The North Sydney Girls High School Co-Curricular Music Programme began in 1989 and since that time has grown and developed, and currently comprises of over 250 girls from Years 7-12 making up seven ensembles including the Wind Orchestra (senior), Concert Band (intermediate), Wind Ensemble (junior), Beginner Band, Big Band, Symphony Orchestra and Camerata with all ensembles rehearsing before school for approximately 90 minutes each week.
Throughout the year, all the ensembles participate in a number of performances, both in school as well as out in the wider community. Competitions are an important part of the year, with most groups participating annually in the McDonalds Performing Arts Challenge and the School Band Festival. This gives the girls a wonderful opportunity to hear orchestras and bands made up of their peers. In addition, the ensembles regularly take part in combined workshops and concerts with other schools, attend performances of visiting and guest musicians, participate in master classes and perform at community events including the local carol service, at nursing homes and even, on occasion, have been used as educational tools for managerial training business courses.
Touring locally, nationally and internationally is another major part of our calendar. Every ensemble takes part in a tour annually with the Wind Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra touring internationally every two or three years. January 2003 saw both these ensembles undertake a tour to Europe performing a number of concerts in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Germany.
In March 2005 sixty-nine girls from the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Orchestra travelled to China, after receiving an invitation to take part in the Beijing International Orchestral / Symphonic Bands Festival for Secondary High Schools. After the weeklong festival, the two ensembles toured to Xi’an, Hangzhou and Shanghai. As well as visiting and performing concerts with a number of schools and conservatoria, the girls also had the wonderful opportunity to observe, understand, appreciate and respect the differences that exist between individuals, communities, cultures and customs. In 2009 the Symphony Orchestra undertook its second tour to Europe, once again performing in The Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Germany.
The aims of the NSGHS Music Programme are multi-fold: to develop the musical skills of the girls, to give them the chance to experience the thrill of performing in an ensemble, to enjoy friendships across the school years and to provide opportunities for all students at varying levels of ability via the range of ensembles. The tremendous public success and acclaim enjoyed by the groups in recent years is a testimony to the enthusiasm and dedication of the girls. In 2002 The Music programme was recognised for its achievements by receiving the Director-General's Award for Excellence in, and in 2006 was awarded a Certificate of Commendation as part of the ‘ABC Classic FM – Flame Awards 2006’ under the theme of ‘Community Connections’, for their commitment to excellence in music education