Monash Academy Orchestra

Monash Academy Orchestra (MAO) is a symphony orchestra based on the Monash University Clayton campus providing a unique musical journey for students within the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance as well as musicians from the wider university community. You will have the opportunity to meet and work with like-minded musicians, and experience extraordinary music first hand.
Entry to the orchestra is by audition, and is open to all Monash students – students do not necessarily need to be enrolled in a Bachelor of Music in order to be eligible to audition. The orchestra currently has a large number of members from a range of different faculties, including Arts, Medicine, Law, Commerce, Engineering and Education.

The MAO is committed to performing the work of Australian composers. To this end, a new work from an Australian composer is commissioned by Monash Performing Arts Centres each year, and premiered by the MAO.

2022 Performances

In 2022 we are continuing our long running series of orchestral concerts, and are thrilled to be returning to the stage of the Robert Blackwood Hall.

Program 1 – Still We Rise – Sunday 15 May, 2022, Robert Blackwood Hall

Paul Grabowsky Cythera
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2
Vanessa Perica Still We Rise*
Gershwin An American in Paris

Roy Theaker conductor
Thong Truong piano

*Monash University 2021 Ed Byrne Commission

Program 2 – Rediscovery – Sunday 14 August, 2022, Robert Blackwood Hall

Thomas Meadowcroft New Work*
Arutiunian Trumpet Concerto
Louise Farrenc Symphony No.1

Carolyn Watson conductor
Naomi Whimpey trumpet

*Monash University 2022 Ed Byrne Commission

2022 Auditions

Entry to the orchestra is by audition – all members must audition for a position each year. Applicants will need to submit a video recording of the set orchestral excerpts. Auditions for the 2022 Season have now closed, however, vacancies exist for some instruments. Please contact the orchestra administrator, Hannah Trinca, for further details:

Please download your audition excerpts here.

Audition Excerpts

  • Flute - Download
  • Piccolo - Download
  • Oboe - Download
  • Cor anglais - Download
  • Clarinet - Download
  • Eb Clarinet - Download
  • Bass Clarinet - Download
  • Bassoon - Download
  • Contra Bassoon - Download
  • French Horn - Download
  • Trumpet - Download
  • Tenor Trombone - Download
  • Bass Trombone - Download
  • Tuba - Download
  • Percussion and Timpani - Download
  • Harp - Download
  • Concertmaster - Download
  • Violin - Download
  • Viola - Download
  • Cello - Download
  • Double Bass - Download


Do I have to be a music student to audition for MAO?
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No, any student from any faculty can audition for a position in the orchestra.

I was a member of MAO in 2021. Do I need to re-audition?
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At the start of each year, all positions in the orchestra are declared vacant. Members must re-audition for a position every year.

Do I need an accompanist?
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Only those students invited to audition for the concertmaster position need an accompanist.

Will auditions take place in person?
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No, auditions for 2022 will be conducted via ‘blind’ video recordings. Audition recording tips can be found on the Phone Filming Techniques document.

I am unable to submit a recorded audition by the due date. Am I still able to audition?
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It may be possible to organise a late audition, depending on your instrument. Please contact the orchestra administrator to find out if an alternative time is possible.

When do rehearsals take place?
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Rehearsals are project-based and commence 2-3 weeks before a concert. Rehearsals are held in the evenings and on weekends (to avoid clashes with scheduled classes). This simulates the orchestral rehearsal process in the industry and produces the best performance outcome for all involved.

Where do rehearsals take place?
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Full orchestral rehearsals usually take place in the Robert Blackwood Hall on the Clayton campus. Various rooms in the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance are used for tutorials and sectionals.

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