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CEO's Report

Thank you to the NECOM Board, community and staff for their very warm welcome when I recently returned to Armidale and to NECOM. It feels like I have come back home and stepping back into the position of CEO has been a great honour.

August has always been a busy month at NECOM but 2019 saw an increase in activities that kept everyone on their toes.

Firstly, we hosted the AMEB exams not only for NECOM students but for students of all teachers across Armidale and surrounding districts. Exams ran across ten days to cater for the large number of strings, brass, woodwinds and voice students. NECOM’s 74 instrumental students performed extremely well so our sincere congratulation to them, their teachers and accompanists for their outstanding results. NECOM also hosted two days of auditions for the Australian Youth Orchestra and the Gondwana National Choral School and once again, we had record numbers of NECOM students who were inspired to audition for these prestigious music training organisations. The fact that NECOM is the only regional centre in NSW chosen to host auditions is testament to the standard of our students musicality and skill.

The last week of August was probably one of our busiest weeks on record and is a perfect example of what a ‘week in the life of NECOM’ looks like. Believe it or not, we presented eleven concerts in seven days –HSC recitals with AMTA; Cantilena tour to Ross Hill PS in Inverell; Chamber Music in Schools to Walcha, Uralla and Rocky River; UNE graduation ceremonies, Winter Choral Concert; Con Brio String Orchestra; John Bell and Simon Tedeschi at Armidale Town Hall and lastly, three wind ensembles performed at the Lift off Festival at Glen Innes.

And that’s not all for that weekend….. String teachers Laura Curotta and Rob Jackson took 12 of NECOM’s senior students to Sydney for a Tertiary Experience Tour – read all about this invaluable opportunity and experience they gave to our young musicians.

Such a productive and high functioning organisation such as NECOM achieves these outcomes because of the dedication and professionalism of its administration and teaching staff and the support of parents. Congratulations and thank you for making this month so rewarding for our students and community.


August News

Welcome to the Grands

Last year NSW artists and organisations were invited to apply for funding from the NSW Regional Cultural Fund (RCF).  The RCF was established by the NSW Government to ensure regional NSW receives its fair share of arts and cultural infrastructure and the associated recreational and educational benefits. 
Read more.

'Bright Star' Concert Review

What a treat it was to have the creative genius of Schubert and Keats revealed so cleverly in the short space of 75 minutes by two of Australia’s leading performers: the actor/director John Bell AO, OBE, (one of our Living National Treasures), and the internationally- acclaimed pianist, Simon Tedeschi, at the recent Musica Viva concert on Saturday August 31st!
Read more.

AYO Gala Concert

The 2019 Armidale Youth Orchestras Gala Concert was held at Lazenby Hall, UNE on Sunday 18 August and was attended by hundreds of music lovers. 
Read more

Regional Australia Bank Community Partnership Program Donation

NECOM has been awarded a grant of $2599.78 from the Regional Australia Bank Community Partnership Program.  The cheque was presented at the Reg Aust Bank event at the Golf Club on Thurs 8 August. Read more

Winter Choral Concert

The Winter Choral Concert is one of the many highlights of the NECOM Performance Calendar every year. Minisingers, Cantilena, Cantilena Chorale, Side-by-Side Choir, New England Singers and the New England Singers Chamber Choir all gave outstanding performances on the evening.
Read more.

Cantilena Tour to Ross Hill Public School

On Wednesday, August 27, Cantilena singers visited Ross Hill Public School for a special choral workshop.

The students in the Ross Hill Years 3 and 4 choir have been working on two pieces "Mosquitoes" and "Skye Boat Song" with music teacher Nicole Mackson. 
Read more.

Sydney Tertiary Experience Tour

At the end of August, a tour to Sydney had been organised for Year 10, 11 and 12 students interested in tertiary music studies. The tour included the NSW Conservatorium and Sydney University Open Day activities, tours of Sydney University colleges and attendance at the Opera Australia production of West Side Story.
Read more

Chamber Music in Schools August Report

The Chamber Music in Schools piano trio visited three local outer regional schools on Friday 30 August. Deidre Rickards, Joanna Fairs-Wu and Sofia Debus delighted young students from St Joseph's in Uralla, St Patrick's in Walcha and Rocky River Primary School.
Read more

NECOM Then & Now: Arlie Bragg

NECOM has now been in operation for 16 years. In that time we’ve seen many students grow up with the programs offered by the Conservatorium. Thanks to a very large photo archive and with the help of some of our long term students, we have decided to run a new feature called NECOM Then & Now.
Read more.

Meet John Hadfield, Piano Tuner

There are many faces you’ll often see around NECOM, people who help keep our amazing Conservatorium running like a well-oiled machine. One of those people you’ll see regularly is John Hadfield of John Hadfield Piano Tuning.
Read more.

August Strings Report

Over the last month, there has been much activity in the String Department. Our head of Strings reports on the busy month so far, including concerts for ASO, AYO Gala and Con Brio plus AMEB Exams and a visit from Gwyn Roberts.
Read more.

26 September - Lazenby Hall UNE
UNE Annual Spring Concert

This year's concert features:

- Vocal ensemble
- Three Tenors
- Recorder Consort
- String ensemble
- Guitar trio
- Quartet Abyss


29 October - Armidale Town Hall

ACO Collective

NECOM in association with Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective present this stunning 17-piece string ensemble performance. This year, internationally acclaimed violinist Helena Rathbone takes up the inaugural position as ACO Collective Artistic Director.

24 November - Armidale Town Hall
New England Ensemble

Piano Quartet in G minor K478
Howard Blake: Penillion for Violin and Piano ( a hauntingly beautiful set of variations on a Welsh theme)
Brahms: Piano Quartet in C minor Op 60
plus a selection of solos for cello and viola

3/4 Size Cello

Comes with case and bow.
Contact Danielle:

Kawai KS-5F Piano

Contact Charlie:
0435 104 603


Sankyo Etude. Hard case within soft carry case. Excellent condition. $1,000.

Contact: Jane Pickard
0413 725 386 or

Clarinet in A

Yamaha Custom CX with original, never used, mouthpiece, ligature and metal cap.

Long barrel. With hard case that takes the A clarinet and a Bb clarinet and a BG clarinet stand. Excellent condition. $2000.

Contact: Jane Pickard
0413 725 386 or

Bb Clarinet

Yamaha Custom CX with Vandoren B45 mouthpiece and original mouthpiece, Vandoren Optimum ligature and BG leather elasticated neckstrap. With hard case and instrument stand. Has had a fair bit of use but still in really good condition. $2000.

Contact: Jane Pickard
0413 725 386 or

Tenor Saxophone

Yamaha Custom YTS-82Z with Vandoren T20 mouthpiece, Vandoren Optimum ligature and BG yoke leather neckstrap. Hard case and instrument stand. Superb condition. $5,000.

TENOR SAXOPHONE MOUTHPIECE - Yanagisawa metal mouthpiece (7) with metal ligature and cap. Never been used. $100.

Contact: Jane Pickard
0413 725 386 or

Alto Saxophone

ALTO SAXOPHONE​ - Yanagisawa 901 with Selmer C* mouthpiece, original mouthpiece and Vandoren Optimum ligature. High F# key. With soft sided case with lots of pockets for storing accessories and instrument stand. Excellent condition. $2,500.

Contact: Jane Pickard
0413 725 386 or

Soprano Saxophone

Yanagisawa 901 with Selmer C* mouthpiece, Vandoren Optimum ligature and Yanagisawa neckstrap. High F# key. Hard case and separate gigbag. Superb condition. $2,500.

Contact: Jane Pickard
0413 725 386 or

Enrolments and Account Queries

Nicola Price
02 6788 2135

Finance Manager

Sophie Williams
02 6788 2138


Kate Reynolds
02 6788 2137

Program Manager

Corinne Arter
02 6788 2139


Susanne James
02 6788 2140

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New England Conservatorium of Music

PO Box 1313, Armidale

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