Term 1 2024 Strings Report

Term 1 began smoothly as the String Team welcomed back keen students and many more newly enrolled students. Since Term 4 of last year we have had fabulous new string teaching staff joining the team, Hanna Kaminska (violin), Natasha Dyason (cello and ensembles), Robert Van Gend (violin/viola /ensembles) and James Chen (masterclasses and relief teaching).  To have such a diverse talent and depth of teaching experience in our teaching staff serves so well in providing for all the local schools’ needs and our individual NECOM students.  Continuing with NECOM Ensembles this year we have Robert Jackson with Boorolongs, April Kelson with Puddledocks and Joanna Fairs-Wu with Armidale Youth Strings.

The weekend of March 16th and 17th saw the inaugural AUSTA Strings Festival take place at NECOM. This is an event run by the NSW Australian Strings Teachers’ Association to promote a celebrative, non-competitive event for young string players (as is done in most capital cities on a regular basis).   The Armidale string community is most grateful for the AUSTA committee for reaching out our regional areas to help support such an event and for sending one of Sydney’s most respected teachers, Nairi Yusufova, to adjudicate along with James Chen – both volunteering their time.  On the Saturday a special concerto competition was held to showcase Armidale and Tamworth rising talents and on the Sunday solo items.  Everyone received a written report and trophy.   AUSTA plans to help repeat such an event later in the year and into the future.