Ensemble Offspring


Ensemble Offspring’s core mission is to educate broadly and develop Australian music into the future, introducing innovative music of today to listeners of all ages.

An essential part of this mission is nurturing the next generation of music makers and music lovers in Australia. From early childhood and school age all the way through to emerging professional artists of all ages, Ensemble Offspring is passionate about educating through the benefits of music for cognitive development at all stages of the learning cycle.

For a company of our size, we punch above our weight in terms of what we are able to offer the Australian music education community from beginners to emerging professionals thus filling an important role in the sector.

Education Kits & Resources

Ensemble Offspring has been involved in the creation of a number of education kits that are accessible using these links.

Ensemble Offspring has 4 stages of educational activity:

1. Early Childhood & Primary School

Ensemble Offspring has collaborated on a number of theatre-style shows and projects to introduce young ears to the innovative new music of Australian composers.

Bilby’s Bluegum Melodies (2017-present)

Join Ensemble Offspring for an all-Australian introduction to the wonders of chamber music, suitable for families with toddlers and upwards. Featuring clarinet, percussion and piano with narration from all the musicians. It features old-fashioned colonial folk tunes, sounds of the Australian bush, instrumental demonstrations, hands-on percussion fun and music by much loved Australian composers. Performances are generally at central theatre locations and aimed at large school groups, childcare centre groups and toddlers and their families.

Watch the showreel | Download the education kit | Previous shows | Contact us about bringing the show to your regional centre

ABC Classic Kids Shows (2018)

A collaboration between the new ABC digital radio initiative, ABC Classic Kids, the Sydney Opera House and Ensemble Offspring combined forces to present two new live shows, podcasts and releases for ages 1-7.

“The perfect adventure to start your mini musicians on a lifetime of classical music.” – Artsplorers, 2018

Sounds Like Australia: Original new arrangements by Jessica Wells of works by Iain Grandage, Nigel Westlake, Ross Edwards, Martin Wesley- Smith and Jessica Wells. Recording features narrator/singer Luke Carroll and Ensemble Offspring.

Music for the Dreaming: Original new music by Brenda Gifford and Jessica Wells. Narrator/singer Kamil Ellis and Ensemble Offspring. This release was nominated for a 2019 ARIA Award for Best Children’s Album.

Listen to both releases via the Classic Kids podcast series | Read a recent review in Loudmouth.

2. High School Composition Workshops & Composer Resource Development

Australian Music Days (2010/2020)

Last featured in 2010, Ensemble Offspring will join long time composer collaborators Tristan Coelho, Holly Harrison and Nicole Murphy as Ensemble in Residence. Hosted by MLC School Burwood, AMD provides an opportunity for high school students from the broader Sydney region to meet at a central location and workshop their new pieces, experiencing first-hand analysis and feedback by the very best exponents in the country. Learn more about Australian Music Days

Richard Gill Presents (2018)

Before his passing in late 2018, Ensemble Offspring collaborated with Richard Gill and Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra to present their music with live analysis by Richard to a packed crowd of high school music students at the City Recital Hall. Read more

Australian Composition Seminar (2015)

Australian Composition Seminar was held at Santa Sabina College (Sydney) and was presented by Limelight Magazine with the remarkable Richard Gill leading the seminars and Ensemble Offspring in Residence. It saw the attendance of over 110 music students from between years 8-11 from around Australia and was aimed at those focusing on composition or preparing for their HSC.

We are currently developing other programs to workshop compositions in high schools, from 2021 onwards.

3. Tertiary & Graduate Programs

Hatched Academy (2013-present)

Hatched Academy is Ensemble Offspring’s emerging artist development program, designed to provide practical experience to the next generation of innovative performers and composers from around Australia. Now in its seventh year, Hatched Academy has had exceptional outcomes, with many alumni forging professional careers, contributing to the arts in Australia, and continuing to work with Ensemble Offspring.

Watch the 2019 showreel | Learn more about Hatched programs

Light for the First Time Workshops (2018)

Ensemble Offspring partnered with Sydney Conservatorium of Music for workshops in 2018, and worked with students to generate wonderful resources based around Light for the First Time by Bree van Reyk. Watch the performance, read about the process and explore various resources and activities produced by students here and here.

In addition to these activities, Ensemble Offspring facilitates composition workshops at tertiary institutions around Australia annually.

4. Supporting under-represented artists at any career stage

First Nations Composer Program (2020)

Our First Nations Composer Program is the first of its type in the art music sector in Australia. The program is designed to play an active role in addressing the disparity in opportunities afforded to Australia’s First Nations’ musicians and consists of a suite of activities including Ngarra-Burria (since 2017) and our inaugural First Nations Composer in Residence (2020-Brenda Gifford).

Learn more about First Nations Composer in Residence program

Noisy Women Commission (2017-present)

Noisy Women Commission is an annual commission through national application of a work from a female-identifying composer in the early stages of her professional career. Ensemble Offspring then workshops the piece with mentoring over a period of 12 months, with the premiere of the work in a mainstage Ensemble Offspring program in the following year.

Learn more about the Noisy Women Commission