Term 3 has now come to an end with September as our hectic HSC month for NECOM staff, students and AMTA (Armidale Music Teachers Association). NECOM hosted countless recitals, trials and four days of HSC exams and the hyper-buzz and musical energy around the HSC are the culmination of many years of committed musical study. It is a source of great pride and excitement to support them through this process.
It was a month of ‘firsts’ here at NECOM, starting with the first visit to NECOM by our new UNE Vice-Chancellor Professor Brigid Heywood on Tuesday 10 September. She met many of our young musicians in rehearsal and staff and we look forward to building a strong and vibrant partnership with UNE in the future.
Our intrepid wind teacher Paul Marshall continues to inspire music-making around the community, founding the fabulous Ventus Wind Quintet, a bassoon quartet and now the brand new Big Band that rehearsed for the first time on Friday 20 September. For a regional centre to have an outstanding wind quintet, let alone a bassoon quartet, is unheard of and we can’t wait to hear the Big Band in its first concert coming up on 16 November.
On Tuesday 24 September, AYO and NECOM presented their first Showcase concert combining ensembles for the first time and the performances were breathtaking, in addition to special guest appearances by Rosebay Secondary College Ensembles from Sydney. Thanks to the AYO Committee and President Erica Smith for their support in making this such a success.
This month NECOM’s dedicated staff and students gave free performances to hundreds of people at Armidale Care for Seniors, Autumn Lodge, Citizenship Ceremony at Armidale Town Hall, Dementia Respite Unit, Grow Family Day Care Centre and the Glen Innes Lift-off Festival. The dedication of our staff and students who give so generously of their time to share music with our broad community every month is to be congratulated – thank you.
Once again, our newsletter is crammed full of interesting stories and reports about our concerts, masterclasses and students so please read on.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday after such a busy term.