Summer School Details


Dates Monday 6 – Friday 10 January 2020
Times 9:00AM – 3:00PM (Mon-Thu); 9:00AM – 5:00PM (Fri) | HSC 3:00PM – 6:00PM (Mon-Thu only)
Applications close Friday 6 December 2019
Location Santa Sabina College, Strathfield and Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Friday only)
Cost $550
Sibling Discount $75
HSC Prep Program [Add on] $100
HSC Prep Program [Stand Alone]  $200


The SYO Summer School combines high level music making, creativity, exploration and personal development. This week-long program is open to all school-aged students in NSW. As well as an opportunity to make friends and have fun, the week includes choir rehearsals, large ensemble playing, masterclasses, tutorials and music theory sessions. The week culminates with ensemble showcases and concerts to highlight the week’s achievements in a concert at Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

There is also a HSC Preparatory Program for students in years 10, 11 & 12, plus scholarships for students residing more than 200km away from Sydney CBD.


SYO Summer School Orchestra – conductor Max McBride

The SYO Summer School Orchestra is open to string, wind, brass and percussion players of AMEB Grade 6 level and above, or equivalent. As places are limited, wind, brass and percussion players are required to audition for the Orchestra on the first day of Summer School. If your first preference is Orchestra, please prepare a piece of your own choice (maximum 2 minutes) to be performed unaccompanied at your audition on the first day of Summer School (wind/brass/percussion only). All students will receive a place in either the Orchestra or the Wind Orchestra. 2020 repertoire is yet to be announced, however previous years have included the likes of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and the overture to Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

SYO Summer School Wind Orchestra

The SYO Summer School Wind Orchestra is open to all school-aged wind, brass and percussion players, 2020 repertoire is yet to be announced, however previous years have included the likes of Randall D. Standrige’s Celebration and Robert Sheldon’s Pevensey Castle. 

SYO Summer School String Ensembles

The SYO Summer School String Ensembles are open to all school-aged string players up to and including AMEB Grade 5 level, or equivalent. 2020 Conductors include Kathryn Crossing, Victoria Jacono-Gilmovich, Joanne Waples and Jonathan Whitting


Led by leading NSW music educators and long-time HSC markers, this program for students in years 10, 11 and 12 covers areas of theory and practice that relate specifically to the NSW HSC Music 2 curriculum.

Participants can expect to receive intense training on theory, composition, essay writing, thesis development and constructive performance critique. This program provides HSC students the opportunity to receive invaluable guidance and tailored HSC music training in a supportive and fun environment with like-minded students.

The HSC Preparatory Program runs from Monday – Thursday and can be selected as an add-on to the SYO Summer School or as a standalone package.


Scholarship Applications Close: Friday 22 November 2019
Scholarships Awarded: by Friday 6 December 2019

SYO is committed to ensuring all talented musicians, regardless of financial circumstances, have the opportunity to be part of SYO. With the very generous support of many private donors, companies and foundations we provide a number of full scholarships for eligible regional applicants to attend SYO’s Summer School in 2020. 

Any applicant who is a primary or secondary school student and resides at least 200km from Sydney CBD is eligible to apply. Successful applicants will receive a waiver on the 2020 participation fee ($550.00+GST), plus a travel and accommodation bursary. The amount of this bursary is dependent on the circumstances of the applicant.

To apply for a regional scholarship, please click here to fill out the form.



8.30am Drop off 
9.00am – 10.00am Choir
10.00am – 11.00am Large Ensemble
11.00am – 11.30am Morning Tea
11.30am – 1.00pm Large Ensemble / Tutorials
1.00pm – 1.45pm Lunch (can be pre-ordered for an additional cost)
1.45pm – 3.00pm Large Ensemble / Tutorials / Masterclass / Music Games
3.00pm – 6.00pm HSC Preparatory Program* (additional fee applies)

* HSC Prep Program requires a minimum enrolment of 15 students to take place. Final program details and outline will made available mid-December, 2019. 

** Program is subject to change and develop prior to final program details release in mid-December, 2019.