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CEO's Report

In the last ten days I've been given several reminders of why music remains one of the most positive and powerful of all forms of expression. On Tuesday evening the wonderful Con Brio string ensemble played a beautiful selection of works for an appreciative audience (with my favourite Bach composition, Bist Du Bei Mir, as the opening piece). Two nights later a sell-out crowd enjoyed the vocal wizardry of The Idea of North ensemble in the Town Hall, and watched the first two items on the program being co-presented by our own New England Singers. Just two days later the NECOM Percussion Ensemble presented their first public performance in the Armidale Mall as one of the headline acts for the new Colour New England street art festival, with our Dixieland Band filling out the program earlier in the day with an hour of traditional jazz. 24 hours later, 100 students from the Armidale Youth Orchestra, String Orchestra and Wind Ensemble presented 90 minutes of high-quality music at the annual Rosemary Leitch Garden Party.

As I always do after any presentation, I ask audience members what they thought of the performances, and amongst the many varied (and always positive) comments I am usually offered this - "Armidale is so fortunate to have musicians of this calibre". I'm delighted when patrons use the word "fortunate" in place of "lucky", for luck plays no part in this. High quality performance is the by-product of excellent teaching and inspiring leadership. Music as an art form can and does have a positive influence on the quality of life for all, if nurtured and taught and delivered in a positive way. Chief among my favourite memories for 2019 will have to be watching our tireless Head of Strings, Ms Joanna Fairs-Wu, dancing in the Mall with some of our Music Therapy clients to the tune of Down By The Riverside played by the Dixie Six.

Sadly, I only have another nine months to bank up my memories of NECOM, for life has dealt our family some new cards that we hadn't anticipated when we moved here. In December I shall travel back to Brisbane to join my family, but until then there is much to do and several exciting projects to see through to their conclusion. I make this announcement public now so that the NECOM Board and management have sufficient time to cast a wide net and find a suitable replacement. With NECOM's national reputation for excellence in Music Education, I feel confident that the Board will be able to attract a very high standard of applicant to take this leading Conservatorium into its next phase.

Russ Bauer


Term 1 News

The Idea of North

On Thursday 4th April, Armidale was privileged to host The Idea of North as part of the Musica Viva Armidale 2019 Series. This was a much-anticipated event, with the group last visiting Armidale in 2015 to a similarly rapturous audience. Read more

The Old Teacher’s College back in education hands once more

February 1st 2019 is one of the most important dates in the 90-year history of the Old Teacher’s College. Today, the Honourable Adam Marshall MP announced that the management of the site (building and grounds) is now in the hands of the NSW Department of Education. Read more.

AYO Sawtell Music Camp 2019

Every year the Armidale Youth Orchestra ensembles and families travel to Sawtell Beach in late February for our Annual Music Camp weekend! Read more

Term 1 Strings Report

Term 1, 2019 has come to such a speedy end! It all began with a late afternoon chamber music concert on Sunday 17 February showcasing our talented teachers. Read more

Year 10 Music Day & HSC Workshops

Students and their teachers travelled from all over the New England and North West region to attend HSC Music Workshops on 6 & 7 March and Year 10 Music Day at NECOM on Friday 8 March.
“The sessions were all excellent and the most beneficial part was that my students were fully engaged in all the activities. The students came away with very positive musical experiences.” Read more

New England Festival Float

Hot on the heels of NECOM’s “Grand Champion Float” win in 2018, the Conservatorium again entered a float in this year’s parade, which was changed from the “Autumn Festival” to the “New England Festival”. The theme of this year’s entry was “The Man From Snowy River” to promote the huge concert event being held on 11th October this year. Read more.

Piano Lessons From Term Two

Following an interview last week, the Conservatorium welcomes Sheila Guymer to its music staff. Sheila joins the NECOM team with a wealth of experience in Accompaniment and Chamber Music, and has a passion for teaching young musicians from beginner level right up to Masters level performance. Read more

NECOM Percussion Ensemble takes centrestage in the Mall

Students and staff from NECOM’s many programs shared the limelight at Armidale’s “Colour New England” street art festival on Saturday 6th April. Read more

UNE Colleges Music Program

The UNE Colleges Music Program has started back up recently under the watchful eye of Andrea Gledhill, head of Austin College. This year we have Vocal, String, Recorder and Wind Ensembles. Read more

A music conference aimed entirely at the art of composition will be held in Armidale from 9 – 11 October in what is believed to be an Australian first. NECOM is excited to now open up registrations to students who are beginning to take music seriously as a future pursuit. Read more

One of the world’s most lucrative composition prizes is being hosted by the New England Conservatorium of Music! With the generous sponsorship of Legal Minds in Armidale, NECOM is able to offer two major prizes to help establish an important competition for amateur composers. Read more

Armidale Eisteddfod 2019 Key Dates

13-17 May - Strings

19-20 May - Woodwind/Brass

21-22 May - Choirs

23-26 May - Speech & Drama

27-28 May - Vocal

29-30 May - Organ/Keyboard

2 June - New England Championship

4 June - Ensembles, Band Night

5 June - Primary Ensembles, Composition

9 June - Gala Concert

3 May
Managing Performance Anxiety Workshop

This workshop is designed to help you to play in performance as well as you do in the Practice Room. Presented by Sarah Marshall who is a highly respected vocal teacher, AMEB examiner and performing arts counsellor with a wealth of experience. The workshop is on Friday 3 May from 4:00 -5:30pm in Room F.03. The workshop is FREE OF CHARGE for students in years 9-12 and adult learners.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to by Friday 12 April

25 July
Flinders Quartet

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH String Quartet Cycle: Selected movements from the string quartets of Shostakovich, curated by Flinders Quartet and dramaturge, Richard Piper
ROBERT SCHUMANN String Quartet No. 3 in A major, Op. 41, No. 3

31 August
John Bell & Simon Tedeschi

Australian theatre icon, John Bell AO OBE and internationally acclaimed pianist Simon Tedeschi renew their triumphant partnership with Bright Star, exploring the life, love and genius of two bright stars of the Romantic era – John Keats and Franz Schubert.

24 November
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

Man From Snowy River Concert Event

A 75-piece orchestra will perform the entire soundtrack live with the classic Australian film.

Special guests will be Tom “The Man” Burlinson and award-winning composer, Bruce Rowland.



5pm   -    gates open with food vendors, cattledog displays, cooee competition, whip-cracking, mechanical bull

7pm   -   The movie event “The Man From Snowy River” with live orchestra

9pm   -   Tom Burlinson performs “An Evening of Sinatra” with the orchestra

Adults $45 | Seniors $35 | Students (5–17) $20 | Family (2 adults, 2 children) $110

Book Tickets
3/4 Size Cello

Comes with case and bow.
Contact Danielle:

Kawai KS-5F Piano

Contact Charlie:
0435 104 603

Enrolments and Account Queries

Nicola Price
02 6788 2135

Finance Manager

Sophie Williams
02 6788 2138


Kate Thomas
02 6788 2137

Program Manager

Corinne Arter
02 6788 2139


Russ Bauer
02 6788 2140

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New England Conservatorium of Music

PO Box 1313, Armidale

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