Welcome to Wollongong Conservatorium
Positive Change Through Music
Our community music ensembles, which welcomes people from across the region, are a vibrant and significant part of WollCon’s programs, encouraging people with all sorts of musical abilities to be part of a group sharing their love of music.
The groups all explore a wealth of musical styles and perform across Wollongong and further afield.
For some participants it’s just the start of their music career while for others their focus is just to be part of a wonderful music community.
Curious Rendition Orchestra (CROW)
Led by David Rooney and Mark Holder-Keeping, the Curious Rendition Orchestra or CROW was conceived in 2014 with a mission to offer a Con Artists style ensemble at a slower pace for inexperienced adult musicians and comeback players. Since then CROW has developed an identity of its own. The band has appeared at Coledale Markets, Red Point Artists ‘Art on The Grass’, Jam n Bread, The Illawarra Folk Festival, Viva La Gong, HONK! Oz Festival of Street Music and the Perisher Peak Music Festival.
The Con Artists
Led by David Rooney and Mark Holder-Keeping this all-ages community band combines young up and coming students, adult community musicians, and some of the region’s most prominent folk musicians, playing dissident and celebratory folk music from around the world. Fun and irreverent, The Con Artists are a carnival of percussion, wind, brass, accordions and fiddles, which has hosted the HONK!Oz Street Music Festival in Wollongong since 2015.
Participants are usually by invitation or audition process.
Led by Trish Delaney-Brown WollCon’s Community Choir – The Conchords – is a weekly dose of all the happy hormones that come from community, connection and joining together in song! The focus is on a positive rehearsal atmosphere that encourages each member to let their voice ring, and to feel comfortable stretching themselves across a range of material that embraces pop and gospel tunes to jazz, folk and musical theatre in a safe, supportive and joyful space. The Conchords regularly perform at WollCon events and arrangements are provided along with practice tracks.
This is an un-auditioned community ensemble.
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.