.

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over 200 young musicians