Welcome to Wollongong Conservatorium
Positive Change Through Music
Classical Programs + Pathways
WollCon has a long history of teaching classical music to young musicians with the introduction of the Suzuki method in 1974, which saw a large injection of enrolments including the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Artistic Director Richard Tognetti.
The outstanding string orchestra program of the 1980s led to the formation of WollCon’s BlueScope Youth Orchestra and remains the driving force for developing our local young orchestral talent.
Now strengthened with the newly introduced Junior Strings program (since 2021), young string players can gain ensemble experience from an early age.
Adult players can also learn and play a range of classical repertoire with others in either the Five Islands String Orchestra (adult string musicians) or the Conservatorium Community Orchestra (mixed ages).
Individual Music Lessons
We provide access to the finest musical instrument lessons in the Illawarra. Students interested in exploring tenets of Classical Music, from beginner to experienced, have the opportunity to be taught one-on-one by expert musicians and teachers on a vast array of instruments.
Junior Strings Program
The Junior Strings Program (JSP) provides a strong musical foundation for young students (aged 8 years and over) at WollCon who are learning a string instrument. The program is a year long commitment where dedicated students will be fully immersed in a musical experience and includes music theory and history lessons. From the very start students will be placed in an appropriate ensemble to begin developing group playing skills as well as building their musical community. Ensembles pathways include Primrose Training Orchestra, Meyer Double Bass Ensemble and Llewellyn String Orchestra.
To enrol for the Junior Strings program please check the relevant box in the enrolment form.
BlueScope Youth Orchestra (BSYO)
The BlueScope Youth Orchestra has been one of the flagship performing ensembles of the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music for over 35 years, providing performance opportunities and orchestral training to the youth of the Illawarra region and surrounding areas. It currently has players aged 14 to 21 years of age and is conducted by Nigel Edwards. The Orchestra performs regularly within Wollongong and surrounding areas, often bringing together other musical groups and societies to share concerts. Annual tours are also part of the program, visiting regional areas within NSW and Australia. Every third year there is the opportunity for the orchestra to tour internationally.
Entry is by audition,and students are required to be at least 6th Grade AMEB.
Five Islands String Orchestra (FISO)
FISO is for violin, viola, cello, and bass players aged 18 and over who are looking to strengthen their ensemble skills while connecting with other developing adult string players in the community. This is a comprehensive class where participants will work towards a greater understanding of orchestral string playing. There is a focus on classical styles, however participants can expect to play a wide range of styles throughout their time in the group. Participants are required to have at least one year of experience on their instruments and be able to play a one octave D major, G major, and C major scale. This is an ideal opportunity for adult string players to gain invaluable ensemble experience while building connections in our local music community.
WollCon Community Orchestra
Our Community Orchestra is an inclusive all-ages (from 12 yrs) community orchestra. The orchestra exists for the benefit of musicians in and around the Illawarra Region and South Coast, following a long tradition of community-based orchestras in the region. Members of the Conservatorium Community Orchestra have played in the original Illawarra Symphony Orchestra, The South Coast Orchestra, The Wollongong Symphony, Wollongong Community Orchestra and Steel City Strings. No audition is required. Players from intermediate to advanced are invited to participate (there may be limited places for woodwind, brass, percussion). The Community Orchestra rehearses during term and plays at least four concerts per year.