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Scotch College Symphony Orchestra

The Scotch College Symphony Orchestra has been part of Scotch College for at least forty years and has been conducted by the current Director of Music, John Ferguson, since 1991.

The orchestra rehearses for two hours on Fridays after school, with weekly sectional rehearsals of 40 minutes. Places in the orchestra are determined by audition and staff recommendation, with minimum standards for string players set at above AMEB Grade 7, with most first violins having A.Mus.A. or L.Mus.A. This is a properly balanced orchestra of some 70 or 80 players, comprising around 40 – 50 string players, along with the required wind and brass. Parts are not ‘doubled’ (except when specified by the composer), so wind players learn the art of solo playing in an orchestral context.

The aim of the orchestra is to give the students an opportunity to play classical repertoire in its original form. Repertoire for a typical year will include at least one complete symphony, plus a number of other works and concertos.

The orchestra often tours internationally.  Notable tours have included China in 1986, England, France and Belgium in 1995, 2005 and 2013, Spain in 2018, plus tours to Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United States.  The Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players have also performed in Africa, Taiwan and Shanghai.

Playing great works gives people a wonderful and lasting experience, enhancing their quality of life. Once people have played fine music, they listen to it in a totally different way.

Major performances include:

  • Foundation Day Concert
  • Autumn Concert
  • Symphony Orchestra Winter Concert
  • Summer Prom Concert


In addition there will be other performances where such opportunity arises. These may include school assemblies or performances in the wider community.