Music

Music has a long tradition of excellence at Meriden, and forms an essential part of each student’s education. The school has a thriving Music department which aims to foster a love of music in every student and develop the skills of talented young musicians.

Music in the Classroom

Music is taught by specialist teachers as a classroom subject to all students from Prep to Year 8, and as an elective subject from Year 9 to Year 12. HSC students may choose to study the Music 1, Music 2 or Music Extension courses.  From time to time, visiting musicians conduct performances, workshops and master classes for various Music classes and ensembles. 

Higher School Certificate Results in Music

Meriden's Music students regularly achieve outstanding results in the HSC. Over many years most of our Year 12 Music students have achieved a result in the top band and several have received a mention in the Honours List for Music. Meriden girls are frequently nominated for their performances or compositions to appear in the Encore Concert held in the Sydney Opera House. 

Years 5/6 Music Class

As a result of the strong tradition in music at Meriden and the high number of musically-talented girls at the school, a specialist music class has been introduced in the Junior School. This class takes the form of a composite 5/6 class which, by virtue of the girls’ existing knowledge and the focus of the class, provides opportunities for the development of advanced musical concepts and shared experiences. The members of this class need to show considerable ability and interest in music as well as being academically able; they must be able to work independently and cooperatively.  Entry to the class is by application and audition. 

Junior School Instrumental Program

The Junior School instrumental program is an integral part of classroom Music lessons, facilitating advanced coverage of the prescribed Music curriculum.  The current instrumental programs include the Year 3 strings program (violin, viola, cello and double bass) and the Year 5 woodwind/brass program (flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone and tuba). 

Music Ensembles

The cocurricular program at Meriden offers a large number of performing ensembles aimed at every level of ability.  

Below is a list of Music Ensembles with a description of each ensemble and the required level. 

Junior School Ensembles

Ensemble Audition Students

Years 3 – 4 Choir                             

No All those who enjoy singing, Years 3 - 4
Years 5 – 6 Choir                     No All those who enjoy singing, Years 5-6
String Ensemble No Students who have received private string lessons for at least one year, Years 2-6
Chamber Strings Yes

Intermediate to advanced string players, Grade 3 AMEB and above, Years 4-6

Wind Ensemble   No All woodwind, brass and percussion players, Grade 1 AMEB and above, Years 3-6

Years 5-9 Combined Ensemble

Ensemble  Audition  Students
Meriden Sinfonia                                                    Yes

All string, woodwind, brass and percussion players.Grade 3 and above.This ensemble is available to girls from Years 5-9

Senior School Ensembles

Ensemble Audition Students
Choir  No All those who enjoy singing, Years 7-12 
Intermediate Singers  Yes Advanced or more experienced choral singers, Years 7-8 
Senior Singers  Yes Advanced or more experienced choral singers, Years 9-12 
Symphonic Wind Ensemble  No All woodwind, brass and percussion players, Grade 1 AMEB and above, Years 7-12 
Senior Concert Band  Yes Advanced woodwind, brass and percussion players, Grade 5 AMEB and above, Years 7-12 
Stage Band  Yes Advanced brass, saxophone, bass and percussion players, Grade 5 AMEB and above, Years 7-12 
Senior Chamber Strings  Yes Advanced string players, Grade 6 AMEB and above, Years 7-12 

Symphony Orchestra                                           

Yes Advanced string, woodwind, brass and percussion players, Grade 5-6 AMEB and above, Years 7-12 
Chamber Music  Yes

Advanced players in trios, quartets and quintets, Grade 5-6 AMEB and above.
Variety of instrumental combinations dependent on the musicians who are at this level each year. Some examples are:
- string trio, quartets, quintets
- woodwind trio, quartet, quintet
- brass quartet, quintet
- piano trio 

Chapel Band No

Contemporary Christian music – vocals, piano, guitar, bass, drums and lead instruments, 
Years 7-12 

Rock Band  Yes Rock music – vocals, piano, guitar, bass, drums and lead instruments, Years 7-12 

Music Excursions, Tours and Camps

Girls studying Music as an elective subject regularly attend performances chosen from those offered by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, Musica Viva and other major groups. The concerts chosen for our Music students are linked to various aspects of Music courses currently being studied in class. Most importantly, concerts such as provide students with an invaluable opportunity to see and hear Australia’s finest musicians perform live.

The annual Meriden Music Camp is held over three days at a venue with excellent facilities on the outskirts of the Sydney metropolitan area. All members of performing ensembles in the Senior School attend this camp, which provides an enjoyable time of intensive rehearsals away from the distractions of the normal school week. During Music Camp, Meriden’s orchestras, bands and choirs have an opportunity to improve their performance standards, sometimes with a visiting conductor.

Senior Music ensembles undertake tours from time to time.  These tours may be overseas, interstate or in regional NSW.  In addition to showcasing the ensembles, tours not only provide the opportunity to showcase our ensembles and provide our Music students with experience in this essential aspect of the life of the performing musician. 

Performance Opportunities

Music at Meriden enjoys a reputation for excellence in both ensemble and individual performance. School assemblies, community events, combined schools’ festivals and our own series of Twilight Concerts, Ensembles Concerts and Amadeus Recitals provide Meriden girls with many opportunities to perform to both small and large audiences. Meriden ensembles represent the school in eisteddfods, festivals and competitions. 

Amadeus program

The Amadeus program caters for those students in the Senior School who are involved with music at a high level in and out of school.  The program is designed to support a commitment to music, oversee each student’s musical development and to monitor and guide their academic schooling.

The objectives of the program are:

•        to provide additional support to Music students to help them to manage their studies and assessments when they have pressing musical commitments outside the school.

•        to provide a special pastoral group which meets at least once per fortnight under the guidance of a member of the music staff.

•        to provide the girls with priority of music lesson times through the Meriden Music Academy

•        to give the students the option of reducing the number of electives undertaken in Years 8 to 10 in order to free up time for music lessons, rehearsals or music practice. 

Meriden Music Academy

Private tuition is available through the Meriden Music Academy in all instruments, voice, theory, musicianship and speech and drama. Lessons are taught by qualified specialist teachers during the school day and after school. Further information here

House Music Festivals

Each year, the Houses in the Senior School prepare choral items for the House Music Festival and instrumental items for the House Arts Festival. These items are chosen by the Music Prefects and senior students in each House, who also conduct the rehearsals and performances by their respective Houses. 

Musicals

Musicals are an important part of the whole school community and aim to foster a holistic approach to the Performing Arts subjects at Meriden. Both the Junior and Senior schools regularly perform musicals and productions. The quality of the shows and standard of performance are excellent, showcasing singing, drama and dancing along with visual effects, costumes and lighting. Musical Theatre is offered as an elective to students in Year 8, allowing the students to learn the techniques involved in singing, acting, choreography and staging.