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CEO's Report
Our final newsletter for the year brings you the most recent news of NECOM’s activities and a taster for what’s coming up in 2020.

Please read on and learn about all the wonderful music that has been presented by our students, teachers and schools to families, audiences and communities here and around Armidale - once again it is quite amazing to hear and read about the impressive musical life here in the New England.

Such achievements only come about when we have a magical combination of committed and passionate people who want music to happen at this level. Thank you and congratulations to you all because you make NECOM what it is and what it has achieved this year.

Our magical community includes our brilliant and talented teaching staff who are at the front line of music education and performance every day of the week; our dedicated and hardworking management team who are the engine room of NECOM; the school principals who invite NECOM into their schools and support us to bring music into the lives of the students; and our Board members, partners, donors and audiences who want music to be front and centre in our region’s cultural identity.

And lastly, thank you and congratulations to the talented and hard working students and young musicians at NECOM and to their parents who support them throughout the year – you are the musical heart of NECOM.

On behalf of the NECOM board and staff, we wish you all a wonderfully happy Christmas and summer holiday.


End of Year Newsletter

Christmas Concerts

NECOM's annual Christmas Concerts are always full of Santa hats, antlers and Christmas bling, a fitting accompaniment to the wonderful repertoire presented by our talented young, their conductors and accompanists. Read more.

New England Big Band premieres at NECOM

The rafters in the Old Teacher’s College shook as the New England Big Band took to the stage for the first time on a sultry, smoky Saturday night, November 16th, the crowd certainly showed their enthusiasm, cheering and clapping throughout the performance. The NECOM staff served cocktails to complete the experience.

Read more.

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.

NECOM Board Christmas Drinks

The NECOM Board’s annual Christmas Drinks held on Thursday 5 December saw over 50 people fill the portico of the Armidale Teachers College on an afternoon when the weather was almost perfect! This year’s party was an enjoyable occasion where NECOM’s staff, teachers, board, donors and supporters celebrated the year that was and to acknowledge the invaluable contribution made by all to NECOM’s achievements. Read more.

Armidale Youth Orchestras 2019 Report

The Armidale Youth Orchestras finished 2019 on an absolute high! For their last performance of the year, the Armidale Youth Orchestra (AYO), conducted by Paul Marshall, performed for some of Armidale’s Senior Citizens at the Masonic Village. The audience was absolutely delighted at the performance, and even called for an encore!

Read more

End of Year Strings Report

Term 4 has flurried by. Community concerts, music camps, concerts, visiting artists and masterclasses for all ages of string players. A big thank you to all the conservatorium string teachers Robert, Laura, Jhana, April and Arlene for their dedication and hard work with their teaching throughout the year. A warm welcome to Sarah Adeney (violin/viola) who will be taking on some of Laura’s students in Term 1, 2020, while Laura is on maternity leave.

Read more.

Sydney Conservatorium's 'Richard Pulley Outreach Program' visits NECOM

On 18 and 19 November NECOM hosted Quart-Ed from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music for two action packed days of concerts and workshops. Quart-Ed is a string quartet of outstanding string musicians currently completing their BMusEd and brimming with initiative, imagination and the goal to bring music into the lives of school children.

Read more

Gift Certificates Available for 2020

With the fast-approaching festive season, NECOM is offering gift certificates for all of our 2020 programs:
Mini Minstrels
Instrumental and vocal lessons

and 2020 Concert series including:
Opera Australia's Carmen
New England Sings!
Arcadia Winds
'Compassion' by Lior & Nigel Westlake
Goldmund Quartet
and more!

 Read more.

Solo Soirees Wrap up 2019

At the end of each year, NECOM students celebrate their year’s musical studies by performing in six soirees for friends and family. Their performances are an entertaining recognition of their development as young musicians across the year.

Read more

Composition Workshop For Elective Music Students 2020

Thursday 20 February. This workshop will provide an opportunity for senior students to develop composition skills in the context of their HSC and elective music courses. Younger students with an interest in developing their compositional skills are also encouraged to attend. Teachers can build this workshop into their school music programs for 2020. Read more

Endangered Instrument Scholarship Applications Now Open!

NECOM and the Armidale Youth Orchestra are again offering scholarships for talented and committed students of woodwinds, recorder and brass, wishing to take up a second ‘endangered’ instrument. The targeted endangered instruments for 2020 are oboe, bassoon and French horn.

Read more

Chamber Music in Schools

It has been another successful for the Chamber Music in Schools program with hundred of students given the opportunity to see professional musicians performing, often an experience they've never had before. 

Read more.

NECOM Then and Now: Elinor Warwick

For the final Then and Now for 2019, we thought we'd highlight Elinor Warwick, a student who has been with NECOM since Mini Minstrels and has now completed year 12.
Read more

Congratulations Will Mackson

Congratulations to Will Mackson on receiving his AMusA in piano. The diploma is awarded by examination to outstanding candidates in the fields of musical performance and music theory by the AMEB. Will is taught by Armidale piano teacher, Brieley Cutting. We would like to congratulate Will and his support team for this outstanding achievement!

NECOM Holiday Closure

The NECOM office will be closed from Monday 16 December until Monday 13 January. On behalf of the team at NECOM, we would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holidays and best wishes for the New Year.

Term 1 2020 Early Bird Discount

Don't forget to take advantage of our early bird discounts for term 1 fees. The discount will be applied to all accounts that are paid in full by 31 January. You can also make use of your 2020 Creative Kids Voucher to save even more!
For more information, contact Nicky on 6788 2135.

7pm, 2 April - Armidale Town Hall
Arcadia Winds


This vivacious program finds them in their element: Percy Grainger’s delicious Walking Tune and Júlio Medaglia’s exuberant South American-flavoured suite bookend two classics of the genre in Taffanel’s G minor Quintet and Barber’s beautiful, evocative Summer Music.

7pm, 23 May - Lazenby Hall, UNE


by Lior and Nigel Westlake


Lior, Voice
Tinalley String Quartet
Daniel de Borah, Piano
Rebecca Lagos, Percussion
David Campbell, Bass

This chamber version of Compassion was premiered at the 2018 Adelaide Festival. The Octet version features some of Australia’s best musicians and offers the opportunity to take this inspiring work to venues around Australian in 2020.

7:30pm, 13 August - Lazenby Hall, UNE
Opera Australia's Carmen


NECOM is proud to present Opera Australia’s newest touring production of Bizet’s much-loved masterpiece for a once-only performance in Armidale on Thursday 13 August. Sung in English, this new production, directed by John Bell, is designed to entertain people of all ages and features a chamber orchestra and a stunning set, costumes, and lighting.

7pm, 3 September - Armidale Town Hall

Goldmund Quartet


For their debut Australian tour, the Goldmunds offer some of the great masterpieces of the string quartet canon: Haydn and Schubert, set alongside a brand-new work, written for this tour by rising Australian composer Elizabeth Younan. The young guns show their credentials in heartland repertoire which demonstrates the fresh interpretations, irresistible energy and distinctive, characterful playing that brought them such early success – and equally celebrate the music of our own time.

11:00 and 2:30pm, 18 October - Lazenby Hall, UNE
New England Sings! 2020


New England Sings! presented by the New England Conservatorium and AMTA (Armidale Music Teachers Association) is the largest choral showcase in the New England region, celebrating the joy of singing and Australian music. 

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

Full Size Cello

Intermediate level full-size cello, comes with hard case and bow.

Full set of new Larsen strings recently installed ($400 value)

Originally purchased for $1400. Asking $1000.

Contact: Anne 0414 777 495

Gliga 111 Half size cello (anno 2010)

Beautiful tone
Excellent condition
Good provenance

Includes bow and hard styrofoam case (case fair condition)

Valued by Melbourne luthier Richard Bodinnar at $1500. Asking $1300

Contact: David Gee 0402 916 543

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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