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AMEB Newsletter – June 2017

Diploma Preparation Workshop

Around 200 AMEB teachers and students spent an informative Sunday in either Canberra (28 May) or Sydney (4 June) learning a range of hints about how to successfully prepare for AMEB Associate (AMusA) or Licentiate (LMusA) examinations. Respected long-time Federal examiner, Wendy Lorenz, gave a morning session offering tips on program selection, general knowledge preparation, the most common areas of deficiency and unpacking what the syllabus objectives mean in terms of performance expectations.

The afternoon session was a chance to tackle instrument-specific issues for all instruments and in the Sydney session, attendees were lucky enough to gain from the wisdom of a variety of teachers with outstanding track records of success in preparing students at this elite level.

Purchase a recording

Teachers and students who would like to purchase a recording of the Diploma Preparation Workshop morning session can do so via the AMEB (NSW) shop portal on AMEB Connect NSW or contact our office on 9367 8456. The recording of the 90 minute general information session plus notes and handouts from the instrument-specific sessions held in the afternoon is available as a DVD for $20 plus postage. Recordings on USB will be available shortly. Keep checking the online shop on AMEB Connect NSW for availability.


We congratulate the candidates who have already successfully passed their practical AMusA or LMusA in the First Metropolitan round. This is the first year in which the Licentiate examinations are offered in the April to June examination period and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive about this new option available to Licentiate candidates. The dozens of successful candidates so far this year have ranged in age from 10 to 51, with success in diploma examinations ranging from piano and violin to oboe and singing.

Win tickets!

Our friends at Sydney Youth Orchestra have 5 double passes to their upcoming concert on Saturday 5 August 2017 to give away, worth $100 each. To enter, find how many times the word "allegro" is hidden in this newsletter, then complete your entry form here before 11:00pm on Sunday 23 July. More information about the concert can be found in our Opportunities section at the end of the newsletter.

AMEB Congratulates Our Encore Perforformers

Mitzi Garner
Photo: Mitzi Garner,
courtesy of Anthony Browell

On Monday 20 March, talented HSC students from the 2016 examination year performed at the annual Encore concert in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House. Of the 20 featured composers or performers chosen to be showcased at this year's concert, 14 are AMEB alumni. These talented teenagers have passed a total of 107 AMEB examinations during their formative years, and four of the featured musicians (including Mitzi Gardner, photograph) have also achieved an AMEB LMusA Diploma. We wish them every success for an exciting and promising future in the arts.



AMEB (NSW) Presentation Ceremony

Presentation Ceremony

On Sunday 12 March 2017, the achievements of 262 diploma candidates and 14 teachers were celebrated for their results in the 2016 calendar year. Successful candidates and teachers received their diplomas, medals and awards at our annual ceremony with Mrs Linda Hurley as our guest presenter. A singer and passionate supporter of the arts, Mrs Hurley has fulfilled an active and important role in the past three years as wife of His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd), Governor of New South Wales.

Mrs Hurley and His Excellency have three children, all of whom successfully completed AMEB examinations during their music studies. She shared her insights into arts education and encouraged our diploma recipients to continue to pursue music as an important part of their lives, no matter what career they pursue at a tertiary level and beyond.

2016 Speech and Drama awards
2016 AMusA awards
2016 LMusA awards
2016 Teaching Awards

Gunnedah Conservatorium

Gunnedah Conservatorium

Senior Information Officer, Melinda Rollason, joined Conservatorium director, Rebecca Ryan and the staff at Gunnedah Conservatorium on Saturday 8 April 2017 to celebrate the official opening on their new facilities in the former Gunnedah Town Hall. With the support of the local Shire Council, this is a welcomed change of location from their old premises, which was an old veterinary practice in a side street of Gunnedah. Taking pride of place in cultural precinct on the main street of Gunnedah, the Conservatorium is a spacious facility with plenty of room for both private lessons and group music classes across two levels. The community showed up in large numbers to celebrate the opening, and crowds were entertained throughout the day by classical music students through to Contemporary Popular Music (CPM) rock ensembles and student choirs.

Rocking On In The Northern Beaches

Rocking On In The Northern Beaches

AMEB (NSW) were present at a Contemporary Music Awards Night in May to present certificates and congratulate Oxford Falls Grammar School students who successfully passed their Rockschool examinations in 2016. Throughout the night, students and parents enjoyed a concert where selected outstanding rock musicians showcased their talents. This K-12 school is a long-time supporter of the Rockschool syllabus and to date, over 250 Oxford Falls Grammar students have passed Rockschool examinations in Guitar, Bass, Drums and Voice.

Recorded Accompaniments

Recorded Accompaniments

AMEB continue to roll out recorded accompaniments for a select range of AMEB syllabuses to accompany the most recent edition of grade books. At present, these are available up to (but not above) grade 3 for:

Backing CDs can be purchased from the AMEB (NSW) Shop portal, which can be accessed via AMEB Connect NSW.

Backing tracks that accompany the grade books can also be used for examination purposes in all grades for:

It is important to note, however, that live accompaniment is always preferable if this option is available. This offers a student the option of a higher level of control over the tempo and dynamics of their performance, and a better opportunity to develop their unique musical expression and ensemble skills.

If, due to necessity, the option of a backing track is chosen it is VITAL to understand that it is the responsibility of the candidate and their family to bring their playback equipment (and speakers if required) to the examination. Playback equipment is NOT provided and cannot be expected at any examination venue

To assist the candidate, it is recommended that:

  1. candidates using backing tracks bring a support person who can operate the equipment for them. This person will enter the room to expedite the playing of the program, set up swiftly and play the tracks for the candidate. They are to remain only for the pieces that require the recorded accompaniment.
  2. the equipment can potentially generate a volume equal to that of a piano. It is detrimental to the candidate's performance if the output cannot adequately complement the soloist at all dynamic levels.

AMEB (NSW) Centenary

Centenary certificate

Did you know that next year will mark 100 years of AMEB in New South Wales? This occasion will be celebrated with a Centenary Concert and cocktail party and successful candidates will receive a special commemorative certificate or diploma during the year of our centenary.

We would love to hear from any teachers or examiners who have any AMEB (NSW) memorabilia or interesting anecdotes from this 100 year span of Australian arts history from relatives or friends who remember examinations "back in the day". Please contact AMEB (NSW) by telephone or email if you would like to contribute to our Centenary celebrations in either of these ways.

Examiner In The Spotlight

Brendan Collins

Congratulations to Brendan Collins, who was recently appointed to the role of AMEB (NSW) Chief Brass Examiner. Brendan takes on this position following the retirement of Peter Walmsley OAM, who served as the AMEB (NSW) Brass Advisor for over 30 years.

Brendan is currently also the Composer-in-Residence at Barker College and his works have been performed and recorded by some of the world's leading soloist and ensembles. These include Rex Richardson, Steve Rosse, Judith Saxton, Dave Elton, Matthew Van Emmerik, The President's Own Brass (US) and Altena Brass (The Netherlands).

International trumpet soloist Richard Stoelzel has recently recorded Brendan's trumpet concerto in Poland for CD, due for release later this year on the prestigious Summit Brass label.

Brendan's composition Concert Gallop was selected as the 'Test' piece for the 2017 International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition, Pennsylvania, USA. His works are musically appealing as well as technically challenging and are proving to be very popular as 'Test' works for international competitions. In 2015 he was commissioned to compose a 'Test' piece for the inaugural World Association of Trumpet Solo Competition, Meppen, Germany.

Opportunities for teachers and students

Playing for a Cure - A concert in support of HIV/AIDS care at St Vincent's Hospital Sydney

Playing for a Cure

Renowned musicians James Muir (piano), Julian Smiles (cello) and Dimity Hall (violin) will perform in this special fundraising concert for chamber music lovers.

Sunday 3 December 2017 3pm to 5pm
Verbrugghen Hall Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Join Australian concert pianist James Muir and the founders of the Goldner String Quartet, Julian Smiles and Dimity Hall, for a Sunday afternoon of sublime music as they perform selected works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Miriam Hyde. Funds raised will support HIV/AIDS treatment, patient care and research at St Vincent's Hospital Sydney. Read more.

2018 Applications Close Friday 30 June

Help us find the best young musicians in the country. Applications for AYO's 2018 instrumental programs close this Friday, and we invite Australia's finest young musicians aged 12–30 years to be part of the incredible opportunities on offer. Read more.

St Mary's Cathedral Choir Scholarships

St Mary's Cathedral Choir Scholarships

St Mary's Cathedral Choir are currently auditioning fun-loving and musical boys to begin Year 3 as choristers in 2018 and 2019. In addition to a full tuition scholarship to attend St Mary's Cathedral College, Choristers receive a first-class musical education and benefit from myriad of unforgettable experiences. Read more.

Call out - Song writing competition

Call out - Song writing competition

Speak up for justice! The Law Society of New South Wales invites entries in our Just Music competition. Enter an original instrumental and/or lyrical work in any genre, on the theme of 'justice'. Individual, duo and group entries are welcome. Finalists will be showcased at a charity concert in September at the City Recital Hall in support of Bara Barang Corporation Ltd. Entries close 31 July. Read more.

Sydney Youth Orchestra

Sydney Youth Orchestra<

Come and enjoy an evening of ambitious and virtuostic repertoire, the sombre and dramatic Dvorák Symphony No. 7 and the fresh and dazzling Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. Performed in the magnificent surrounds of the Sydney Town Hall by The Sydney Youth Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Briger AO, this concert  features SYO alumna and member of the London Symphony orchestra Naoko Keatley. Read more.

The Womens' College Music Scholarships

The Womens' College Music Scholarships

Music scholarship opportunities for students interested in studying either performance or composition at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney are now open. Visit the Women's College website to apply for the 2018 academic year. Submissions close at 5 pm on Tuesday 3 October 2017. Read more.

Kids at the Con: Holiday Workshops July 2017

Kids at the Con

Our holiday workshops are back in 2017! Join us on Tues 4 or Wed 5 July for our fun and interactive music sessions for 3-10 year olds. Be sure to enrol now to grab one of the last spots available! Read more.

Theme & Variations Exam Workshop

Theme & Variations Exam Workshop

Our friends at Theme & Variations Piano School are proud to provide a piano exam workshop in the lead up to the August AMEB exams. The workshops will be held on 16 and 23 July at their Willoughby showroom. Bookings essential. Read more.

Musicianship Classes for Adults

Musicianship Classes for Adults

These intensive 8-week courses will take you through the Grades 1 to 6 of AMEB Musicianship, with added materal applying the theory to both classical and contemporary music. Discover new skills or refresh old ones - fill in the gaps in your musical knowledge. Read more.

Bodytune Workshops

Bodytune Workshops

Perfect for music teachers and musicians, learn safe and practical approaches to achieving better balance and coordination in the Bodytune professional workshops. Spaces are limited - book your spot today. Read more.

Band File - open faced music folder

Band File - open faced music folder

International Stationery Exhibition Award-Winning Products
We do retail and wholesale
Special price for AMEB teachers and students
Read more.

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