Monash Academy Orchestra

Monash Academy Orchestra (MAO) is a symphony orchestra based at Monash University, Clayton. Consisting of students from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music as well as musicians from across the wider Monash campuses, the orchestra is committed to sharing the joy of musical performance with all Victorians.

The MAO has an enviable reputation as an outstanding training and mentoring orchestra, performing a range of major symphonic repertoire from Beethoven and Mozart to Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Duke Ellington. Students have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of orchestral repertoire as well as the ensemble skills necessary for professional practice.

The orchestra is committed to performing the work of Australian composers. To this end, a new work is commissioned from an Australian composer each year.


The performance dates for the 2020 season are being announced in January 2020.


Auditions for the 2020 season are taking place during Orientation Week. String auditions are on Wednesday 26 February and Friday 28 February, and wind, brass and percussion auditions are on Thursday 27 February. All auditions are being held at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, 55 Scenic Boulevard, Monash University, Clayton.

Auditions typically last between 7–10 minutes and applicants are required to prepare set orchestral excerpts. You can download the relevant excerpts below. You can complete an application to audition hereOnce you have submitted an application form, the orchestra administrator will be in touch to organise an audition time. Any queries can be directed to Hannah Trinca via email:



  • Do I have to be a music student to audition?
    No, any student from any faculty can audition for a position in the orchestra.
  • I was a member of MAO in 2019. Do I need to reaudition?
    At the start of each year, all positions in the orchestra are declared vacant. Members must reaudition for a position every year.
  • Do I need an accompanist?
    An accompanist is only required for those students invited to audition for the concertmaster position.
  • What do I need to prepare?
    You will need to prepare a series of set orchestral excerpts relevant to your instrument. These are available online.
  • How long will the audition take?
    Auditions typically last around 7–10 minutes. Two applicants are allocated to a 15-minute audition time block.
  • I am unable to make the listed audition date(s) during Orientation Week. Am I still able to audition?
    It may be possible to organise a late audition, depending on the instrument. Please contact the orchestra administrator to find out if an alternative audition time is possible.
  • When do rehearsals take place?
    Rehearsals are project-based and commence two to three weeks prior to a concert. As a result, rehearsals are held in the evening and on weekends (this also means that rehearsals do not clash with scheduled classes). This simulates the orchestral rehearsal process in the industry and produces a better performance outcome for all involved.
  • Where do rehearsals take place?
    Full orchestral rehearsals usually take place in Robert Blackwood Hall on the Clayton campus. Various rooms in the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music are used for tutorials and sectionals.
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