2023 Northern Beaches Instrumental Festival
The aim of the Festival is to provide a formal, non-competitive performance opportunity for ensembles that is a positive and encouraging experience.
The Festival is held in June, towards the end of Term 2 at Pittwater High School, with the Stage Band Festival at Harbord Public School. The entire festival is co-hosted by the Northern Beaches Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Northern Beaches Orchestra, the Northern Beaches Symphonic Youth Band, and the Northern Beaches Concert Band, and all proceeds from the festival go back into community music.
Performances are held in small blocks of ensembles so that the students will have the opportunity to listen to other groups. Students remain in the hall with their ensemble for all the performances in their time allocation. (This will be approximately 1-1.6 hours in total). This gives every ensemble performing a large and interested audience.
Schools entering more than one ensemble will have each one programmed in a separate block. The intention is for students and their families to have the opportunity to listen to groups from other schools. Within each block we will also vary the nominated levels of the ensembles to avoid direct comparisons. While professional feedback is provided this is not a competition but a festival celebrating our music making on the Northern Beaches and beyond.
Each ensemble will perform 3 pieces at an appropriate grade. Their performance will be recorded for their future use and a short workshop by an experienced appraiser will be held on stage at the conclusion of their performance. The appraiser also makes comment on the recording.
Availability of tickets.
Non performing audience members can purchase tickets at the door for $5.00 per adult, $3.00 concession or $10.00 per family. These tickets are valid for the entire festival and entitle the holder to entry to the Gala Concert. Tickets are not available for pre-purchase.
To take part in the 2023 Northern Beaches Instrumental Festival, please fill in our Online Application Form. Applications close 30th April 2023.
- You will need to complete a separate application for each ensemble
- The cost is $100 per ensemble.
- If you have multiple ensembles and you would like them to appear on a single invoice, make a note of this on the application forms. Normally you will be sent a separate invoice for each ensemble.
- The application fee is not refundable.
- If you intend to pay the application fee through the Department of Education's centralised finance system, you need to provide us with a valid Department of Education and Communities purchase order number. We will then invoice the department directly (you can also use the school's credit card if you need to).
- We do our best to assign you to sessions that you indicate as a preference, but when there are conflicting requirements, some compromises may be necessary.
Festival Information for Participating Ensemble Directors
Ensemble members MUST arrive at least 20 minutes prior to the start of the session they are performing in. Please let them know that parking can be difficult so to allow time. Arrange to meet outside the hall at Pittwater High School. You will be directed to storage for instrument cases. There are short breaks between sessions to facilitate movement in and out of the hall. Musicians will be required to sit with their ensemble for the entire session (approx 80 minutes in most cases).
There will be a short allocated time period for each ensemble to tune in the holding room. Please keep the scheduled time as other ensembles will need to tune after yours. A quick warm up on stage is permissible. Please make sure all electronic instruments are in tune prior to getting on to the stage.
Ensembles will move from hall seating straight on to the stage to perform, do a short workshop and then return to their seats until released at the end of the session. It is expected that performers will NOT leave the hall so that all ensembles have a full and interested audience. We have made the sessions fairly short for this reason. Please stress this to parents, as they are inclined to try to remove their child as soon as they have performed.
Non performing audience members can purchase tickets at the door for $5.00 per adult, $3.00 concession or $10.00 per family. These tickets are valid for the entire festival and entitle the holder to entry to the Gala Concert.
Please supply a labelled photocopy of your scores for use by the appraiser prior to the start of your session. These should be given to the appraiser's desk on arrival. This will be returned to you with notes/recording. In addition each ensemble will receive a plaque in recognition of their participation.
Encourage your ensemble members to recognise, respect and appreciate the efforts made by the other ensembles. We have deliberately timetabled the sessions so that a variety of levels of ensembles perform in each session.
Please be mindful of the time limitations and be as efficient as possible in organising your ensemble on and off stage. Members of the NBSWE, NBO, NBSYB and NBCB will be acting as ushers and stage hands to assist you with this.
Light refreshments will be available throughout the festival at the canteen.
Finally... don't get too stressed and feel free to ask for help from our experienced musical crew. This festival is about celebrating music on the Northern Beaches and is meant to be a fun and positive experience for all involved!
The Northern Beaches Instrumental Festival is co-hosted by the Northern Beaches Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Northern Beaches Orchestra, the Northern Beaches Symphonic Youth Band and the Northern Beaches Concert Band. It has been kindly supported by Mona Vale Music (www.monavalemusic.com), who provide recording facilities and post production for a reference copy of each ensemble's performance, along with the appraiser's comments. The Festival is also sponsored by Pittwater High School (pittwater-h.schools.nsw.gov.au), Northern Beaches Secondary College Cromer Campus (nbsccromer-h.schools.nsw.gov.au) and Harbord Public School (harbord-p.schools.nsw.gov.au), who kindly allow use of their facilities and equipment.
The Northern Beaches Instrumental Festival was first held in June 2012 as an afternoon event. It was so popular that in August of the same year, a two day Festival was held to allow other bands to take part. In 2013, the Festival added a whole day of Strings and Orchestras, under the guidance of the Northern Beaches Orchestra. The Festival continued to grow, and in 2014 was held over four days. In 2015, we celebrated the addition of Stage Bands to the Festival. Now in its twelth year, the Festival has become one of the main performance focuses for Concert Bands, Stage Bands and String Ensembles on the Northern Beaches.