Newtown High School of the Performing Arts

Excellence, Creativity & Equity

Telephone02 9519 1544



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, Visual Arts and Technical Companies and Ensembles that run at the school. Entry to these companies is by audition during the first few weeks of Term 1 in 2024.

To enter 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.

Co-Curricular Timetable

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 - Repertory Companies (Yrs 8-12 only) and Industry Led Styles Ensembles (yrs 9-12 only) are required to attend two additional training classes per week: Tuesday Ballet Sport (during school sport time) and Thursday Masterclass (2.45-4pm after school). Year 7 Performance Group, Dance and Classical Ballet Company members attend Ballet Sport as a training requirement and attendance at Masterclass is highly encouraged as an optional additional training opportunity.
  • Visual Arts refers to a group of Film Production Company students who collaborate and create films across year groups.


There are major performance opportunities during the year. Additional performance opportunities may occur throughout the year depending on the type of company/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.

Vocal and Instrumental Program

The school provides an opportunity for students to have instrumental and/or vocal lessons at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts with professional tutors. The lessons take place during the school day on a rotational basis so that the students do not miss the same class each week. Most lessons are half an hour in duration once a week over each school term. This opportunity is available to all students enrolled in Newtown High School of the Performing Arts.

You can sign up for the program and access lessons using the link below.

Frequently Asked Questions


Dance Companies represent the School at major International, State, regional and local dance festivals, prestigious public performances and the school 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.

Styles Ensembles are additional auditioned opportunities open to dancers from years 9-12 who are already members of a Dance Company. These are led by industry professionals and are auditioned each semester.

All Year 7 Dance audition students 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.

All Year 7 Dance auditioned students are invited to audition for a place in the Junior Classical Ballet Company and if successful rehearsals will be on a Tuesday afternoon 3.30-5.30pm. Not all dancers will be successful in gaining a place in the Junior Classical Ballet Company.


When and where will the auditions be?

Auditions will take place during Weeks 2, 3 and 4 of Term 1, 2024. 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, classical ballet or styles audition. For each audition you will learn a small piece of choreography and perform it in small groups. The Junior Classical Ballet audition may involve some ballet class exercises and choreography.

What is the selection criteria for the audition?

The audition panel and dance staff will consider technique, performance quality, interpretation, work skills and commitment 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/Jazz 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. No jewellery.

What is the next step after the auditions?

You will be given feedback on your audition and notified whether or not you are successful in being placed in a company or ensemble. You must then pay fees before rehearsals commence.


There are 16 – 20 Drama Companies that operate per year and students perform as part of the school’s performance season. Companies are mostly organised by similar age ranges – Junior and Senior groupings and are named after the director of each.

All Companies are semester based and Auditions are held twice a year. All companies for semester 1 will  perform as part of the Semester 1 showcase. We will then re-audition at the end of Term 2 and new companies will be formed for Semester 2.

The fee structure for all companies will be $150 per Semester.


When and where will the auditions be?

Auditions will take place during Weeks 3 and 4 of Term 1 2024 and again in Term 2 for Semester 2, 2024. 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?

Auditions will be conducted in workshop settings. Students do not need to prepare but come ready to work in a range of groups and performance modes.

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
  4. Ability to effectively collaborate with others
  5. Focus and ability to follow instructions for the duration of the workshop.
  6. Ability to effectively improvise. Make offers, extend situations and advance scenework.


Music Auditions are held in instrumental groups across all years; for example violinists from Years 7 to 12 will audition together. 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, tone control 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 (where appropriate).

Music Ensembles within the school

Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Junior, Intermediate and Senior Choirs, Guitar Ensembles (classical and rock), WOMP (Weapons Of Mass Percussion).

Junior and Senior String Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, Junior Jazz, Extension Choirs (7/8, 9/10, 11/12), Senior Percussion Ensemble

Will be formed as the instrumentation and teacher time arises. This may include string, wind and brass chamber ensembles.

Students must be a member of a large ensemble to be considered for selection into small or chamber ensembles.


When and where will the auditions be held?

Auditions will take place during Weeks 2 - 4 of Term 1 2024 and held in the Music Department before (7.30-8.45am) and after school (3.30-5.30pm). 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 of your choice
  • A scale of your choice (consider key, tonality and number of octaves)
  • Wind and Brass auditions will require you to attempt a short unprepared sight-reading excerpt.


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

Please note that the number of places using keyboard/piano/accordion in ensembles are limited.

Therefore you are encouraged to audition for voice, percussion or on another instrument.

Percussion and Drum Kit

You will need to prepare a short piece and may also be required to demonstrate different drummings patterns (e.g. rock, swing, bossa, funk) and rudiments (eg snare rudiments).


There is no formal audition for WOMP; instead the first rehearsal is the audition. If you are interested in auditioning for WOMP (Weapons of Mass Percussion) you are not required to prepare anything as you will be taught several patterns in the ensemble. No prior experience is required for WOMP.

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 Performance Seasons at school.

The Film Production Company is open to students in Years 8 to 10. The Company will meet weekly in the Visual Arts Faculty.

Selection criteria for the Film Production Company

Students are required to produce a short film (30 seconds) that demonstrates their interest and skill in various aspects of film production.

An application form can be collected from the Visual Arts staffroom and must be submitted with a film into the nominated Drive folder by 3.10pm on Monday 19 February 2024.

Technical Company

Technical Company, under the direction of the Technical Director Mr Benjamin Turner, organises the

production aspects for all school events throughout the year.

The Company is open to students from Years 8 to 12. Interested students can apply on Monday 19 February 2024 at 3.30 - 5:15pm in the Studio Theatre.

Selection criteria for Technical Company

Students will complete a written assessment and perform a series of basic tasks designed to demonstrate their current knowledge of/ability in technical production.