Music Ensembles

String Ensembles | Woodwind, Brass and Percussion | Vocal Ensembles | Rock, Pop and Jazz

Across our three campuses, Newington offers a great variety of ensembles for our boys. At Newington, as well as developing solid group skills, our ensemble philosophy is centred on the reinforcement of concepts presented in academic music classrooms. Musicians are welcome to take advantage of each of the four streams of co-curricular music available.

String Ensembles

String Ensembles

String Ensembles

String Ensembles

Stanmore Strings

Strings players can participate in the Stanmore Strings or, for those boys excelling in their instrument, the Chamber Strings. There are also numerous Chamber Music and guitar ensembles.

The Stanmore String Ensemble is the Intermediate String Ensemble at the Senior campus. The majority of the boys in the ensemble are Years 7 to 9, and approximately Grade 2 to Grade 5 Standard (AMEB). The ensemble provides an opportunity for boys to develop their string technique and ensemble skills through playing exciting repertoire.

Chamber Strings

The Chamber String Ensemble is the Advanced String Ensemble at the Senior campus. Boys in the ensemble are usually at minimum Grade 6 (AMEB) standard. The ensemble extends and enhances boys’ musical development and enjoyment through the rehearsal and performance of stimulating repertoire.

Chamber Music Ensembles

Chamber Music is for boys in Years 7 to12. It is aimed at those boys who demonstrate a keen interest in playing in a small ensemble such as a quartet or trio. Chamber Music groups perform at school concerts and functions.

Guitar ensembles also exist for Guitar students. These rehearse as part of the Chamber Music program.

Woodwind, Brass and Percussion

Woodwind, Brass and Percussion

Woodwind, Brass and Percussion

Symphonic Winds

The Symphonic Winds at Newington College is the school’s premiere Wind Band. It is an auditioned group comprised of boys from Years 8–12 who have outstanding ability on their instrument. The ensemble is a finely balanced group of woodwind, brass and percussion instrumentalists who strive to create a symphonic sound yet perform in a range of styles from commercial music through to jazz and classical repertoire. Symphonic Winds rehearses once a week and regularly has input from instrumental specialists and guest conductors during this time. The ensemble performs top-level repertoire and is a respected group in the band community, achieving a Gold Medal at the 2014 NSW School Band Festival. The ensemble regularly works throughout the year with leading national and international clinicians.

Wind Orchestra

The Wind Orchestra is the training group for players aspiring to work with Symphonic Winds. This group comprises boys from Years 8 – 12 depending upon who has been accepted into the Symphonic Winds that year. This said, it has balanced instrumentation and performs regularly as its own strong entity. The Wind Orchestra participates in workshops with other schools and performs regularly both within and outside the College.

Concert Band

Concert Band is the first of the auditioned bands and comprises boys primarily in their junior high school years. In this ensemble, boys learn the skills needed to contribute to a large symphonic group. These include playing together, blending sounds and balancing. Boys playing in the Concert Band will have usually played for at least one year and will be continuing their private lessons. The Concert Band rehearses weekly with a major focus on enjoying ensemble playing. The rehearsals for this group are always well humoured while the group still strives for excellence.

Year 7 Band

The Year 7 band is the introduction into the large ensemble program for High School boys who play a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument. This group will allow new and existing Newington Boys the ability to come together during their first year of High School in a safe and enjoyable learning environment.

Chamber Music Ensembles

These ensembles are small groups that usually perform in small venues. Studying Chamber Music is a fantastic way to hone one’s ensemble skills. In most Chamber Music groups there will be only one player per part, giving added responsibility to the musicians.

Vocal Ensembles

Vocal Ensembles

Vocal Ensembles

The College Choir

The Newington College Choir is based at the Senior School Stanmore Campus, with selected choristers from the Prep School invited to join. Choir membership is mandatory for music scholarship holders. Therefore, many of the 90 plus vocalists are also among the most talented musicians at Newington. This said, the majority of the boys in this non-selective group are involved simply because they love singing.

The Choir rehearses and performs a variety of repertoire, though western classical art music remains at the core of the choral experience. Repertoire performed over the last 10 years has included: Requiems by Mozart and Faure; Handel’s choral anthem Zadok the Priest; Parry’s magnificent I Was Glad; Haydn’s Nelson Mass; Rutter’s Gloria; and smaller works by Tallis, Byrd, Bruckner, Palestina, Stanford, Josquin, ABBA, Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, Stephen Sondheim and John Lennon.

As well as performances at major concerts and annual prize giving, the College Choir is engaged throughout the year to help lead congregations in worship at a variety of chapel services.

Slide: Pop, Rock and Jazz

Pop, Rock and Jazz

Pop, Rock and Jazz

Pop, Rock and Jazz

Rock Bands

There are a variety of Rock Groups which operate during lunch times and after school throughout the College. These groups are arranged by ability and Year group. One of the highlights of the year in the Music Department is the annual ‘RockFest’, which gives each of the rock bands an opportunity to perform.

Junior Jazz Ensemble

This ensemble provides an introduction to jazz at the high school level. The boys in this group belong to the Year 7 Band or Concert Band and wish to begin learning about the differences between those groups and performing jazz. The boys in the Junior Jazz Ensemble look primarily at improvisation whilst also covering aspects of jazz articulation and phrasing in ensemble settings.

Intermediate Jazz Ensemble

This ensemble builds upon the skills learnt in the Junior Jazz Ensemble. The boys in this group belong to the Concert Band or Wind Orchestra and wish to continue developing their jazz playing.

Stage Bands

This ensemble is the premier Jazz Ensemble at Newington and enjoys an enviable reputation in the community. The group builds on the skills learnt in the Big Band and performs often within the school environment and at events such as he Manly Jazz Festival. In this group, boys learn the nuance of jazz phrasing and articulation as well as working on jazz improvisation.

Boys in the Stage Band must also belong to one of the major ensembles such as Wind Orchestra or Symphonic Winds.

Jazz Combo
The Jazz Combo provides an extension for boys in the Stage Band to have a concentrated session on jazz improvisation in a small group setting. This ensemble learns improvisational techniques within the context of jazz standards. The group explores the works of the jazz greats past and present.

Big Band
The Big Band is made up primarily of boys in Years 9 and 10 who are beginning to take their study of jazz seriously. They have learnt basics of jazz performance and wish to build on their skills within an ensemble setting. This group also provides boys with a guide to continue building their understanding of improvisation in a jazz context. Boys in the Big Band must also belong to one of the major ensembles such as Wind Orchestra or Symphonic Winds.

cadet band_ANZAC day

Newington College Cadet Band

After a nearly 40 year hiatus, the Newington College Cadet Unit (NCCU) Band was reformed in 2015 and has played an integral role in both the Music program and Cadet Corps at the College.

Whilst there is no evidence to suggest why the Cadet Band stopped playing in the 1970s, its reintroduction has been keenly embraced by students. Since 2015, the NCCU Band has participated in the Anzac Day March on George Street, the ‘Marrickville Remembers March’ in April and the College’s own commemoration of Anzac Day ceremony. With 38 boys from Years 7–12 involved in the Band, the College is proud to once again provide this unique music opportunity for boys.