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Ensemble and Company Auditions - Information for Students and Parents

Newtown High School of the Performing Arts offers the opportunity for all students to be involved in the extensive co-curricular program.

Co-Curricular Program

The Co-Curricular Program is the name given to all Dance, Drama, Music and Technical companies and ensembles that run at the school. Entry to these companies is by audition during Week 2 to Week 4 of Term 1 2020.

icon 2020 Co-curricular Audition Timetable (394.14 kB) [for enrolled students only]

To gain entry into the co-curricular program all students may audition regardless of their mode of entry.  It is a mandatory requirement for students who enrolled via audition to participate in these auditions.

Companies and Ensembles

Each Performing Arts discipline has a different definition for a ‘company’ or an ‘ensemble’.

Showcase Concert Seasons

There are two major performance opportunities during Term 2 and Term 4 each year. Additional performance opportunities may occur throughout the year depending on the type of ensemble required for various occasions.

Tuition Fees

All students must pay their company/ensemble fees (and associated Ballet Sport and Masterclass Fees if in Dance) immediately following their acceptance into a company/ensemble.  An updated list of students who have paid their fees is provided to each of the Performing Arts Faculties which completes acceptance/enrolment into the co-curricular program.  Non-payment of these fees will result in students being replaced as members of these companies/ensembles.

 

Frequently Asked Questions General Information

When are the auditions?

Auditions will take place in Weeks 2 to 4 of Term 1 2020. An audition timetable is attached at the back of this document as well as on the school website.

Can I audition for more than one PA discipline?

Yes. There is no restriction on auditioning for more than one discipline.

What do I need to prepare for the audition?

Specific requirements for each discipline are detailed in the information attached.

What ability level do I need to audition?

The best policy is to ‘give it a go’. If you are unsure of any specific criteria or audition information please see the Head Teachers, PA staff or the Performing Arts Coordinator as listed below:-

What cost is involved if I am successful?

Students who are successful to participate in the co-curricular program are required to pay the annual fee of $240.00 for Dance and Music and $120.00 per semester for Drama.  The fee is still the same even if you are in more than one company or ensemble within the same discipline.  Dance companies and ensembles will also be required to pay extra tuition and an annual costume fee.

What will my commitment level be if I am successful at my audition?

It is essential that you attend all rehearsals and performance commitments - both weekday and weekends (when necessary). If there are absences that are unexplained or constant, your place in the ensemble/company will be jeopardised as will further consideration for a position in future showcase companies.  You will also need to complete and sign a Company/Ensemble Contract outlining your commitment as well as your co-curricular payment being received prior to commencement of rehearsals.  This is to ensure the continuing high standard of commitment and training that NHSPA is known for.

How do I know I have been accepted into an Ensemble/Company?

The finalisation of the auditions will take a few weeks. All candidates will be notified of their acceptance or non-acceptance and given written feedback from each of the individual Performing Arts faculties. 

What happens if I am unsuccessful?

Written and verbal feedback will be available to all students after the audition process and is provided by a member of the audition panel.

When do rehearsals take place?

Music Ensembles rehearse before school at 7:30am and in the afternoons from 3:30 to 4:30pm.  Drama and Dance rehearse in the afternoon from 3:30 to 5:30pm. Closer to showcase performances additional weekday and/or weekend rehearsals (particularly in Drama) may be required.

Do I need to reaudition each year?

Yes. All students need to re audition for their place in the co-curricular program each year.

 

Dance Information

About our Dance Groups

Dance Companies and Ensembles represent the School at major International, State, Regional and local dance festivals, prestigious public performances and the School Showcase Concerts.

Classical Ballet Companies provide students with a particular interest and ability in Classical Ballet as well as offer the opportunity to engage in further performance experience.  Members of the Classical Ballet Companies are required to meet the same general criteria for selection as members of the Dance Companies including attending TWO additional Ballet classes a week.

All Year 7 Dance auditioned students accepted into NHSPA for 2020 are given a place in the Year 7
Performance Group and will be rehearsing on Wednesday afternoons from 3.30-5.30pm.  This is the set rehearsal time for Year 7 dancers as we know you have many commitments outside of school.


Frequently Asked Questions for Dance auditions

When and where will the auditions be?

Auditions will take place during Week 2, 3 and 4 of Term 1, 2020. These auditions will be held in the Dance Department, after school from 3.30-5.30pm.

What do I need to prepare?

You do not need to prepare anything for the Dance or Classical Ballet audition. For each audition you will learn a small piece of choreography and perform it in small groups. The Junior Classical Ballet audition will be a classical ballet class.

What is the selection criteria for the audition?

The audition panel and dance staff will consider technique, performance quality and work skills when making their decision.

What do I wear to the audition?

Suitable dancewear for girls consists of plain (colour and style) leotards, tights and bare feet (Ballet/Pointe shoes where appropriate). Suitable dancewear for boys consists of tights and a form fitting T-Shirt or leotard.  Clothing which restricts or covers movement is unacceptable.

What is the next step after the auditions?

You will be given written feedback on your audition and whether or not you are successful in being placed in a company or ensemble.   

Drama Information

About our DRAMA COMPANIES

There are nine Drama Companies at NHSPA. Companies are mostly organised by similar age ranges - Junior and Senior groupings.  All companies perform in the Semester 1 and 2 Showcase Concerts with other performances throughout the year as requested.

Drama is the only discipline that holds auditions TWICE a year, in Term 1 and Term 3 and a Semester fee of $120.00

Is applicable.

Frequently Asked Questions for Drama auditions

When and where will the auditions be?

Auditions will take place during Weeks 3 and 4 of Term 1 and again in Term 3, 2020. These auditions will be held in the Drama Department after school from 3.30-5.30pm as shown on the attached schedule.

What do I need to prepare?

You will need to prepare a one-minute monologue from a published play. Books of monologues are available in the school library.  Year 7 do not need to prepare a monologue as they will audition within a workshop environment.

What is the selection criteria for the audition?

The criteria for a good performance are as follows

  1. a clear voice
  2. physicality in creating a character
  3. portrayal of the journey the character takes
The Drama department takes great care trying to give students a variety of directors so that students get a broad range of directing styles while at NHSPA.

Music Information

About our Music Groups

Music Auditions are held in instrumental groups across all years; for example violinists from Years 7 to 12 will audition on the same day.   For all music auditions, students will perform in front of the audition panel (usually two people) and other students of that instrument.

Selection criteria for the audition?

The Music staff will consider the following in selecting and placing students within ensembles:

The panel will also consider year group, balance of Ensembles and prior commitment to Ensemble (where appropriate).

Music Ensembles within the school

Orchestra, Symphonic Wind, Junior String Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, Concert Band, Junior, Intermediate and Senior Choirs.

Students must be a member of a large ensemble to be considered for selection into smaller chamber ensembles.  These smaller ensembles include Extension Junior, Intermediate and Senior Choirs, String, Wind, Sax Quartets, Guitar, Junior Jazz Band, Senior Jazz Band, Senior String Ensemble and Senior Percussion Ensemble.  Rock ensemble(s) will be formed on a project basis rather than a regular ensemble format.

Frequently Asked Questions for Music auditions

When and where will the auditions be held?

Auditions will take place during Weeks 2 - 4 of Term 1 2020 and held in the Music Department after school from 3.30-5.00pm.  Refer to the attached timetable for dates and times.

What do I need to prepare?

Vocal Audition

Instrumental Auditions-Woodwind, Brass and Strings including Guitars

Keyboard/Piano

Please note that the number of places using keyboard/piano in ensembles are limited. Therefore you are encouraged to audition for voice, percussion or on another instrument.

WOMP

If you are interested in auditing for WOMP (Weapons of Mass Percussion) you are not required to prepare anything as you will be taught several patterns in the ensemble.

Percussion and Drum Kit

You will need to prepare a short piece and may also be required to demonstrate different drumming patterns.

Other Company Information

Film Production Company

The Film Production Company will work as a team to plan, film and edit short film/s during the year. Themes and genres will be chosen depending on student and teacher interests as well as level of expertise.  Students will work towards various film festivals throughout the year and screening of their work will be during Showcase Season at school.

The Film Production Company is open to students in Years 8 to 12. An application form can be collected from the Visual Arts staffroom and must be submitted by 3.15pm on Monday 11 February.

Selection criteria for the Film Production Company?

The criteria for selection include demonstrated interest and skills in various aspects of Film Production.

Technical Company

The Technical Company under the direction of the Technical Director organise the sound, lighting and stage management for Showcase Concerts throughout the year. The Company is open to students from Years 8 to 12. There is no audition process for this company.  Interested students can apply on Tuesday 18 February 3:15- 5:15pm in the Studio Theatre.