Tango Oz



TangoOz  is now an access large ensemble at Conservatorium High School, Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Rehearsals are every Monday during term time from 4pm to 6pm in the Choral Assembly Hall.
Positions are open for bandoneon, violins, viola, cello and winds.
Students study within a chamber tango ensemble led by Maggie Ferguson on bandoneon, from original composers’ arrangements from Tangovia.org in Buenos Aires
Auditions for term two will be held in early May. Please contact Mrs Annette Brown on 93511346
Repertoire this year includes:


Vardarito – Astor Piazzolla

Camandulaje – Alfredo Gobbi

Decarissimo – Astor Piazzolla

Tango Del Angel -Astor Piazzolla

Resureccion Del Angel – Astor Piazzolla

Meridional – Victor Lavallen

Si  Sos Brujo – Emilio Balcarce

Triunfal – Astor Piazzolla

Tema Otonal – Mario Enrique Francini

Milonga de mis Amores – Pedro Laurenz

A Fuego Lento – Horacio Salgan

Gallo Ciego – Agustin Bardi

Mi Refugio – Carlos Cobian

Recuerdo – Osvaldo Pugliese

Febril – Eduardo Rovira

Melancolico – Julian Plaza

La Llamo Silbando – Horacio Salgan



TangoOz  2016 performed its final concert for the year on December 10th in the Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
The concert is here, filmed by Mark Robinson

Please read below about TangoOz’ tour to Argentina and Uruguay
All photos by Mark Robinson
La Viruta MilongaLast rehearsal Cafe Vinilo with Victor LavallenPaula TennentTeatro Canelones, Uruguay
SYO TangoOz Tour June-July 2016
It’s not every day – nor every year – that we tour internationally with our youth tango orchestra, so when this Maggie-nificent opportunity arose for SYO’s TangoOz, twenty or so talented young musicians (including four alumni), along with Casey and a few parents, leapt to take on the Australia-Argentina Emerging Artist Skills Development Project in Buenos Aires and Montevideo.
Led by violin and bandoneon tango extraordinaire Maggie Ferguson, TangoOz brought bandoneon players, pianists, double basses, violins, flutes, a clarinet, and a saxophone to South America. From making new friends and visiting spectacular sites to refining our tango style, every one of us had much to learn and gain from the unforgettable fortnight. After settling into an entirely new continent (thirteen-hour time zone difference to Sydney!), we were caught in a whirlwind of rehearsals and performances, concerts and rehearsal observations. And what an honour it was to sit in Orquesta Escuela de Tango’s rehearsal home Café Vinilo to watch and listen to them play under Maestro Victor Lavallen’s directorial excellence! Sectionals at La Casa del Tango with our tutors – esteemed members and associates of the Orquesta Escuela – taught us new techniques and reinforced old ones – most notably the “arrastre” (a dragging motion) and “syncope” (similar but displaced stress), percussive sound from string and wind instruments through different articulations, and “fraseado” (a pushing-pulling type of expressive phrasing). “An incredibly memorable and immersive experience!” writes TangoOz pianist, Thomas McCorquodale. “Buenos Aires and its people opened so many of their doors for us, and in return we had the opportunity to learn from their maestros, with their tutors, in some of their finest performance venues, recording studios and radio stations! It was as if we were locals of the city and members of the Escuela de Tango! “Without doubt our second home as an ensemble, one just as close to our hearts as Sydney. #phatmilonga #trendytangueros [sic]” McCorquodale continues.
Musical highlights of the tour included a soiree at the Australian Embassy in Buenos Aires, a milonga night at La Viruta where we performed a set and learnt some tango dance steps, and were praised with a very humbling standing ovation on our departure; a lengthy recording session for our very own EP, followed by a live radio broadcast at midnight; playing the tango “Mistonguero” written by the Maestro with the Maestro; and our last performance, a concert in the Canelones Theatre in Montevideo – where we were unfortunately missing several key players including our conductor due to sickness – but were applauded with yet another (double!) standing ovation. A few of us were so inspired that we want to return to Buenos Aires to take our tango studies further.
A major setback for many of us was getting sick – either shaking off the common cold from the 14 or so hours of flying and few hours of ferrying each way, or catching a virus – but nothing an Argentinian steak or schnitzel or pizza (or salad) couldn’t fix. The sights we saw made up for all of it: the enchanting sidewalks of La Recoleta cemetery, the splendid Teatro Colon (BA), and Teatro Solis (MV), the grand bookshop El Ateneo, the colourful neighbourhood La Boca, and a day of cycling in Montevideo were all indescribably beautiful. Delving into the maté (tea) culture, looking for the Obelisk to get back to our hotel, testing our agility while avoiding copious amounts of dog doo on the streets, rushing to get onto the Subte (subway system) before the blaring alarm sounded and the ruthless doors shut, flipping tiles for bananagrams, and mentally calculating Aussie dollar to Argentinian and Uruguayan pesos, as well as practising the phrases “agua con/sin gas” and “dulce de leche” became daily routine.
A colossal thank you to Maggie, Casey, Yarmila and SYO, parents, Steve, the Uruguayan Club in Sydney, Ignacio, our tutors both at home and overseas, and our tour guides, (and also everybody else who has helped us with generous support) for their combined efforts to make the tour such an enjoyable experience, and of course, Air New Zealand for taking us under their wing with their tour sponsorship – none of this would have been possible without everyone involved!! We must also extend a special mention to Naomi (violin, current member) and Jacqui (violin, alumna) for their prolific patience in helping to communicate and translate from English to Spanish and vice versa.
Liz Cheung July 2016 – This is Liz’s third year in TangoOz on flute and piccolo and she sometimes writes recipes and shopping lists
13620856_10209228578685198_8817490864878365265_n-1-150x150Ella Soussa, Victor Lavallen, Cleo Ha



Tango Oz Emerging Artists Development Project June 29 – July 15, 2016

In 2016 SYO’s unique tango chamber ensemble TangoOz will embark on a 10–14 day tango immersion, a trip to Buenos Aires and Montevideo, the birth cities of tango, as part of SYO’s inaugural Emerging Artists Development Project.

UC TangoOz 220815

SYO is working with Buenos Aires resident Ignacio Varchausky: a double bass player, music producer and founder of Orquesta El Arranque and the creator and artistic director of Orquesta Escuela de Tango Emilio Balcarce. Varchausky looks forward to his involvement as the curator of the TangoOz Emerging Artists Development Project.
He is the founder of TangoVia Buenos Aires, a non-profit organization, which aims at preserving, spreading and developing tango culture throughout the world. Through his long friendship and professional association with TangoOz conductor Maggie Ferguson, he has facilitated the artistic integrity of the Sydney based TangoOz. Varchausky has structured a program for TangoOz which includes a city concert, a performance at a milonga (Tango social) and a live radio performance on his program for tango radio, LA 2x4FM92.7.

 With the generous fundraising support of the Uruguayan Club in Sydney, TangoOz will also perform a concert in Montevideo, Uruguay. TangoOz will be provided with orchestral and sectional tuition with leading tango musicians and have access to resources of the Escuela de Tango Emilio Balcarce, attend rehearsals of the Orquesta Escuela De Tango Emilio Balcarce conducted by Victor Llavallen, visit venues not experienced by tourists, showcasing the best of Argentina’s tango ensembles and have cultural excursions to experience local sights, customs and food.

Orquesta Escuela de Tango Emilio Balcarce 2014 at Cafe Vinilo

Orquesta Escuela de Tango Emilio Balcarce 2014 at Cafe Vinilo

The TangoOz Emerging Artists Development Project will be framed by the opportunity for mentorship and collaboration with Orquesta Escuela De Tango Emilio Balcarce musicians, and will take an educational/training focus. In addition to this, there will be performance and recording opportunities, as well as the chance for sight-seeing and cultural activities.

For further information and a copy of the project prospectus email casey@syo.com.au

Tango Oz is Australia’s first national tango training orchestra.

Auditions for TangoOz 2017 will be held on Sunday November 20th, 2016. Please click HERE for more information

Maggie Ferguson and ConTangoOz

Libertango Instrumental – TangoOz and ConTango

I’m looking for young musicians with style,  initiative, a strong presence, a secure technique and a love of expressing themselves through music. All strings, clarinet, flute and piano are welcome to audition.

Candidates should show by their performance of the excerpts that they have researched the style of tango. Ref: TangoMusicAustralia All articulation and other markings should be observed. You are also asked to research some tango facts or anecdotes and be able to discuss them. I will also hear a short piece of your choice and there will be a sight reading passage.

If successful you will have a chance to learn authentic Argentine tango performance techniques from Buenos Aires and to bond within a unique chamber ensemble which focuses on individuals exploring their expressive potential and thereby contributing to the collective sound of the group.
Violins and selected winds will be given the chance to play tango solos made famous by the Argentine maestros, using original scores made available by TangoVia.org and The Escuela De Tango Emilio Balcarce. Performance opportunities for TangoOz are at family concerts, special events in the community and at outdoor festivals.

If you think you have what it takes to be part of this exciting group, I look forward to meeting you and hearing you play.

Maggie Ferguson 

TangoOz was created in 2009  by Maggie Ferguson in conjunction with  Sydney Youth Orchestras (SYO). For young musicians, being part TangoOz opens up the world of Argentine tango.

TangoOz were the focus of Sydney’s first International Tango Escuela held in collaboration with Sydney Conservatorium High School in July 2009 under the guest direction of Ignacio Varchausky and Santiago Polimeni.

The orchestra performs regularly in concert at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and has played at the Australian Tango Championships, the Barrenjoey Festival, the MOorambillaFestival for New Australian Music, The Everglades Retro Festival, the Aroma Festival 2011 & 2012, Sydney Foreshore Harbour Authority’s Santa Fest, The Royal Botanic Gardens Autumn Vibes Festival and as special guests at consular events and tango milongas throughout Sydney.

It is a unique opportunity for gifted students to learn about tango culture and to study and perform from original scores in an inspiring, lively, chamber tango ensemble under the leadership of Maggie and her Argentine colleagues.

By learning the art of the tango solo within the orchestra, students are encouraged to express themselves in an individual way by use of  Rubato, while not sacrificing traditional classical values of intonation (tuning), rhythm and ensemble tutti playing.

Stage preparation and manners are emphasised to prepare students for confident performance – while remaining a cohesive ensemble, they may display individual touches in their stage outfits. In addition the students are required to prepare notes on the tangos to be played and present them in a short speech to the audience.

Many graduates of TangoOz have formed their own ensembles and are playing regular concerts and gigs for the Sydney and Canberra communities.

Watch more performances of TangoOz here

Testimonial – Maggie Ferguson Tango Workshop, Orange Regional Conservatorium, Saturday 28th February 2015
Orange Con quintet
The Orange Regional Conservatorium was delighted to host Maggie Ferguson, conducting workshops and masterclasses recently.

Maggie was absolutely wonderful with our students, bringing the best out of their performances and taking them to another level in terms of working with music from another genre and exploring unusual performance techniques.

Her gentle nature, depth of experience and professional approach were appreciated by the instrumental students from the Orange Youth Orchestra and wider community.
Her energy and passion for the Tango have left a lasting impression on both students and staff and we look forward to her return to build on what was begun.
Donna Riles
Music Director
Orange Regional Conservatorium