About Us

The Essendon Symphony is a community orchestra based in Melbourne’s Moonee Valley that meets weekly during the school term and performs 3 – 4 concerts a year per year playing mostly classical and romantic music.

We generally perform at least one formal concert per year featuring a renowned soloist, one ‘kids’ themed concert involving costumes and lots of audience interaction (great fun), and one less formal concert. We also work in collaboration with other community music groups and for community events as they come up.

Members of the ESO range in age from 18 up, with varying levels of orchestral experience, and comprise local and international students, retirees, and workers from a broad spectrum of professions. Many of our players have returned to their instruments as adults.

Our group puts a strong emphasis on the social side of music making and it is rumoured that some enjoy rehearsals and especially supper break, more than concerts!

Our Conductor

Jenny Going has been the Musical Director of the Essendon Symphony since 2008. During this time she has helped to build the ensemble from 14 players to well over 50 members that it has today.

She is also Principal conductor of the Ballarat Symphony Orchestra. Jenny has conducted some of Melbourne’s leading ensembles including the Zelman SymphonyMelbourne University Biomedical Students Orchestra and Hopkins Sinfonia. Jenny is committed to supporting young musicians as conductor at Melbourne Youth Orchestras’s Summer School, conducting the Philharmonic Orchestra in 2024. In 2016 she founded the West Melbourne Schools Orchestra to provide rehearsal and performance opportunities for students in Melbourne’s West.

Jenny was honoured to be the inaugural recipient of the Rosemary and John Hopkins Award in 2015 when she also completed her Masters of Music specialising in orchestral conducting at The University of Melbourne under Benjamin Northey.

She founded Noteable Music Education Resources in 2006. As Managing Director, she wrote and published resources for classroom music teachers, including interactive digital resources. Jenny was a regular presenter of workshops at national music education conferences throughout Australia. She adjudicates for the Victorian School Music Festival, local eisteddfods, and at National Brass Band Championships.

During her music career Jenny has worked as a professional trombonist with the Royal New Zealand Navy Band, performed on stage with Randy Breaker, Arturo Sandoval, Robin Eubanks and Rob McConnell during her time studying in Jazz Trombone in Philadelphia, and recorded and toured extensively throughout the west coast of the USA and recorded with Ska Band ‘Ruder Than You’.

For further details, see www.jennygoing.com.au.

Assistant Conductor


Jarrod Butler’s diverse work as instrumentalist (clarinet, saxophone), conductor, and teacher is unified by his commitment to achieving excellence and celebrating music’s power to unite.

With over a decade’s rich experience in his field, Jarrod is celebrated for his inspirational methods of communicating music’s big ideas to young instrumentalists. He is in demand as a teacher and conductor, tutoring members of the Melbourne Youth Orchestras since 2014 and currently works as Head of Bands, Brass, and Woodwind at Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School.

Fuelled by his passion for providing educational opportunities to students living in regional and remote areas of Australia, Jarrod has directed community music partnership programs for The University of Melbourne’s Conservatorium of Music and conducts students from all over Australia at the annual Border Music Camp in Albury, NSW.

Jarrod’s broad array of skills, knowledge of musical styles, and trademark warmth of character underpins his work at the helm of ensembles. Maintaining a strong professional association as treasurer of the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association (ABODA Victoria), Jarrod is committed to facilitating ongoing peer learning and professional development opportunities in the band and orchestral community.