What is VSMF?

Victorian School Music Festival

The VSMF invites school bands and orchestras to perform in some of Victoria’s premier performing spaces – Deakin Edge, Hawthorn Arts Centre, Geelong Grammar School S.P.A.C.E and Ulumburra Theatre!! Come and present the results of all that hard work and dedication of ensemble rehearsals, and experience the thrill of performing for your peers.

The festival provides schools with the opportunity to work with leading music educators as Chief Adjudicator. Watch your students transform as an adjudicator works with them (perhaps even repeating what you say…?) and see their eyes light up when they realise how well they can play when working together for the same goal.

It’s the full sensory experience; Young people making music, listening to themselves and their peers making music, watching how it can be done differently and analysing their own performance afterwards by listening to the recording provided. Teachers can measure how their students change when under the pressure of a real performance.

Festival Format

The structure of each event consists of three basic activities:

  • Performance – Ensembles perform works from a prescribed music list or guidelines. All works on the music lists have an educational focus, allowing students to experience music composed specifically for this idiom. Performing in a wonderful space like Deakin Edge will change the way students feel about performance. The pressure is on – in a good way!
  • Education – There is a panel of two adjudicators. Ensembles receive a recording of their performance with audio adjudication. Hearing what the adudicators think of your performance in real time will help teachers develop their rehearsal strategy for the rest of the year.

They also get a written adjudication as per a set of criteria developed in conjunction with music educators. Immediately after performing, each ensemble receives an “on-stage” tutorial with the Chief Adjudicator where the students work on aspects of their performance (that’s the magic bit).

  • Listening – Each ensemble listens to other groups perform within their section. The students are encouraged to use their critical and analytical listening skills. Maybe they will hear something that could be used in their own ensemble rehearsals/performances.

Benefits Of Participation

The Festivals provide the following opportunities for students and teachers:

  • A performance goal for ensembles.
  • Performing in a number of Victoria’s outstanding concert venues.
  • The opportunity to hear a performance by a number of groups of similar standard
  • The chance for students to work with leading educators from Australia and overseas
  • Professional development opportunities for ensemble directors

An Award plaque for each ensemble of Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Performance

  • Comments from a panel of experienced professional adjudicators
  • A stereo recording of their performance including adjudication comments
  • Important feedback for directors as to the overall performance and direction of their ensemble
  • Personalised video conducting tutorials for ensemble directors
  • Opportunities to network with colleagues and catch up on what others are doing and from where they get their inspiration.