Special Interest Music

The Brighton Special Interest Music Centre was established in 1976 and is one of four Special Interest Music schools in Adelaide.

Brighton Secondary School is recognised nationally and internationally as one of the strongest music programs in South Australia with many old scholars occupying prominent positions in music education and the music industry.

All students at Brighton Secondary School are encouraged to enrol in Core Music as a subject in Year 7. This subject caters for students with no prior musical experience as well as continuing music students. Students with a passion and desire to study music more intensively can audition for the Special Interest Music program. This program is also available for students outside the Brighton Secondary School zone.

Successful applicants into the Special Interest Program will receive the following benefits:

  • Right of entry into Brighton Secondary School from out of zone (updated 2019)
  • Reimbursement of tuition fees up to AUD$450.00 per year for study of one instrument with a private teacher (conditions apply)
  • The right to individual tuition with Instrumental music teachers from Department for Education on the principal instrument (subject to negotiation with the Head of Music) and group tuition with Instrumental music teachers from Department for Education on a second instrument
  • The opportunity to study music with students who have similar interests and abilities

Special Interest Music audition process

Key dates for auditions into 2025
  • Information Evening - To be confirmed
  • Application Forms/Videos due - Friday 26 April 2024
  • Short-Listing Workshop - Tuesday 7 May 2024
  • Interviews (if successfully short-listed) - Wednesday 15 May 2024 and Thursday 16 May 2024

Information Evening

A Special Interest Music information evening for Year 6 students and parents will be held in Brighton Concert Hall in Term 1, 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a list of the most common questions and answers. Tap or click on the questions below to open/close the answers. If you have any further questions please contact us.


Completed Application to Audition Forms for Year 7 Special Interest Music (commencing secondary school in 2025) are due by Friday 26 April 2024.

BROCHURE (PDF 1.5MB) for the Special Interest Music Centre​
APPLICATION TO AUDITION FORM (PDF 257KB) for the ​Special interest Music centres​​

Completed application forms for Brighton Secondary School should be emailed to: dl.0803.music@schools.sa.edu.au

​Schools will confirm details for information collection and outline timelines for the selection process after receipt of the Application to Audition form.

Part 1: Short-listing

Part 1: Short-listing for students currently in Year 6 is on Tuesday 7 May 2024.
The short-listing process consists of 3 parts:

  • practical musicianship/aural test
  • short individual performance (video recording)
  • portfolio (please see below for a detailed list of documents to include)

The allocated time for this process is approximately 90-120 minutes.

Practical musicianship/aural test
Applicants are divided into groups of 10 to 14 and taken through a series of musical games and activities during which their musical aptitude is assessed by a panel consisting of 3 music teachers. Applicants will also complete a short, written aural test. These tests do not require any knowledge of musical notation.

Short individual performance
Applicants are asked to submit video recordings of 2 pieces of up to 3 minutes each (either on the same instrument or 1 piece on each instrument). Accompaniment is not required.

Applicants are advised to submit a portfolio that includes (where possible):

  • most recent reports from their present school or relevant documentation
  • contact details of referees including classroom music teacher(s) and instrumental teacher(s)
  • a list of musical, social and/or sporting activities to demonstrate the applicant’s commitment and/or long term responsibilities (eg participation in school or extra-curricular music ensembles/choirs, team sports, student leadership, community service, a particular interest, etc)
  • any other information or documentation to help highlight the applicant’s musical background and experience (eg compositions, creative work, past exam reports, etc).

If successful at Part 1, applicants will proceed to Part 2 in a subsequent week.

Part 2: Audition

Part 2: Audition for students currently in Year 6 are on Wednesday 15 May 2024 and Thursday 16 May 2024.

The audition consists of 2 parts:

  • performance
  • interview

​The allocated time for this process is 15 minutes. Parents/guardians are required to be present.

Applicants are required to prepare 2 contrasting pieces (the piece presented in Part 1 may be presented again). If the applicant plays more than 1 instrument they may choose to play 1 work on each instrument. Applicants are asked to bring an accompanist or backing tracks if the works require them. Accompanists may be available with prior request. Applicants are advised to bring copies of printed music (if available) for the audition panel.

At the interview, panel members will outline the expectations of the Special Interest Music program and whole school expectations. Applicants are asked to outline their musical and other relevant interests, and discuss why they would like to be part of the Special Interest Music program.

The audition panel consists of 2 representatives from the Special Interest Music Centres. Results will be emailed in week 5, term 2.

For further information contact:

Andrew Barrett (Head of Music, Brighton Secondary School)
Milly Parsons (Music Secretary)
Pam Parsons (Music Secretary)
​Phone (office hours): +61 8 8375 8215

Features of the Brighton Special Interest Music Centre

Choral and instrumental ensembles are at the core of music-making at Brighton. The school provides a wide variety of ensemble experiences including orchestras, concert bands, big bands, performance choirs, small ensembles, chamber groups and percussion ensembles. For a comprehensive list, please refer to our ensembles page. For clarification of expectations please refer to the Brighton Secondary School Ensembles Policy.

Recent ensemble experiences include:

  • The Big Bands regularly competing in Generations in Jazz in Mount Gambier with students consistently achieving selection into the All-stars Superband
  • The Concert Band winning the ABODA South Australian Band Festival back-to-back
  • The Percussion Ensembles achieving a gold rating at the ABODA Band Festival
  • The Symphony Orchestra consistently achieving a gold standard at the Australian International Music Festival
  • Many of our ensembles perform as assisting artists at the Primary Schools’ Music Festival on an annual basis
  • Brighton’s choirs regularly placing highly at the Adelaide Choral Eisteddfod
  • Involvement in ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies
  • Many international tours since 2008 to Asia and Europe

Courses and Curriculum

Brighton's Special Interest Music Centre offers unique opportunities for the study of music at secondary level through specialised staffing and resources – one outcome being the consistent achievement of Merits for Stage 2 SACE subjects by Brighton music students.

The following components form the basis of the music curriculum for all music students:

  • Solo performance
  • Musicianship studies
  • Historical and analytical studies
  • Music technology
  • Instrumental tuition
  • Ensemble performance
  • Composition
  • Choral training

For a more specific breakdown of our study options follow this link to our curriculum page.