History of the Learning & Engagement Program

The world class Sydney Symphony Orchestra Learning & Engagement Program has been offering music education opportunities for everyone for more than seven decades.

1940s First Schools Concerts given by Sir Bernard Heinz.

1947 First Youth Concerts given for people 25 years and under.

1960 First Babies Proms introduced by Dean Dixon.

1985 Teacher focus group for Schools Concerts formed.

1987 A full-time Sydney Symphony Orchestra Education officer is appointed; first secondary education kit produced.

1989 Schools concerts tailored to individual grade syllabuses; first primary kit produced.

1990 Meet the Music kits produced with support from the Department of Education; James Fairfax Young Artist program begins under directorship of John Hopkins.

1991 First schools performances in Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Ultimo Centre.

1992 Richard Gill appointed as Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's Education Program, a position he holds until 2014.

1993 Pre-concert talks for Meet the Music introduced.

1994 Repertoire for Schools Concerts released on CD for the first time; Professional Learning workshops introduced and first Playerlink workshop.

1995 Meet the Music resources now support the HSC music syllabus.

1997 Sydney Symphony Orchestra's Sinfonia, a national mentoring orchestra began pilot program.

1999 First Sinfonia regional tour of schools concerts to Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst.

2000 Discovery Series (initially called Adult Themes) begins at City Recital Hall.

2001 Sydney Symphony Orchestra's Fellowship program introduced for five musicians.

2002 Professional learning workshops and resources now provided for all schools concerts.

2005 First Schools Concerts presented in Western Sydney at Sydney Olympic Park.

2006 Sinfonietta Composition Project offered nationally to talented young composers.

2007 First Sinfonietta Composition Project teaching resource devised for national classroom implementation.

2009 The Whitlams Meet the Orchestra schools concert in the Sydney Opera House.

2010 Accreditation of Sydney Symphony Orchestra Professional Learning by the NSW Institute of Teaching; first interstate teacher workshops presented in Melbourne and Hobart.

2011 Stage 4 Schools Concerts move to City Recital Hall Angel Place; first international education outreach program held during the SSO's tour to South Korea.

2012 First digital workshops presented to teachers and students;first Professional Learning workshops presented in Perth and Brisbane; the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Xinghai Conservatory of Music (China) form a partnership.

2013 First teacher workshops presented in the ACT. TENIX Placing Percussion Instruments in Schools program establised in partnership with the SSO.

2014 Introduction of Meet the Music 1 – a new concert series at the Sydney Opera House, devised for Course 1 students; TunED-Up!™ Professional Learning course pilot program takes place.

2015 First year schools and students performed with the SSO at the Parramatta Park Project.

2016 First Schools Concert at the Seymour Centre; iPad technology incorporated into TunED-Up!™

2017 Young Ambassadors program launched.