The VSMF invites school bands and orchestras to perform in some of Victoria’s premier performing spaces to present the results of all that hard work and dedication of ensemble rehearsals, and experience the thrill of performing for your peers.  It’s the full sensory experience; where our musicians have the opportunity to make music, listen to themselves and their peers making music, watch how it can be done differently and analyse their own performance afterwards by listening to the recording provided.


The structure of each event consists of three basic activities:


Performance – Ensembles perform works from a prescribed music list or guidelines. All works on the music lists have an educational focus, allowing students to experience music composed specifically for this idiom.


Education – There is a panel of two adjudicators. Ensembles receive a recording of their performance with audio adjudication. Hearing what the adjudicators think of your performance in real time helps teachers develop their rehearsal strategy for the rest of the year.


This is accompanied by a written adjudication as per a set of criteria developed in conjunction with music educators.

Immediately after performing, each ensemble receives an “on-stage” tutorial with the Chief Adjudicator where the students work on aspects of their performance (that’s the magic bit).


Listening – Each ensemble listens to other groups perform within their section. The students are encouraged to use their critical and analytical listening skills. Maybe they will hear something that could be used in their own ensemble rehearsals/performances.


This is a great opportunity for us to reflect on our progress throughout the year.


For our efforts this year the following awards were given:


Quattro String Orchestra – Participation

Junior String Orchestra – Silver Award

Concert String Orchestra – Gold Award

Chamber String Orchestra – Gold Award


Novice Band – Participation

Junior Band – Platinum

Concert Band – Platinum

Symphonic Band – Platinum


Junior Big Band – Platinum

Intermediate Big Band – Platinum

Senior Jazz Orchestra – Platinum


Concert Choir – Gold

Vocal Ensemble – Platinum


We are very proud of the work our students do in their participation in instrumental music, their work ethic and commitment to working at their highest level possible to represent themselves, their ensemble and their school in the wider community.


Thanks to all of the Blackburn High School staff who supported students with following them up with missed work and caught up with them to check missed work and generally encourage in their schooling and musical life at the School.


A big thanks to the work of all the instrumental music teachers who support the strive for excellence.  To those involved directly in the taking of the ensembles or in teaching instrumental music in weekly lessons, your contribution to these results do not go unnoticed.  It is a very big team effort that supports our students to do well in music.


In the next week, we travel to the Royal South Street Competitions with ensembles performing each day at the 1870 Founder’s Hall at Federation University.  We have performances every day with students in and out of classes depending on which ensemble they performing in throughout the week.


We will then follow this up with a celebration of all the year’s work at the Junior Ensembles Finale Concert on Wednesday 18 September and Senior Ensembles Finale Concert on Thursday 19 September.