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3.2.6.1    Large Ensembles

The Conservatory Orchestra and the OpusNovus (contemporary music ensemble) are the largest student ensembles at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. Placement auditions are held during the first week of the first semester of every year and are required for all new and returning students. All orchestral majors must be members of at least one of these ensembles. Some students may be assigned to perform in more than one large ensemble.

Participation in the Conservatory Orchestra provides comprehensive orchestral training and performance experience exposing students to a wide range of musical compositions. Each season, the Conservatory Orchestra performs a minimum of four public concerts at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music with a programme that includes a cross-section of the standard orchestral repertoire and contemporary orchestral literature. The orchestra also rehearses and performs with visiting guest conductors as well as orchestral readings on orchestral works by Conservatory composition students.

OpusNovus focuses on works written during the last 40 years. Each season, the OpusNovus performs a minimum of two concerts. The group’s repertoire will include iconic works of international significance, new works by international and Singaporean-based composers as well as first performances of pieces by student composers.

The Conservatory organises a Concerto Competition each year where Second and Third Year students may apply. The Orchestral Final (held in the second semester) is preceded by four Section Finals (Strings, Piano, Wind/Brass/Percussion/Harp, and Voice). Dates for the preliminary rounds and the finals are announced at the beginning of the academic year.