Victoria School Music Festival
Hawthorn Arts Centre

Sponsors and Partners:

  • Fine Music
  • Hal Leonard
  • Yamaha
  • World Projects
  • D'Addario
  • John Travers Photography
  • Australian National Choral Association
  • Manhasset
  • Aboda
  • Rock School
  • Australian Music Examinations Board

2020 VSMF Dates:

August 2020 Update

Due to the continued COVID-19 situation in many states of Australia and the current guidelines
regarding public gathering and restrictions on venues, the 2020 VSMF will now be an online event
throughout Term 3 & 4

We want your students to still have the experience of performing and having their performances
adjudicated and streamed for friends and family to watch.

Each ensemble is to create a video with high quality audio (Please go to for details).
Submission are to be recorded as if it was a live performance. No editing, merging of tracks or effects
should be added to the recording.

At the start of your video your ensemble must introduce School name, ensemble and section, and
program as a live performance. Here is a chance to have your student leadership take a role.
The dates listed below are the cut off dates for you to submit your video for adjudication and streaming.
All performances will be streamed the in Term 4, details of streaming schedule to be advised.
Online Registrations will open on Monday August 24th 9am & close Thursday August 27th 2020.

Jazz Ensemble – Videos can be submitted between Friday September 18th – Friday October 16th

Junior Jazz, Intermediate Jazz & Senior Jazz

(Senior Jazz Ensembles will also have an options to register for an onsite adjudication and performance
workshop at their own venue, Dr. Rob Mc Williams (Jazz Music Institute QLD) Brisbane.)

Orchestra – Videos can be submitted between Friday September 18th – Friday October 16th

Beginner Strings, Junior Strings, Intermediate Strings, Senior Strings & Symphony Orchestra

Concert Band (Beginner, Novice, Junior, Intermediate & Advanced Concert Band) – Videos can be
submitted between Friday September 18th – Friday October 16th

(Advanced Concert Bands have the option to register for an onsite adjudication and performance
workshop at their own venue, Dr. Rob McWilliams, Education Outreach Clinician for Yamaha Music
Australia will be available for onsite workshops in Brisbane. (Other states upon request.)

Choir – Videos can be submitted between Friday September 18th – Friday October 16th

Upper Primary, Junior Secondary, Open Secondary

Purchase Orders

All purchase orders should be made out to:

Hal Leonard Music Foundation
ABN 13 085 333 713
4 Lentara Crt
Cheltenham, Vic, 3192

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 and Geelong Grammar School S.P.A.C.E. 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