It is with great excitement and pleasure that I announce to you that after a thorough recruitment campaign resulting in applications being received from throughout Australia and internationally, the Board of NECOM has appointed Mr. Chris Clark as its new CEO.
The selection committee was looking for a leader with significant experience in music, music education and arts administration at a senior level, and who would be able to ensure NECOM continued in its quest to be a premier music conservatorium. For the Board, Chris ticked all of the boxes that we were looking for.
At the Australian Institute of Music and Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Chris majored in piccolo performance (the first in Australia), graduating with high distinction. He was then accepted into the Sydney Symphony Orchestra training orchestra, going on to perform with the Opera Australia Orchestra, in professional musicals, and as a regular concerto soloist and recording artist. For almost 10 years, Chris performed as principal flute / piccolo of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra.
In education, Chris has taught flute and piccolo at high schools in Sydney, for the Australian Institute of Music and the Penrith Conservatorium of Music. He has also consulted to the Australian Children’s Choir and the National Institute of Youth Performing Arts Australia. From 2010 – 2013, Chris was a member of the Victorian Department of Education and Training’s strategic partnerships advisory board.
His arts leadership roles include Operations Manager at the prestigious Royal Opera House Covent Garden London, for the Australian Brandenburg and Melbourne Youth Orchestras. From 2008 – 2009 he coordinated the final construction and opening of the Melbourne Recital Centre.
For the last five years, Chris was Strategic Relationship Manager at Arts Centre Melbourne, responsible for partnerships and collaborations, business innovation and sustainability. He oversaw the development of a multi-million-dollar portfolio of new government, philanthropic and private sector partnerships.
Chris impressed me and the selection committee as a highly intelligent, articulate and passionate arts advocate whose music talents, strategic thinking and leadership capabilities will ensure NECOM’s future is very secure and its vision and mission assured. Chris will be moving to Armidale later this year, close to family in Inverell, and will commence as CEO in January taking over the reins from Susanne James.
We will make opportunities to formally introduce Chris to the NECOM community specifically and Armidale and the region generally. We will also be making appropriate arrangements to say farewell to Susanne and offer our thanks to her for her great service. In the meantime, I sincerely welcome Chris to NECOM, Armidale and the New England region and wish him well in this most important role in the cultural life of our region.