Newtown High School of the Performing Arts

Excellence, Creativity & Equity

Telephone02 9519 1544


Information for Students and Parents

Newtown High School of the Performing Arts offers the opportunity for all students to be involved in the extensive co-curricular program.

Co-Curricular Program

The Co-Curricular Program is the name given to all Dance, Drama, Music and Technical companies and ensembles that run at the school. Entry to these companies is by audition.


To gain entry into the co-curricular program all students may audition regardless of their mode of entry.  It is a mandatory requirement for students who enrolled via audition to participate in these auditions.

Companies and Ensembles

Each Performing Arts discipline has a different definition for a ‘company’ or an ‘ensemble’.

  • Drama refers to all groups as ‘Companies’ which are usually named after the director.
  • Music refers to all groups as either ‘Ensembles’ for large groups or ‘Chamber Ensembles’ for smaller groups.
  • Dance Company and Ensemble members are required to undertake at least one addition Ballet Class (Ballet Sport) at the school as part of their commitment to the Dance Program.

Showcase Concert Seasons

There are two major performance opportunities during Term 2 and Term 4 each year. Additional performance opportunities may occur throughout the year depending on the type of ensemble required for various occasions.

Tuition Fees

All students must pay their company/ensemble fees (and associated Ballet Sport and Masterclass Fees if in Dance) immediately following their acceptance into a company/ensemble.  An updated list of students who have paid their fees is provided to each of the Performing Arts Faculties which completes acceptance/enrolment into the co-curricular program.  Non-payment of these fees will result in students being replaced as members of these companies/ensembles.

Frequently Asked Questions


About our Dance Groups

Dance Companies and Ensembles represent the School at major International, State, Regional and local dance festivals, prestigious public performances and the School Showcase Concerts.

Classical Ballet Companies provide students with a particular interest and ability in Classical Ballet as well as offer the opportunity to engage in further performance experience. Members of the Classical Ballet Companies are required to meet the same general criteria for selection as members of the Dance Companies including attending TWO additional Ballet classes a week.

All Year 7 Dance auditioned students accepted into NHSPA for 2021 are given a place in the Year 7 Performance Group and will be rehearsing on Wednesday afternoons from 3.30-5.30pm. This is the set rehearsal time for Year 7 dancers as we know you have many commitments outside of school.

Frequently Asked Questions for Dance

When and where will the auditions be?

Auditions will take place during Weeks 2, 3 and 4 of Term 1, 2021. These auditions will be held in the Dance Department, after school from 3.30-5.30pm.

What do I need to prepare?

You do not need to prepare anything for the Dance or Classical Ballet audition. For each audition you will learn a small piece of choreography and perform it in small groups. The Junior Classical Ballet audition will be a classical ballet class.

What is the selection criteria for the audition?

The audition panel and dance staff will consider technique, performance quality and work skills when making their decision.

What do I wear to the audition?

Suitable dancewear for girls consists of plain (colour and style) leotards, tights and bare feet (Ballet/Pointe shoes where appropriate). Suitable dancewear for boys consists of tights and a form fitting T-Shirt or leotard. Clothing which restricts or covers movement is unacceptable.

What is the next step after the auditions?

You will be given written feedback on your audition and whether or not you are successful in being placed in a company or ensemble.


About our Drama Companies

There are 9 Drama Companies at NHSPA. Companies are mostly organised by similar age ranges – Junior and Senior groupings. All companies perform in the Semester 1 and Semester 2 Showcase Concerts with other performances throughout the year as requested.

Drama is the only discipline that holds auditions TWICE a year – in Term 1 and Term 3 as a Semester fee of $120 is applicable.

Frequently Asked Questions for Drama

When and where will the auditions be?

Auditions will take place during Weeks 2 and 3 of Term 1 and again in Term 2 for Semester 2, 2021. These auditions will be held in the Drama Department after school from 3.30-5.30pm as shown on the attached schedule.

What do I need to prepare?

You will need to prepare a one-minute monologue from a published play. Books of monologues are available in the school library. Students should choose a piece that is Age Appropriate. The Drama faculty also have a booklet of monologues for students in Year 7 to choose from if they are unable to find their own.

What is the selection criteria for the audition?

The criteria for a good performance are as follows:

  1. Clear Performance Skills – vocally and physically
  2. Effective Characterisation – belief and conviction
  3. Staging Choices and effective use of space


About our Music Groups

Music auditions are held in instrumental groups across all years; for example violinists from Years 7 to 12 will audition on the same day. For all music auditions, students will perform in front of the audition panel (usually two people) and other students of that instrument.

Selection criteria for the audition

The Music staff will consider the following in selecting and placing students within ensembles:

  • Technical facility including intonation, rhythmic accuracy and general technical ability
  • Dynamics and Expressive Techniques including phrasing and articulation
  • Stylistic understanding appropriate to the piece performed

The panel will also consider year group, balance of Ensembles and prior commitment to Ensemble (where appropriate).

Music Ensembles within the school 

Orchestra, Symphonic Wind, Junior String Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, Concert Band, Junior, Intermediate and Senior Choirs.

Students must be a member of a large ensemble to be considered for selection into smaller chamber ensembles. These smaller ensembles include Extension Junior, Intermediate and Senior Choirs, String, Wind, Sax Quartets, Guitar, Junior Jazz Band, Senior Jazz Band, Senior String Ensemble and Senior Percussion Ensemble. Rock ensemble(s) will be formed on a project basis rather than a regular ensemble format.

Frequently Asked Questions for Music

When and where will the auditions be held?

Auditions will take place during Weeks 2 - 4 of Term 1 2021 and held in the Music Department after school from 3.30-5.00pm. Refer to the attached timetable for dates and times.

What do I need to prepare?

Vocal Audition

  • You will not need to prepare any material for the Vocal Audition as you will be taught a song and perform it in small groups and/or individually.

Instrumental Auditions - Woodwind, Brass and Strings including Guitars

  • You will need to prepare a 2 minute piece of music in a scale of their choice.
  • Wind and Brass auditions will require you to attempt a short unprepared sight-reading.


  • You are required to prepare a short piece in the style of your choice.

Please note that the number of places using keyboard/piano in ensembles are limited. Therefore you are encouraged to audition for voice, percussion or on another instrument.


If you are interested in auditing for WOMP (Weapons of Mass Percussion) you are not required to prepare anything as you will be taught several patterns in the ensemble.

Percussion and Drum Kit

You will need to prepare a short piece and may also be required to demonstrate different drumming patterns.

The Film Production Company

The Film Production Company will work as a team to plan, film and edit short film/s during the year. Themes and genres will be chosen depending on student and teacher interests as well as level of expertise.  Students will work towards various film festivals throughout the year and screening of their work will be during Showcase Season at school.

The Film Production Company is open to students in Years 7 to 10. An application form can be collected from the Visual Arts staffroom and must be submitted by 3:15pm on Monday 15 February.

Selection criteria for the Film Production Company?

The criteria for selection include demonstrated interest and skills in various aspects of Film Production.

Technical Company

The Technical Company under the direction of the Technical Director organise the sound, lighting and stage management for Showcase Concerts throughout the year. The Company is open to students from Years 7 to 12. There is no audition process for this company. Interested students can apply on Tuesday 16 February 3:15- 5:15pm in the Studio Theatre.