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CEO's Report

Welcome back for 2020! We are almost half way through Term 1 already and hundreds of students are now immersed in instrumental and vocal lessons, choirs, ensembles and workshops to kick start their year. Read on for our recent news and for events to look forward to this year.

Our teachers are already flat out teaching in schools in Armidale and further afield and we congratulate the principals, staff and P&C’s who are committed to bringing music into their schools.

This year we are supporting the music programs and students’ musical studies in Armidale City Public School, Armidale Secondary College, Ben Lomond Public School, Ben Venue Public School, Glen Innes Public School, NEGS, Newling Public School, PLC, Ross Hill Public School (Inverell), TAS and The Armidale Waldorf School.

And a warm welcome to St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Walcha that joined for the first time this month – not only has their first school band started rehearsals but every child in K-Yr 6 now learns music in their classrooms. We all look forward to hearing about their progress and music adventures in 2020.

Places in our popular strings and piano department are pretty full up but our wonderful brass, vocal and woodwind teachers still have some spaces so why not grab the chance for a family member, yourself or a friend to learn music this year? Give us a call and enrol now as it’s not too late.

After the horrific months of drought, bushfires and smoke pollution, these first few months of 2020 have seen rain and bright green return to our environment – a welcome relief. Our sincere gratitude and admiration go to the SES, the heroic firies who put their lives on the line, and the tireless volunteers who continue to work so hard to protect and support our community. Thank you.

Looking forward to another wonderful and musical year with you, your family and friends across the New England region.

Best wishes, 


February Newsletter

Australian Haydn Ensemble visits NECOM

The Australian Haydn Ensemble Quartet has just been in town for a short residency in the last week of February and in conjunction with their concert in the Armidale Town Hall on Thursday 27 February, they immersed themselves into the community at NECOM and PLC. Read more.

AYO Sawtell 2020

Every year the Armidale Youth Orchestra ensembles and families travel to Sawtell Beach in late February for our Annual Music Camp weekend! This is a wonderful weekend of music making, and is an essential component of AYO’s program for the year.

Read more.

HSC Composition Workshops for Elective Music Students

HSC music students and their teachers had the opportunity to hone their skills for their HSC compositions with guest presenters James Madsen and Holly Harrison.
The workshops for Music 1 and Music 2 were attended by year 11 and 12 students from around Armidale and Tamworth.

Read more

Early Childhood Music Events at NECOM

It’s truly inspiring to enjoy a workshop led by someone who is passionate and so able in their subject. The James Madsen workshop for music teachers was one of those. There was total involvement in the activities being demonstrated. We all became part of the learning process as we chanted and sang, moved and remembered many of James’ original materials.

Read more.

Creative Kids Vouchers

At the beginning of 2019, the NSW Government launched the Creative Kids rebate program, allowing families to claim up to $100 for each eligible school enrolled child towards the cost of lesson and activity costs, such as those provided by NECOM. We had a fantastic uptake of this wonderful opportunity, with 249 vouchers being processed, saving our families almost $25,000!

Read more.

February Strings Report

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.

Gondwana National Choral School 2020

This year 17 choristers from Armidale had the privilege to join the prestigious Gondwana National Choral School in January. The choristers auditioned in September last year and won a hotly contested position in the choirs from hundreds of applicants.

Read more

Free Gift for NECOM Students

Have you received your free NECOM water bottle yet? All students enrolled in lessons for term 1 are entitled to a free drink bottle in their choice of green or black so plastic water bottles can become a thing of the past. Pop into the office to claim yours if you haven't received one already!


NECOM congratulates former string student Jessica Wright who recently received a National Council of Women (NCW) Australia Day award for early career work and leadership in Music Education. Jessica was presented with her award by Her Excellency the Honourable Elizabeth Beazley AO QC at the NSW Parliament House on 24 January 2020.

Read more

Introducing the Thunderbolt Ensemble

The Thunderbolts are NECOM’s newest ensemble. The group is designed specifically for beginner piano students, to give them a similar ensemble experience to those for young string, wind, and brass players. Like the Puddledock, Boorolong, and Tilbuster ensembles, the name comes from a local area near Armidale, but we love the idea of zapping thunderbolts with our mallet sticks!

Read more.

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

High quality Gliga ¾ violin

In perfect condition. Includes case and two bows.


Enquiries: Caroline 0428 042 622

3/4 Violin

KG Instruments Model #100, 2004.
Includes bow and case.

Good loud sound.
Used condition

Contact: Rebecca 0418 160 826

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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