The Academy

The Academy - Chamber music ensemble coffs HarbourLaunched in 2014, The Academy is a chamber music program for talented students across the Coffs region who have reached the equivalent of Grade 6 or higher in their instrument.

Students come together on Monday afternoons during term time to rehearse for 90 minutes, covering a wide range of skills, music and topics. The Academy performs at least once per term at the Conservatorium and throughout the local region.

When: Mondays 5-6pm

Where: Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium Performance Space

Recommended standard: AMEB Grade 6+ or equivalent.

Cost: $130 per term

Enrolments are now open. To enquire about becoming a member of The Academy, please call the office on 6652 1592 or send us a message.

Also, make sure you check our other ensembles.  We have many options for Coffs Harbour musicians who would like to join a band, including the Coffs Con Stage Band, The Coffs Coast Youth OrchestraThe Junior AcademyYoung Strummers (our youth guitar ensemble) and the Adult Guitar Ensemble

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I play with The Academy?

Entry to the Academy is by audition or invitation only. Don’t let this scare you though! This brilliant ensemble offers incredible learning and performance opportunities to students from AMEB grade 6 and above. We welcome students from all over the region who learn an orchestral instrument (if you learn contemporary or jazz music fear not, we’ve got an ensemble for you as well!) and especially encourage students who aren’t enrolled in the Con to get in touch to discuss any opportunities or entry requirements.

What do I get from being a member of The Academy?

Not only will you benefit from playing glorious chamber music with other musicians at a similar advanced level, you will also have the opportunity to work with the Con’s Director, Pat Brearley and Academy Director, Annabelle Swainston. At various times during the year, students of The Academy are given first priority to play with touring artists in workshops and masterclasses at no extra charge.

Students of The Academy learn the following skills:

  • Musical interpretation
  • Listening in an ensemble context
  • Performance and how to cope with performance anxiety
  • The role of their chosen instrument in various ensembles
  • Harmony and the effects achieved through different combinations of instruments
  • Historical context of ensemble compositions
  • Unusual instrument combinations
  •  Bringing solo instruments into a team playing environment
  •  Communicating with an audience

How much time will I have to commit to The Academy?

Rehearsals for The Academy’s performances are 60 minutes per week, on a Monday afternoon from 5-6pm.

The Academy is an exceptional opportunity for young musicians to benefit from tutors and performance opportunities you would usually only find in a university or professional musical environment. So, we expect students to do sufficient practice at home and attend all rehearsals in order to maintain their membership.