Bands & Ensembles

Concert Bands


Wind Orchestra

The Wind Orchestra is the school’s premier concert band, and is for advanced woodwind, brass and percussion players in Secondary, and from AMEB Grade 4 equivalent upwards. The Wind Orchestra performs at various eisteddfods and concerts throughout the year.

Entry by Audition
2018 fee:
Day: Thursdays
Time: 7:00am for a 7:15 start
Location: MPC Studio
Tutor/Conductor: Philip Rees (see Philip Rees biography at bottom of this page)


Concert Band

The Concert Band is for students in Years 3 and above with at least one year’s experience playing a concert band instrument, and up to AMEB Grade 3 equivalent.

The Concert Band has a range of opportunities to perform, and is for emerging musicians.

Entry by Audition
2018 fee: $490
Day: Tuesdays
Time: 7:30am for a 7:45 start
Location: MPC Studio
Tutor/Conductor: Dani Cosford

Training Band

The Training Band is for students from Year 3 upwards with little or no prior experience. The Training Band introduces students to performing as an ensemble and gaining confidence in playing an instrument.

Being aware that a strong music program starts with a healthy intake of young beginners, the Training Band this year comes at a much lower cost and will rehearse during lunch rather than before school. We hope and expect that these steps will see more musicians in Years 3-6 pick up a concert band instrument and enrol in this orchestra, that gives children the opportunity to experience the joy of making music together from day one of their musical journey, i.e. from the moment they start having private lessons on their instrument. 

Open entry
2018 fee:
Day: Mondays (lunchtime)
Time: 1:20 - 2:00pm
Location: MPC Studio
Tutor/Conductor: Raylie-Anne Baldock

Other Ensembles


Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Ensemble is a small group of musicians exploring jazz as a predominant form of improvised contemporary music, in its main sub-styles, such as swing, bebop, latin jazz, and the related concepts of funk and fusion. Membership is by invitation to audition only, and the ensemble works towards regular performances throughout the year. Instruments include guitar, piano, bass (double bass and/or bass guitar), drums, trumpet, trombone, saxophone and other woodwind instruments.

By invitation to audition only
2018 fee:
Day: Wednesdays
Time: 7:30-8:30am
Location: MPC Ensemble Room
Tutor: Brendan Berlach


String Ensembles

The String Ensembles include violin, viola, cello and double bass. Students learn to play a range of music and have a number of performance opportunities across the year.

The Junior String Ensemble caters for students from beginner to AMEB 2nd grade, who have been learning for more than 6 months.

The Senior String Ensemble caters for students from AMEB 2nd grade and up.

Entry by audition
2018 fee: $530
Tutor: Melissa Khoh
Days and times: to be advised


Vocal Ensembles

Vocal Ensembles are for students who love to be part of a fun and dynamic singing group. Students will get the opportunity to sing a variety of music styles in an ensemble setting.

JAM is a choir for developing vocalists in Years 3-6:
Open entry - Free of charge
Day: Wednesdays
Time: 1:00-2:00pm
Location: MPC
Tutors: Jo Laub and Anna Harding

Mini JAM is a choir for students in Kindergarten - Year 2:
Open entry - Free of charge
Day: Mondays
Time: 1:20-2:00pm
Location: The Living Room
Tutor: Nicole Paratore, Aerlie Vade

The Secondary Vocal Ensemble is for students in Years 7-12, and places greater emphasis on singing more complex harmonies.

Entry by audition
2018 fee:
Day: Thursdays
Time: Lunchtime (1:20-2:00pm)
Location: MPC Studio
Tutor: Philip Rees


Rock Bands

Rock Bands in both Primary and Secondary are contemporary ensembles available to proficient performers on electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, drum kit, and rock vocals. The objective of these bands is to have fun whilst gaining experience and learning to play as a group.

Entry by Audition
2018 fee:
Days, times, locations and tutor allocations to be advised once it is clear how many Rock Bands will run in 2018 and of which age groups, depending on the applications received and audition results. 

Guitar Ensemble

The Guitar Ensemble is for students in Years 3-6 wanting to play in a small group setting, focusing on melody, harmony and rhythm in guitar arrangements of different types of music.

Entry by Audition
2018 fee:
Day: Fridays
Time: 7:45-8:45am
Location: To be advised
Tutor: David Warokka


Percussion Ensembles

Primary Percussion Ensemble - Introduction to Rhythm
Open Entry (Years 2-6)

2018 fee: $205 per Semester or $400 for the full year
Day: Wednesdays
Time: Lunchtime (1:20-2:00pm)
Location: To be advised
Tutor: Matt Dorahi

Secondary Percussion Ensemble (Years 7-11)
Entry by Audition

2018 fee: $400
Day: Fridays
Time: Lunchtime (1:20-2:00pm)
Location: To be advised
Tutor: Dani Cosford


Woodwind Ensembles

Junior Woodwind Ensemble
Entry by Audition
2018 fee: $400
Day: Fridays
Time: Lunchtime (1:20-2:00pm)
Location: To be advised
Tutor: Kirstin Jackson

Senior Woodwind Ensemble
Entry by Audition
2018 fee: $400
Day: to be advised
Time: Lunchtime (1:20-2:00pm)
Location: To be advised
Tutor: to be advised


Performance Opportunities

School Events and Recital Nights

Bands and ensembles regularly perform at school events and special occasions, including Showcase and end-of-year celebration events, Primary Grandfriends Days, school assemblies, as well as specially organised recital nights. They also give casual performances in The City at NBCS during lunch breaks.

Competitions, Eisteddfods & Public Venues

Bands and ensembles may also have the opportunity to perform off-site, and to take part in local eisteddfods and competitions, including the Northern Beaches Eisteddfod, and play in public venues such as shopping malls, festivals, etc.

Band Camps and Workshop Days

Band Camps and Workshop Days are focused opportunities for the Wind Orchestra, Concert Band and Training Band, and some of the other ensembles to work on their musicianship, and are organised based on level of skill. Additional charges may apply.

Band Tours

Regional, national and/or international tours generally involve the Wind Orchestra and Secondary Vocal Ensemble. Additional charges will apply.

Audition Requirements

All Ensembles

It is a membership requirement for all music ensembles (except the choirs/vocal ensembles) that students receive weekly private tuition on their instrument throughout the school year.

Concert Band & Wind Orchestra

Students should come prepared with:

  • 4 scales (1 of them chromatic) – not Bb major (Percussionists have the option of tuned or untuned percussion)
  • An unaccompanied piece of their own choice – not band music (approximately 1 minute long) 

String Ensembles


  • Students need to have weekly private lessons on their instrument, have a basic understanding of rhythm, and be able to read music
  • For the audition, students will be asked to play an unseen piece provided during the audition

Guitar Ensemble

This ensemble is open to students wanting to play in a small group setting (with performance opportunities), focusing on melody, harmony and rhythm in different styles of music.

Open to 4-6 guitarists. Relaxed audition.


  • Be in Years 3-6.
  • Have had at least 1 term of lessons (and be currently getting lessons)
  • Know basic open chords and note reading
  • Own a guitar (acoustic preferred)

Senior Woodwind Ensemble

Students should be playing at a level of 3rd grade AMEB approx. and above (don't have to have sat AMEB exams). They should come prepared with:

  • The following scales: Bb major (1 octave), G chromatic (2 octaves), D major (2 octaves ), E harmonic minor (2 octaves)
  • A piece that shows their skills (not a band piece)

Secondary Percussion Ensemble

Students auditioning for the Senior Percussion Ensemble should:

  • Demonstrate a strong knowledge of rudiments, including correct playing technique
  • Demonstrate a sound ability of reading music, for both tuned and un-tuned percussion
  • Demonstrate a sound ability of playing all primary percussion instruments (including snare drum, bass drum, timpani, and mallet percussion)
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of music theory

Students should come prepared to demonstrate rudiments on a snare drum, demonstrate 1-2 scales on a xylophone, and answer some basic theory questions.

Rock Bands

The objective of these bands is to experience and learn to   play together with others; to work toward one or more performances for smaller and larger audiences throughout the year; to apply learnings from private tuition, and to have fun. To demonstrate their ability at the audition, students will be asked to play through a pop/rock song of their choice. In addition, they may be asked to play through a chord chart provided at the audition.

1 or 2 guitarists; 1 pianist/keyboardist; 1 bass guitarist; 1 drummer; 1 singer

General Requirements


  • A positive, inclusive attitude (team player)


  • Familiarity with the concepts of chords and 4/4 time
  • Strum through a chord progression, consisting of basic open guitar chords and “power chords”, notated in chord symbols
  • Ability to play “barre” chords is a distinct advantage 

Bass guitarists:

  • Familiarity with the concepts of chords and 4/4 time
  • Play through a chord progression, notated in chord symbols


  • Familiarity with the concepts of chords and 4/4 time
  • Play through a chord progression using major and minor triads, notated in chord symbols


  • Familiarity with the concept of 4/4  time
  • Ability to hold a rock/pop  groove


  • Ability to sing in tune

Primary Woodwind Ensemble

To be advised

Jazz Ensemble

Candidates will be asked to:

  • Play a piece of their own choosing, which may be any style of music, but will demonstrate some of the skill areas of the candidate and a style they enjoy.
  • Play 2 different scales of their choosing (for drummers 3 different beat patterns)
  • Sight read a given piece of music
  • Perform a short improvisation as instructed

Expectations of Students

  • Fulfil a full year’s commitment to their ensemble.
  • Attend all weekly rehearsals and tutorials.
  • Arrive promptly at all rehearsals, tutorials and performances.
  • Bring the following equipment to all rehearsals: instrument, music, pencil, eraser and (for Wind Orchestra, Concert Band and Training Band) NBCS practice diary.
  • Practice their ensemble music regularly, receive weekly private music tuition, and demonstrate satisfactory progress on their chosen instrument.
  • Behave with respect, responsibility and friendliness at all times.
  • Notify the Ensemble Director/Tutor as soon as possible by phone/voicemail or SMS when running late for a performance, rehearsal or tutorial, or when unable to attend because of sudden illness or another unforeseen occurrence.
  • When becoming aware of unavailability for a performance, rehearsal or tutorial for any other reason, notify the Ensemble Director/Tutor in writing (including email) as soon as possible, but at least two weeks prior to the event.

Financial Expectations

Fees and discounts

Specific band and ensemble membership fees are outlined above. Second band is discounted by 20%, third and subsequent bands are discounted by 35%. Sibling discount of 20% applies to fees for younger siblings.

Instrument Hire

Instrument hire is $375 per instrument for 2018.

Limited instruments are available and priority is given to Wind Orchestra, Concert Band and Training Band members.


Ensemble fees and instrument hire will be billed to your School Fees Invoice as follows: 60% is billed to your Term 2 School Fee Invoice, 40% is billed to your Term 3 School Fee Invoice.

Application Form

All students wishing to participate in the Extra-curricular Music program must complete and submit the online Bands & Ensembles Application Form 2018 (Google Form).

All applications will be confirmed via email after they have been processed.


General Enquiries

Adriaan Mees
Extra-curricular Music and Workshops Coordinator

Dani Cosford
Extra-curricular Music

School Contact

Reception: 1 Echunga Road, Terrey Hills NSW
Mail: PO Box 230, Terrey Hills NSW 2084
Phone: 02 9450 1311

Band Director Biography

Philip Rees

Philip Rees has had a professional music career encompassing many different genres over a number of instruments.  He grew up in a family where music was highly valued: as was always doing your best for the glory of God.  A multi-instrumentalist: his principal instrument is piano, and he is highly regarded as a teacher and accompanist in examinations, as well as recitals. 

Married, with five children, he lives on the Central Coast and has been very active in music education and music performance. He taught music at a large independent school, where he also conducted the senior choir and orchestra (and coached the firsts basketball team). He took these groups on five successful overseas tours to New Zealand and Japan. 

When Philip left the school he received the “Headmaster’s Special Award” for service to the school. 

Philip has been the music director of the regional symphony orchestra, and is now the  artistic director of the Central Coast Philharmonia choir, one of the country’s leading regional ensembles. His passion is choral music and he has conducted many major works including the Requiem of Peter Sculthorpe and the Armed Man by Karl Jenkins. He has directed the Australian premiere of Zimbe by Alexander L’Estrange, Feel the Spirit by John Rutter, Karl Jenkin’s Joy to the World, as well as standard orchestral and choral works. He has also collaborated with many soloists who have  international reputations.

Philip loves working with and encouraging young musicians. He has appeared regularly as a judge and clinician at a number of eisteddfods, festivals and camps, as well as successfully directing his own groups. He directed a band tour to the west coast of the USA and has been engaged as a guest conductor for many groups. He also enjoys writing and arranging music for a variety of ensembles. 

He is actively involved in music ministry at his own church; the Salvation Army, Sydney Congress Hall, where he accompanies the choir, plays tuba, and is the assistant band conductor.

Philip loves relaxing by going for long rides on his motorcycle and is learning to enjoy his vegetable garden.

In 2010 he was awarded the medal of the order of Australia, OAM, for services to music.


Raylie-Anne Baldock

Raylie-Anne Baldock, the tutor/conductor of our Training Band, has been learning music and been part of band programs playing flute, piccolo, trombone and oboe for 23 years, as well as tutoring flute and piccolo for the past 11 years. In 2005 Raylie-Anne had the privilege of being one of six people selected across Australia to complete the Symphony Australia Scholar Conductors Program with Sir Christopher Seaman. She continued her musical studies after school, completing a Bachelor Degree in Theology, majoring in Contemporary Performance; a Diploma of Contemporary songwriting; and a Master Degree in Music performance with a Minor in Composition. During her course she had the opportunity to work with a variety of great jazz musicians and study under the guidance of Jocelyn Fazzone, one of the top flute performers and teachers in Australia. She performs regularly with the Northern Beaches Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the Northern Beaches Orchestra and is writing articles for several music journals published in the United States.