Greater Western Sydney Public Schools Strings

Region: Metro South and West Metropolitan North | Penrith
Years 4 to 12
Local arts program Public schools Music
Tags: Strings

The Greater Western Sydney Public Schools Strings participate in a series of full-day workshops culminating in a performance at the Sydney Opera House as part of a combined schools music festival.

The ensemble is open to interested musicians in Years 4 to 12 from NSW public schools.  


In 2023, the program will take the form of 4 full-day workshops leading to a performance at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Arts Alive Choral Festival.

Workshop dates

The workshop dates for the program are:

  • Monday 21 August (Term 3 Week 6) from 9:15 am to 2:45 pm at Penrith High School
  • Monday 28 August (Term 3 Week 7) from 9:15 am to 2:45 pm at Penrith High School
  • Monday 4 September (Term 3 Week 8) from 9:15 am to 2:45 pm at Penrith High School
  • Saturday 9 September (Term 3 Week 8) from 9:15 am to 5:00 pm at Penrith High School (note later finish time)
  • Monday 11 September (Term 3 Week 9). Times TBC - afternoon rehearsal and evening performance at Sydney Opera House.

Students will need to commit to all four workshops and the performance date to participate in this program. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the ensemble director for students who have examinations which fall on the day of a workshop.


The program is open to any students currently enrolled in Years 4 - 12 at a NSW Public School who play one or more of the following instruments:

  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Double Bass

The ensemble will be open to students with a wide range of abilities. The tutorial program and music selected will ensure that students of all abilities are appropriately challenged within the ensemble situation.

Please note, this program is open to public school students from anywhere in NSW - not just in the Metropolitan North, South and West areas.

Nomination process

Students must complete an online nomination form to participate in this program. As part of this form students will be required to submit a video audition.

Nominations close Monday 7 August 2023 (Term 3 Week 4).

As part of the nomination process, students must submit a Parent Permission Form and Publicity Form. Please note, these forms are in addition to the online nomination form.

Audition requirements

Students should film themselves performing:

  • One piece of music that they feel shows their current ability on their instrument to the highest standard
  • Two scales of their choice - one major and one harmonic minor

At the start of the video, the student should introduce themselves and should announce the name and composer of the piece they are playing. Additionally, students should state what scale they are playing before they play it.

All requirements should be in one single video (not separate links for each component). However, if students wish to be considered on more than one instrument, a separate video should be submitted for each instrument which includes all of the components above.

Videos should be uploaded to the internet (preferably as an unlisted YouTube link) and the link copied and pasted into the online nomination form. Please ensure that you include the password if you choose to password protect your video (not reccomended).


There is a participation fee of $155.00 (GST inclusive) to participate in the 2023 Greater Western Sydney Strings program. This fee includes provision of all music and equipment, access to expert tutorial staff and an ensemble performance shirt to be worn at the performance.

This fee will be payable via The Arts Unit's student payment portal on acceptance into the ensemble. 

Students are encouraged to approach their school for financial assistance if required.


For more information, please contact Richard Sandham, Ensemble Director or Peter Hayward, Arts Coordination Officer.


Richard Sandham
Ensemble Director
Peter Hayward
Arts Coordination Officer
0401 132 410


Penrith High School
158-240 High Street
Penrith NSW 2750

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