Performance music program



Sunshine Beach SHS is a School of Excellence in Music. We have a very busy and successful Music Department, consisting of the Classroom Music Program and the Performance Music Program which complement each other and are integrated as much as possible.  2020 and 2021 have been very disjointed years, however our students still performed well.  This year we are hoping that Fanfare and the Eisteddfod will both be able to be held in full form.  We are also planning our first ever Intermediate Music Tour, in place of our usual biennial Music Camp.

The teachers

David Allan – Head of Department
Teaching Years 7, 8, 10 & 11 Music. Conducting the Concert String Orchestra
Tel: 54404218
Email: au   (

Katherine Brandt - Instrumental Music Co-ordinator
Teaching brass and woodwind students. Conducting the Wind Symphony, Big Band and Brass Ensemble. Kat also teaches Year 7, 8, 9 and 12 Music Extension 
Tel. 5440 4218

Kay Ellsum – Classroom teacher (on leave)
Teaching Years 7 & 8 Music Excellence and Year 8 Music
Tel. 5440 4215

Helen Leyden – Deputy Principal (Teaching and Learning)
Conducting “The Sonors” percussion 
Tel. 5440 4255
Adam Friend - Classroom teacher
Teaching Year 8 music
Tel. 5440 4215

Jordan Buma - Classroom teacher
Teaching Years 8 and 11 Music and guitar students
Tel. 5440 4215

Andrew Burns - Vocal teacher
Tel. 5440 4215
Kristin Kelly – Instrumental music teacher
Teaching strings and conducting the Junior String Ensemble
At school Mondays and Wednesdays
Tel. 5440 4215
Alice Thomlin - Instrumental music teacher
Teaching Woodwind and Brass and condcting the Swing Band
At school Wednesdays and Fridays
Tel. 5440 4215

Kristi Nagelli - Instrumental Music teacher
Teaching percussion and conducting 'The Black Pearls" percussion ensemble
At school Tuesdays only
Tel. 5440 4215
Luke Coonan - Instrumental music teacher
Teaching brass and woodwind and conducting Concert Band
At school on Tuesday afternoons only
Tel. 5440 4215



Lessons are available on all woodwind, brass and percussion instruments, as well as orchestral strings and voice and guitar. Note that percussion involves all types of percussion instruments and does not focus on the drum kit. Vocal and guitar lessons are available for a limited number of students.

Lessons are held during school time on a rotating basis so that students are not missing the same subject with high frequency. Senior students have their lessons after 1.40pm as much as possible, to minimise 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.

The school ensembles are the backbone of our program. It is a requirement of Education Queensland that all students learning a woodwind, brass, percussion or stringed instrument at school must be a member of one of the core ensembles once they are of an appropriate standard. Attendance at rehearsals is compulsory and is a year long commitment.

Core ensembles
Wind Symphony – This is the senior large ensemble containing the full range of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. Entry is via audition only; students are eligible to audition for a position in this group once they reach level 5 of the Instrumental Music curriculum. The Wind Symphony rehearses once a week, on Monday afternoons, from 3.00 to 4.30 pm.
Concert Band - This ensemble is compulsory for students learning a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument who are at level 3 or 4 of the Instrumental Music curriculum and for students above this level who have not yet been offered a position in Wind Symphony. Rehearsals are Tuesday afternoons from 3.00 to 4.30 pm.
Concert Strings – This ensemble is compulsory for students learning a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, double bass) who are at level 6 and above of the Instrumental Music curriculum and rehearses each week on Friday afternoon from 3.00 – 4.30 pm. Students who are at Level 5 may be offered a position if available.
Junior String Ensemble – This ensemble is compulsory for students learning a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, double bass) who are at levels 1 to 4 of the Instrumental Music curriculum and for those on level 5 who have not yet been offered a position in Concert Strings. Rehearsals are on Monday mornings from 7.50 to 8.40 am.
Choir – This ensemble is open to all students, and is compulsory for all students who learn voice at school.  Rehearsals are Wednesday afternoons from 3.00 to 4.15 pm.

Elective ensembles
Big Band – stage band, playing a variety of styles including jazz, rock and funk. Entry to this group is by invitation only.
Swing Band – stage band, playing a variety of styles including jazz, rock and funk for our students in middle school. 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. These groups give students the opportunity to play both tuned and untuned percussion instruments.
Supertonics - The Supertonics are a small vocal ensemble of up to 16 voices, across all grades, specialising in a capella vocal music. Entry to this group is by invitation/audition only.
Brass Ensemble – a small group of brass students from across all grades. Entry to this group is by invitation only.
A student may not participate in an elective ensemble unless they also participate in a core ensemble. There are rare circumstances where this may not be possible and these will be assessed by the Head of Department on a case-by-case basis. Students who are receiving private tuition may apply for any of the above ensembles.
Students who are in a percussion ensemble while they await a position becoming available in a core ensemble MUST take up the offered position or forfeit their place in the percussion ensemble and program. All members of percussion ensembles who are first study percussionists (not learning another instrument at school) must attend percussion lessons at school. Students in percussion ensemble who are not primarily percussionists are encouraged to have percussion lessons as a second study.
DET policy mandates that membership in an ensemble is dependent both on attendance at lessons and also rehearsals. If either of these requirements is not met, a student may be withdrawn from lessons or the ensemble. See the Attendance section below for more information.

Students enrolled in instrumental lessons are required to attend their lesson every week. Even though the instrumental lessons cannot appear on the student’s regular timetable, they are no less important than any other subject lesson. If a student is unable to attend a lesson due to assessment, they should first see their Instrumental Music teacher and attempt to organise an alternative time. If a student misses a rehearsal, he/she must tell the conductor beforehand or, alternatively, parents must inform the teacher in writing (email is fine) of the student’s absence.
Parents will be contacted after a student misses three rehearsals or lessons without sufficient explanation. Any student who misses rehearsals or lessons without sufficient explanation may be withdrawn from the ensemble or lessons.
Attendance at performances is compulsory for all musicians. A calendar of performances is published at the beginning of each year and students are expected to keep these dates free. These include contest and concert performances, and a variety of other performances within and outside the school community. If unforeseen circumstances prevent attendance at a performance, the conductor must be informed immediately or, if the emergent circumstances prevent the conductor being notified beforehand, they must be informed at the earliest opportunity.
The final two rehearsals prior to a performance are integral. Parents of students who miss one of these rehearsals will be contacted. Only students who have a reason beyond their control will be able to perform with the ensemble.

All assessment for instrumental lessons is undertaken by the instrumental music teachers. Reporting is completed each semester and will appear along with reports from all other subject areas. Assessment is video recorded to assist in moderating results across the region.

The Department’s instrumental music curriculum has been approved as a QCAA Recognised Study, allowing Year 11 and 12 students to obtain 1 QCE credit point when completing each of levels 7-10 of the curriculum. Students are eligible to access these points if they meet the time requirements of 1x1hr ensemble rehearsal and 1x30‐35min group lesson, as well as regular home practice. Each level will comprise of a minimum of 55 contact hours across 37 weeks.

Home Practice
Beginners will benefit from a short practice (10-15 minutes) 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 hour 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 Fanfare in late May/early June and the Eisteddfod (late July/ early 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, with the exception of students in Junior Band who wear formal school uniform. There is 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 and black socks (not ankle socks).

The uniforms (especially the vests and dress sashes) 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.).  In comparison, the current rate for a private music lesson is in excess of $30 per half hour!
2. Uniform Levy – There is a cost of $25 per student to assist towards the repair and replacement of uniform items as they wear out.
3. Instrument Loan – There is a fee of $135 per year for students who have use of a school instrument.  This covers an annual service and repairs for woodwind and brass instruments, and re-stringing for string instruments.

Last reviewed 11 August 2022
Last updated 11 August 2022