Victoria School Music Festival
Hawthorn Arts Centre

Created & Produced by:

Fine Music

Sponsors and Partners:

  • Hal Leonard
  • Yamaha
  • D'Addario
  • Aboda
  • Australian National Choral Association
  • Manhasset
  • Redbook Photography
  • Brassbanned

VSMF Dates:

Registration Details

Online registrations for the VSMF July, August & September sessions are now closed. If you like to go onto the waiting list please email 

Registrations for the November Young Band section will open on Monday September 9th

Adminstration & Purchase Orders

Change of Details for 2024

All purchase orders should be made out to:

Fine Music
ABN 69 949 235 582
228 Auburn Road
Hawthorn, Vic, 3122

All Festival enquires can be direct to Michael Jongebloed or call 0398188520

What is VSMF?

Victorian School Music Festival

The Victorian School Music Festival involves school bands, orchestras, jazz ensembles and choirs in performing in some of Victoria’s premier performing spaces – Hawthorn Arts Centre, Christian College Geelong and many others.

Performing at VSMF is the full sensory experience with young musicians performing on stage in their ensemble, receiving given immediate feedback on stage from a highly skilled adjudicator. Participants are involved in listening to others in performance, watching how it can be done differently with opportunities to analyse their own performance back at school by listening to the recording and watching the video provided. Teachers can measure how their students change when under the pressure of a real performance. 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.

After their performance, conductors are given the opportunity to work backstage with a skilled conducting clinician, reviewing video footage and engaging in conversation.

Take VSMF as an opportunity to get timely and relevant feedback on how your ensembles are progressing, how you can enhance teaching and learning in your rehearsals.

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 spaces 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 adjudicators 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).
  • 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
  • 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.
  • An Award plaque for each ensemble of Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Performance