Monash Academy Orchestra

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

The orchestra has established an enviable reputation as an outstanding training and mentoring orchestra, performing a large variety of major symphonic repertoire from Beethoven and Mozart to Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Duke Ellington. Students are provided with 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 orchestra works closely with established and renowned conductors and recognised soloists. This provides students with the opportunity to learn from some of the very best in the industry.

In 2019 the orchestra will work with renowned conductors Jessica Cottis, Tianyi Lu and Eivind Aadland, performing works including Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4, Beethoven Symphony No.5 and Shostakovich Symphony No.5. The orchestra will also premiere a new work by Sydney composer, Holly Harrison.


Russian Masters: Sunday 14 April Revolution: Sunday 19 May Music Under Dictatorship: Sunday 18 August


Auditions for the 2019 Season have now closed. However, there may be some vacancies, depending on the instrument. Please contact the Orchestra Administrator, Hannah Trinca for further details:

You can download a copy of the current rehearsal schedule here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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 2018. 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 5–10 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 2 – 3 weeks prior to a concert. As a result of this, 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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