Music Program

Music | Instrumental Studies

The study and performance of music is an integral element of school life at Thornbury High School. There are presently over 150 students learning a musical instrument from Years 7 to 12.

The school offers a range of music ensembles catering from absolute beginners to extremely competent musicians. In Year 7, students learn their instrument for one term before auditioning for the Year 7 Concert Band. In Year 8, students are involved with Year 8 Concert band, and have the option to audition for other ensembles. Elective Music Units are also offered in Years 9 and 10, extending students in the theory and practice of Music in solo, small ensemble and large ensemble settings, including: the Junior and Senior Stage Band, Senior Concert Band, Greek Band, numerous rock bands, vocal groups, and classroom ensembles.

In addition to recreational playing, students may undertake VCE study in Music Performance, or prepare for the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) Exams.

Students have the opportunity to learn a range of musical instruments, including: Flute, clarinet, bassoon, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, french horn, trombone, trumpet, euphonium, tuba, percussion, electric bass, and double bass.

In classroom music, students are exposed to guitar, keyboard, drums and vocals. Students learn theory, analysis and aural skills in a practical and interesting way, using a wide range of musical genres. We believe in developing thorough and comprehensive musicianship through promoting enjoyment of practical performance and experimentation.

Highlights include:

  • Public performances at Darling Harbour and the Manly Pavilion, as part of the biannual Sydney Cultural Tour, involving over 30 senior instrumental students.

  • Performances at local primary schools, including Fairfield Primary Fetes, Penders Grove Primary, and Wales Street Primary.

  • The mid- and end-of-year concerts, involving over 150 students.

  • Senior concert band performances as part of the whole-school productions The Little Shop of Horrors (2014) and The Wizard of Oz (2016).

  • Regular competitors and place holders as part of local and district school band competitions.


DSC_2007In 2017, Thornbury High School launched a brand new Instrumental Music Program. Through the generous support of the Newsboys Foundation, all incoming Year 7 students have received specialised musical tuition (in an instrument of their choice) entirely free of charge!

We are proud to announce that this Program will continue in 2018. To help ensure all students across the Music Department have continued access to instruments at no additional cost, the Music Parents Group have created the MUSIC MAKER PROJECT. By donating your unused or unloved instruments to the department (either permanently or on extended loan), members of the Thornbury/Preston community will qualify as a MUSIC MAKER, and directly impact a student’s ability to experience musical instruction free of charge. To view our current Music Makers, click here.

To contribute to the Project, please contact Emma McCulloch (Head of Performing Arts) on (03) 9480 4066 or via email at You can also see for yourself how this very special Program has captured the creative energy of our 2017 cohort in the video below.


The Thornbury High School Music Parents Group is intended to support the ever-evolving music department by raising funds for the maintenance of equipment, the purchasing new instruments, and supporting the inclusive and equitable environment instilled within the Thornbury High School culture.

Being a member of the Music Parents Group is a great way to be linked with the school and nourish connections with the community. Music parents, in conjunction with the music staff at Thornbury High School, run numerous events throughout the year, which are highlights of the school calendar and enjoyed by students, parents and teachers alike.


Jen Skate – President
Judi Smith & Rhonda Pollock – Treasurer
Leonie Delaney – Community Liaison
Elizabeth von Bibra
Sally Clayton
Merrilyn Hurst
Maria Rominos

For more information on the Music Parents Group, or to join, contact: