Music at Somerville House caters for a wide range of individual interests and skill levels. The Music Program is conducted both in the classroom (Academic Music Program) and in a co-curricular capacity (Performance Music Program). Our comprehensive Co-Curricular Ensemble Program includes string ensembles, bands and vocal choirs as well as many woodwind, percussion and small string ensembles.

Music is very much a part of Somerville House with our choral and instrumental ensembles exemplifying the excellence for which the School is known. This standard is evident across our many choral and instrumental groups, each catering for students of differing ability.

The Co-Curricular Music Program at Somerville House is administered by the Director of Co-Curricular Music. For further information, contact 

Individual Instrumental Tuition
Individual instruction is available for all orchestral instruments as well as piano, classical organ, guitar, singing and theory of music. In some cases, the School is able to provide an instrument for the early months of tuition and, in the case of larger instruments such as bassoon, trombone, French horn, euphonium, tuba, cello and double bass, for longer periods. Students are prepared for examinations, if desired.

Ensembles – Band, Choral and Strings

Band Ensembles Band ensembles are open to players who learn a band instrument outside of the School as well as those involved in the school instrumental tuition program. The following groups cater for all levels of playing experience.

Symphonic Band

This is the School’s premier Concert Band. This ensemble is open, by audition, to students in the Middle Years and Senior School with advanced playing skills and experience. The repertoire selection is technically and musically challenging.

Intermediate Concert Band

The Intermediate Concert Band is an ensemble for developing wind and percussion students who are motivated to refine their instrumental skills and musicianship. Entry is by audition and is a minimum of Grade 2 AMEB or at least two years’ learning.

Junior Concert Band

This is the developing Concert Band for students progressing from the Year 5 program, or who have been learning their instrument for at least one year. Membership includes students from the Junior and Middle Years.

Year 5 Band

All Year 5 students participating in the band program are involved in this group. They commence their learning in tutorial groups which are included in the School’s academic timetable. Students are usually new to their allocated band instrument and learn the basic technical and musical skills required to continue in the band program in Year 6, and develop a long-term appreciation for music.

Stage Band

The Stage Band plays contemporary music styles including jazz, latin, pop and rock. The instrumentation is standard Big Band line-up: rhythm section, saxophones, trombones and trumpets. Vocalists are occasionally featured in certain repertoire. Membership is by invitation and is open to students from Years 8 to 12 who participate in one of the Concert Bands.

Clarinet Choir

The instruments in the Clarinet Choir comprise Bb clarinets (usually divided into three parts), alto and bass clarinets. Members in this ensemble must also play in one of the Concert Bands.

Percussion Ensemble 1

Percussion Ensemble 1 is a versatile ensemble that caters for percussionists wishing to extend and develop their skills in all areas of percussion. The ensemble features dedicated percussion students from the Middle and Senior Schools (Years 8 to 12). A wide range of classic and new repertoire is covered featuring advanced techniques and instrumentation.

Percussion Ensemble 2

Percussion Ensemble 2 provides an opportunity for students in both the Junior and Middle Years (Years 5 to 9) to develop ensemble skills and a greater variety of percussion techniques.


Formed by members from the Somerville Strings and the Senior Concert Band, the orchestra meets and rehearses for special occasions.

Choral Ensembles
Choral singing is a very important and popular part of musical life at Somerville House. There are different choirs to cater for students of all vocal abilities. 

Occasionally, all choirs perform as a massed choir.


This is the School’s premier choir, open by audition, to students in the Senior School with advanced choral skills and experience. The repertoire selection is technically and musically challenging.


This is a choir for willing and committed students in the Senior School. The repertoire selection is varied and stimulating.


This is a choir for Middle Years students, membership of which is subject to audition. The repertoire selection is technically and musically challenging for their level of development.


The Junior Choir is drawn from Years 5 and 6, and challenges this age group with age-appropriate repertoires involving part work and musicianship.

Poco a Poco

This ensemble, drawn from students in Years 3 to 5, performs repertoires designed to encourage the development of accurate tuning and part work skills.

String Ensembles
String ensembles are open to players who learn an instrument outside of the School as well as those involved in the school tuition program. The following groups cater for all levels of playing experience.

Somerville Strings

This is the School’s premier string orchestra. A minimum of Grade 8 AMEB standard is required, and members must be excellent sight-readers.

Amadeus Strings

This is a predominantly Senior School ensemble, catering for students with established skills on stringed instruments, from Grades 5 to 8 AMEB.

Stradivari Strings

This is a predominantly Middle Years ensemble, catering for players from Preliminary to Grade 4 AMEB.

Junior Strings

This group is for more advanced players in Junior School.


This is a training group for Junior School students in their second year of learning their instrument.

Year 5 Strings

Year 5 string students continue learning their instrument in private lessons as well as in rehearsal sessions, included in the School academic timetable. Performances may include School assemblies, Junior School Concerts and the Academy Festival of Music.

Year 3 Strings

All students in Year 3 learn a stringed instrument in groups. Tuition and instruments are free of charge for the year. Lessons are part of the curriculum and are held in school time.

Somerville Quartets and Consorts

Two string quartets are selected from members of the Somerville Strings orchestra. These combine to form the Senior String Consort.

Guitar Ensemble

Students who play guitar form an ensemble, which rehearses one morning per week before school.