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CEO's Report

Our HSC students completed their final music exam on Friday 18 October and we congratulate them and their teachers for their incredible achievements not only this year but for the many years running up to this milestone. Yes indeed - the HSC music exams are now over and we wish them well as they set out on the next path in life.

As I write in the NECOM office, I look out at the bushfire smoke haze that has hovered over Armidale for weeks now. The effect of the extreme drought on our community, economy and everyday lives is growing and the coming summer months will be a real challenge. As a community conservatorium we talk with our students, families and audiences all the time. The concern about the drought is uppermost in almost every conversation we have, and what we should be doing to help each other at this time.

One way NECOM can help is to assist our students and families who make significant commitments to music through learning an instrument, singing in a choir or playing in an ensemble. With apologies for the cliché, our 2020 vision and goal is that no student will miss out on their music learning at NECOM in these hard times. So next year we will offer extra fee discounts, additional bursaries and a new family member package. Click on the article below so you can access these options when you enrol next year.

Although it may feel that we are hurtling towards the year’s end, our final months of November and December are full of fantastic concerts – read about them below. A large enthusiastic audience is the best way to support and thank our musicians so come along and enjoy the music.



October News

NECOM’s Increased Support in times of Drought

The NECOM Board and management acknowledge the devastating effects of drought in the region and the impact on our students, families and wider community. In 2020, NECOM will therefore increase its assistance with an expanded financial support package to help students and families continue with their musical education and activities in these tough times. In 2020 NECOM has partly subsidised fee increases and are now offering discounts for multiple family members enrolled at NECOM.
Read more.

New England Big Band premieres at NECOM

November is an exciting month for jazz lovers. . . the brand new New England Big Band hits the stage on November 16th for one night only! Come along early at 6pm and enjoy a wine or Pimms cocktail and channel memories of big band greats such as the Duke, the Count and Glen Miller while hearing some great big band music.
Read more.

ACO Collective Workshop at NECOM

The Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective had a busy time when they visited Armidale on 29-30 August. After a fantastic concert the evening before, four ACOC musicians, led by violinist Aiko Goto, presented an intense=ive workshop for over 20 string students at NECOM. After a morning of tutorials and rehearsals, the students gave an inspired performance of Mendelssohn and Grieg to parents and teachers in the NECOM Auditorium.
Read more.

Vocal Lessons with Sarah Adeney now at NECOM

Did you know that NECOM is now offering vocal lessons with our new voice teacher, Sarah Adeney?

Sarah Adeney is a classically trained soprano, currently training with Shelli Hulcombe. Sarah began focused vocal lessons as a high school student, and went on to study classical voice at the QLD Conservatorium of Music for three years, before expanding into other fields of study and beginning a family. 
Read more.

Brass Teacher Joins NECOM

NECOM warmly welcomes Vanessa Bartley-Heterick who has joined us to teach brass and bands in our Campus and school programs.

Vanessa is a brass specialist and the Music Director of the Armidale City Band. She is a highly experienced primary and secondary music teacher and came to Armidale to complete her PhD in education at UNE after receiving an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship
Read more

Gondwana Congratulations

Audition results for the Gondwana National Choral School are out! Congratulations to the following 17 choristers from Armidale who successfully auditioned for this prestigious two-week choral training school in January 2020. 

Read more.

HSC Music Workshops

HSC music students and their teachers had the opportunity to hone their skills for their HSC music exam during the October school holidays. Each day the students revised a different musical concept and then practised different response formats using past HSC questions. 
Read more

African Drumming Workshop

During the school holidays, NECOM’s music therapy and percussion teacher, Fumie Takahashi, had the opportunity to attend a Teacher Training Course in African Drumming that ran for two days at the Tamworth Regional Conservatorium.

 Read more

NECOM Then and Now: Sam Russell

This month is Samuel Russell, who began his NECOM career with Mini Minstrels, he is now a member of the Armidale Youth String Orchestra and New England Singers
Read more

2020 Enrolment Forms

Enrolment Forms for 2020 will be available and sent out to current students from the first week of November onwards. To secure your current timeslot for next year, ensure your forms are returned by 6 December, plus everyone who re-enrols by that date will go into the draw to be one of eight who will receive $50 off their term 1 fees.

13 November - Armidale Teacher's College

Armidale Youth Big/Jazz Band

Calling all school-aged flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, bass, piano, drum and percussion players. On Wednesday 13 November 5-6pm at NECOM, we are inviting players to join us for our first Armidale Youth Big/Jazz Band afternoon.
If you're interested, please contact so we can ensure there is enough sheet music for everyone.

4, 11 Nov-12 Dec Wright Centre UNE
Free Gamelan Classes

UNE is offering a fantastic opportunity to the community to learn to play in a gamelan orchestra with specialist Dr Joko Susilo.

An information and personal sign on session will be held on Monday November 4 at 5.30pm.

Anyone who shows up on that day will get the chance to meet the teacher and learn more about the gamelan and how the classes will be formed, depending on numbers. Practice sessions will run from 5.30 to approximately 7.30 pm.

Contact Dr Alana Blackburn for more information. Phone 02 6773 4240 Email

16 November - Armidale Teacher's College

New England Big Band


Enjoy some of Armidale's best musicians as they come together to perform an exciting mix of traditional and contemporary jazz with wine and cocktails.

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

6pm, 27 November - Armidale Teachers College

Christmas Choral Concert

Don’t miss NECOM’s annual Christmas Choral Concert featuring all of our choirs in one massive performance! Wednesday 27 November will showcase NECOM’s choirs, Minisingers, Cantilena, Cantilena Chorale, New England Singers, and New England Chamber Choir. NECOM’s auditorium will be packed with families and supporters of these fine choirs so make sure you arrive early to get your seat!

7pm, 29 November - Armidale Teacher's College
Acacia Quartet

Acacia Presents ‘The American’

[Throughout the concert,] Acacia Quartet performed so well that at times they seem like only one instrument, such is their clarity and unison.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - SQ 15, K421
Alice Chance - A Sundried Quartet
Antonin Dvorak - SQ 12, Op. 96 ‘American’
Tickets at the door. Adults $35, School students $20.

4pm, 15 December - Armidale Teacher's College

Errol Russell Sinfonia of New England

A Summer Soiree

In their third annual concert, the Errol Russell Sinfonia of New England will present a program of string classic including:

Marcello Oboe Concerto in D Minor
Hindemith  Trauermusik 
Mozart Divertimento in B Flat Major
Vaughan Williams   Five Variants of "Dives and Lazarus"
Palmer    Ruritarian Dances

Special guest Gwyn Roberts and soloists James McKay and Sophia Mackson

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

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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