Schools Concerts

Challenge young minds and introduce primary and secondary students to live orchestral music through the SSO Schools Concerts series. Enrich your classroom music program with an excursion to our thematic concert experiences.

Who Needs a Conductor Anyway?

Riverside Theatres, Parramatta
Tue 6‒Fri 9 Mar
10.30am (Years 3‒6)
12pm (Years 7‒10)
Duration: 55 minutes

Roger Benedict conductor
Simon Tedeschi piano

What happens if there’s no conductor? Isn’t a solo pianist enough? What can’t everyone just play how they like? (And seriously, how hard can conducting be, anyway?) Celebrated Australian pianist Simon Tedeschi actually has no idea, but with the musicians of the SSO and a handful of famous concertos he’ll put these and other questions to the test. In a captivating concert for curious minds and ears, Simon Tedeschi takes students into the complex world of performing a concerto.

Featuring highlights from the great piano concertos by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Grieg, Rachmaninoff and Mozart, with Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.


Polka Dots and Moonbeams

SSO on Tour!
Wed 23‒Fri 25 May
Nowra, Wollongong and Mittagong

Benjamin Northey conductor

In May 2018 the SSO heads South! A program of favourite orchestral works to delight and challenge students as they hear and see the orchestra in performance. Featuring music by Beethoven, Elgar and more. NESA-accredited Professional Learning workshops designed to support teachers preparing students for these concerts will take place in April. 

Please send expressions of interest to


Introduced Species

Seymour Centre, York Theatre
Tue 29 May‒Fri 1 Jun
10:30am (Years 3‒6)
12pm (Years 7‒10)
Duration: 55 minutes

Iain Grandage conductor
Katy Abbott composer-presenter

What happens when the man-made enters the natural landscape? What will happen to these pristine environments? Composer Katy Abbott, uses the true events of a cargo ship in 1992 spilling nearly 29,000 duck bath toys into the North Pacific Ocean as the catalyst for her work.

Inspired by artist Matthew Quick’s body of work, Introduced Species is a three-movement aural depiction of the Trash Vortex, one of the Pacific Ocean’s ‘garbage patches’. Katy Abbott brings the plastic that pollutes our oceans into the orchestra and challenges us to hear our environment.

This unique schools concert features composer Katy Abbott live on stage with conductor Iain Grandage and the SSO in an exploration of the ocean through sound and image.


The Happiness Box

Seymour Centre, York Theatre
Tue 30 Oct‒Fri 2 Nov
10.30am (Years K‒2)
12pm (Years 3‒6)
Duration: 50 minutes

Iain Grandage conductor
Jay Laga’aia narrator

The Happiness Box tells the story of three best friends, a lizard, a monkey and a frog, who find a magical box and embark upon a  journey through the jungle to discover the secret of happiness. In an act of inspiring optimism, this delightful tale was originally written for Changi Gaol’s child prisoners in 1942 by Australian POW David Griffin, and illustrated by fellow POW Leslie Greener, while they were interned. It has been adapted for young audiences by award-winning Australian film and TV composer Bryony Marks (Please Like Me, Barracuda) with music to capture the sense of wonder, trepidation and delight of the friends’ adventure. Greener’s beautiful illustrations from the 1947 edition of book accompany the narration and music.

As well as introducing children to the sounds of the orchestra, The Happiness Box's themes are timeless and universal: the value of kindness, resilience, industriousness, humour, courage, and, most importantly, the value of friendship.



Schools Concerts
Participation Fee: $120* 
Students: $12
Teacher: $12 or 1:20**

SSO on Tour!
Participation Fee: $20* 
Students: $12
Teacher: $12 or 1:20**

*Per school
**One complimentary teacher per 20 student seats purchased


Schools Concerts Partner

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