Thanks to the multi-million dollar upgrade and redevelopment (1998-2001) that transformed the original nineteenth-century Conservatorium heritage building into a state-of-the-art music complex, the Conservatorium High has at its disposal facilities that are second-to-none. In addition to ten standard school classrooms, school offices and staff room, the school can avail itself of 53 teaching studios, 63 practice rooms, 140 pianos, 15 seminar and ensemble rooms, choral and instrumental rehearsal rooms, three recital/ lecture halls and two major concert halls.
At the heart of the turreted sandstone structure known affectionately as ‘The Con’ is Verbrugghen Hall. Named after the founding director of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, the hall seats 497 and houses the glorious Pogson Pipe Organ that was installed in the 1970s by the NSW Government. The hall features a large stage accommodating a full symphony orchestra, a choir gallery and audience seating over two levels. The Con High uses the Verbrugghen Hall weekly for Large Performing Ensembles and for all major end-of-term concerts and official events.
The Conservatorium Library
The Conservatorium Library functions as both a secondary school library and a university research library. Its collection dates from the establishment of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music. The Library holds approximately 100,000 scores, 32,000 books, 20 000 CDs/DVDs, 12,000 vinyl recordings, print and electronic journals and databases of streamed recordings and digitised scores. In addition to Music, the collection covers school subject such as Creative Arts, English, Human Society & its Environment, Languages, Mathematics, Science and Technology.
Apart from Verbrugghen Hall, Conservatorium High students make most frequent use of the Choral Assembly Hall which seats 213 and has space for a small orchestra. It is equipped with two concert grand pianos, a Fazioli and Yamaha Disklavier. The Music Workshop seats 220 and is a performance space purpose-built for versatility. The flexible stage is suitable for a variety of performances from contemporary music and multimedia presentations to large-scale operatic productions with a traditional orchestra pit. Conservatorium High students use this venue for the Large Performing Ensembles program. Recital Halls East & West both seat 116 and are used for our Soloist Concerts series, for lectures and seminars, and for master classes and public recitals.
Music Technology & Keyboard Labs
While we are proud of our role in conserving musical traditions the Conservatorium High is also keen to ensure that we are fully au fait with contemporary musical styles. Our Mac computer Music Technology Lab is equipped with aural training software, theory training software, sampling and audio recording software and state-of-the-art scoring/notation software. Each workstation is configured with a MIDI synthesizer and headphones and is connected to the school network for convenience and flexibility. The school was also furnished with a Keyboard Lab of quality electric pianos, interconnected in a Keyboard Lab Management System, all provided and installed by the Parents & Citizens’ Association of the Conservatorium High.
As part of our commitment to excellence in secondary education the school has upgraded six classrooms that now incorporate Interactive Whiteboards and Connected Classroom technology. These facilities provide our students with Connected Learning opportunities in every subject area every day of the week. Our students benefit from instantaneous interaction with other educational institutions around the world and can also become part of our developing music education outreach program through remote interaction with regional Conservatoria and music faculties across the state and abroad.
Science, Art, Technology & Fitness Labs
In addition to ten standard classrooms, the school has several specialist teaching spaces: a fully equipped Science Laboratory and generous sized Visual Arts facility. The latter space incorporating a kiln room, digital media room and a general art practice studio. There are also two dedicated Physical Education spaces: a fitness lab and an exercise room.