Brass

Teachers of brass instruments at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music have a wide range of professional and performing experience. Our Brass Unit staff includes principal players with the Sydney Symphony, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, offering students the skills to become versatile performers. Beginning with the basics of brass playing, we encourage students to develop according to their interests and talent in virtuosity, advanced repertoire and historically informed performance practice. In addition, visiting international players regularly give masterclasses.

The Brass Unit also encourages ensemble playing in formations such as the Big Band and Conservatorium orchestras. Other ensembles offer the opportunity to explore new music for brass and to play period instruments in the Early Music Ensemble.

Principal study is available in horn, trombone, trumpet, euphonium and tuba.

Study Options

Brass Faculty

Audition Requirements

Audition DVD Recording

Where possible, you should attend a live audition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. If you are an interstate or international applicant and cannot attend in person, you may submit a video recorded audition through the application process. The recordings must be no older than six weeks at the time of dispatch.  Audio-only recordings will not be accepted.

Accompaniment for Live Auditions

You are required to provide your own accompanist. Under extenuating circumstances only, the Conservatorium may be able to assist you in organising an accompanist. Please contact Student Administration for information.

Music Skills Test

Since prior music skills development is essential for successful study at the Sydney Conservatorium, the Music Skills Test must be completed. The test is held at the Conservatorium during the audition/interview period and is designed to assess whether you have a sufficient level of music literacy in harmony and aural perception to cope with the demands of the course. As a guide, the minimum level of skills possessed should be at the level of the New South Wales Music 2 syllabus (formerly 2 Unit Music) or AMEB Level 6 Musicianship or equivalent. Results of the Music Skills Test supplement the information provided by other aspects of the audition process. If you are successful, the results also help to determine streaming in aural and harmony subjects.

Undergraduate

Bachelor of Music (Performance) and Diploma of Music

  1. Technical requirements: All major and minor scales and arpeggios in various articulations
  2. Prepared program: One movement from a major concerto or sonata; one contrasting shorter work; and one advanced study
  3. Sight reading
  4. Music Skills Test

Bachelor of Music (Education), Bachelor of Music Studies and combined degrees

  1. Technical requirements: All major and minor scales and arpeggios
  2. Prepared program: One advanced study; two contrasting pieces with piano accompaniment
  3. Sight reading
  4. Music Skills Test

Postgraduate

Candidates must prepare a program totaling 50 minutes which may include the works listed below.

Horn:
Mozart – Horn Concerto No. 2 and No. 4
Strauss – First and second Horn Concertos

Trombone:
Frank Martin – Ballade
Berio – Sequenza
Gordon Jacob – Trombone Concerto
Henri Tomasi – Trombone Concerto

Trumpet:
Telemann – Concerto
Hummel or Haydn – Trumpet Concerto
Tomasi – Trumpet Concerto
Hindemith – Sonata

Tuba:
Vaughan Williams – Tuba Concerto complete with piano, band or orchestra accompaniment
A contrasting solo work of choice with accompaniment (if an accompanied work)
A minimum of four contrasting standard orchestral excerpts demonstrating both F or Eb tuba AND CC or BBb tuba
Two major or minor scales of choice to show lowest note to highest note