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Performance Music Program

Performance Music Students



Sunshine Beach SHS is a School of Excellence in Music.  We have a very busy and successful Music Department which consists of the Classroom Music Program and the Performance Music Program which compliment each other and are integrated as much as possible.

In 2016 we had a very successful year.  The more notable achievements of our students included being awarded numerous places at the Sunshine Coast Junior Eisteddfod for both vocal and instrumental ensembles, our Percussion Ensemble (Sonors) and String Orchestra being selected as regional finalists in Fanfare, and our team-building camp at Luther Heights.   None of this was achieved without an enormous amount of dedication and hard-work from all the students involved.

2017 promises to be just as fabulous! 


The teachers


For 2017, the Music staff will be:

Helen Leyden – Head of Department

Conducting Junior and Senior Percussion Ensemble

Tel. 5440 4294

David Allan  – Director of Music

Teaching Years 8,10,11,12 Music

Teaching the String Program and conducting the String Orchestras

Tel. 54 404 215

Charlotte Bradshaw

Teaching Year 8 Music and teaching the Junior Vocal students and conducting the Junior Choir

Tel. 54 404 215

Vivienne Ellis – Choral Director

Teaching Years 7 & 9 Music and teaching the Years 9-12 vocal students, and conducting the Vocal Group

Tel. 5440 4215

Calvin Hunter -  Instrumental Music Instructor

Teaching Woodwind, Brass and Percussion and conducting the Concert Band & Black Pearls Percussion Ensemble - at school on Mondays & Wednesday mornings

Tel. 5440 4215

Bruce Barnett – Instrumental Music Teacher

Teaching Woodwind, Brass and Percussion and conducting the Stage Band - at school on Mondays & Thursdays

Tel. 5440 4215. 




Lessons are available on all woodwind, brass and percussion instruments- as well as orchestral strings, and voice.  Note that percussion involves all types of percussion instrument and does not focus on the drum kit.  Vocal lessons are available for a limited number of students.  Students audition for these places early each semester.

Lessons are held during school time on a rotating basis so that students are not missing the same lesson regularly.  Senior students have their lessons after 1.40pm as much as possible, to minimize time out of class.  There are a few instances where this has not been possible. Timetables are finalised during the first couple of weeks and are emailed home, as well as being placed on the school website.  It is the student’s responsibility to maintain “good academic standing” (handing in all tasks, catching up any missed work) and to speak to their class teacher each week to let them know that they have a music lesson.  It is sometimes necessary to re-schedule a music lesson due to class assessment or an excursion.  In these cases, please see the respective teacher as far in advance as possible.  

Students are assessed on their instrument and the results are part of the normal school reporting.




The school ensembles are the backbone of our program.  There are four permanent ensembles, as well as other smaller groups which come together for special events (such as the eisteddfod).  Attendance at rehearsals and performances is compulsory.  If a student cannot attend one week for a “valid” reason please contact the conductor as soon as possible.

CONCERT BAND – Concert Band is the “official” school ensemble.  It is a large ensemble containing the full range of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments.  It is a requirement of Education Queensland that all students learning a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument at school must be part of the concert band once they are of an appropriate standard.  The concert band rehearses once a week, on Monday afternoons, from 3.00 to 4.30 pm.  The repertoire is predominantly popular with some light classics.

STRING ORCHESTRA – This ensemble is compulsory for Year 10-12 students learning a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, double bass) and rehearses each week on Friday afternoon from 3.00 – 4.30 pm.  This group will also contain, at times, a piano and percussion instruments.  Year 7-9 students who are of sufficient standard may also be invited to join.

VOCAL GROUP – This ensemble is compulsory for all students learning voice. A large group of singers (male and female) who rehearse Wednesday afternoons from 3.00 to 4.15 pm.  There are also smaller ensembles that are formed throughout the year

STAGE BAND – Essentially a jazz big band, playing a variety of styles including jazz, rock and funk.  Stage Band rehearses Thursday afternoons from 3.00 to 4.30 pm.  Entry to this group is by invitation only.

PERCUSSION ENSEMBLES  –  These ensembles are available for all students who learn a percussion instrument and/or piano.  This group gives students the opportunity to play both tuned and untuned percussion instruments.  Rehearsal time for the Junior percussion ensemble - Black Pearls is Wednesday morning at 7.55 am.  The Ludwigs rehearse every Friday morning at 7.50 am.  The Senior percussion ensemble - Sonors rehearses either Tuesday or Thursday morning before school (7.50 to 8.50 am) – on a rotating basis.

JUNIOR SECONDARY ORCHESTRA – This ensemble is compulsory for Year 7-9 students learning a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, double bass) and rehearses each week on Monday morning from 7.50 to 8.40 am.  Year 10 students may also choose to join in a mentoring position.

MIDDLE SCHOOL BAND – This group is made up of all the instrumentalists in the Year 7 and 8 Music Excellence classes and rehearses during class time on Friday afternoons during Semester 2.

JUNIOR SECONDARY CONCERT BAND - This ensemble is for Year 7 & 8 students who are learning a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument.  This group rehearse weekly on a Thursday morning at 7.50 am.


Home practise

  • Beginners will benefit from a short practice (10-15 mins) each day
  • A typical student who is in one of the ensembles should be looking to practice for half an hour most days.
  • Advanced students (and those who play more than one instrument) should be approaching an hours’ practice most days.



Each ensemble performs a number of times each year. It is a requirement that all members are present for every performance.  We have some major competitions and performances coming up this year. They include the rehearsal and team-building camp in March, Fanfare (May) and the Eisteddfod (August).  Dates will be given out as soon as they are known.


Performance uniform


All ensembles and students performing as part of Sunshine Beach SHS must wear our performance uniform.  There will be a small cost involved with the uniform hire (see Fees).

GIRLS – A long black dress is provided.  Girls will need to provide fully black enclosed shoes with black stockings (or knee highs).  No neck or wrist jewellery is to be worn with the uniform. Earrings should be plain sleepers or studs.  Hair bands, ribbons, ties etc must be black.  Warning – DO NOT use spray deodorants or use excessive roll-on while wearing the dress as they stain and students are financially responsible for the cleaning of their uniforms.

BOYS – A long sleeved white shirt and vest are provided.  Boys will need to provide black trousers (not jeans or cargo pants etc), fully black enclosed shoes, black socks.

The uniforms (especially the vests and dresses) are quite delicate and require some special care.  Dresses may be machine washed on a gentle cycle only if they are in a delicates bag.  Vests must not be machine washed at all.  Shirts will not survive a hot iron.

All uniforms will be due back to school immediately after the break up concert in mid November.  It would be appreciated if they could be dry cleaned at this time.  Uniforms returned dirty or stained will be returned to the student for further cleaning. 




There are some small fees involved with the Performance Music Program.

  1. General Performance Levy – There is a cost of $25 per year for each program a student is involved in.  For example, a student having lessons on flute and voice would pay $50 per year.  This goes towards the cost of subscribing to the regional music library, purchasing music, and maintaining ensemble equipment (stands, banners etc).  Please consider that the current rate for a private music lesson is $30 per half hour!  
  2. Uniform Levy – There is a cost of $25 per student to assist towards the replacement of uniform items as they wear out.
  3. Instrument Loan – There is a fee of $60 per year for students who have use of a school instrument.  This goes towards eventual replacement.


These will by invoiced by the school.