Term 3 of 2020 was incredibly busy and productive due to the determination, commitment and creative thinking by NECOM’s amazing community of staff, teachers, students and schools.
As a registered COVID safe organisation NECOM adapted quickly to the changing government guidelines, and strict distancing, elevated hygiene regimes and registration are now routine. The first week of Term 3 saw three changes to health and safety policies causing the cancellation of much anticipated return to group singing and ensembles.
Thank you to our students, parents, schools and teachers for your patience and adaptability through this ongoing pandemic. Congratulations to our Year 12 students who performed so brilliantly in their HSC music performances after months of lockdown and disruption. Also to our 66 students who continued with their AMEB exams after so many months of online lessons and isolation.
A quick snapshot shows how NECOM continued to flourish during the pandemic restrictions:
- Individual lessons returned to face-to-face much to the joy and relief of students and teachers.
- NECOM’s choral rehearsals transitioned to online live rehearsals and in the last week converted to a new fun format of distanced outdoor activities and humming.
- Guest choral conductor Hester Wright worked with NECOM’s two Conductor-Mentor students from New England Singers
- Piano enrolments increased and there is now a waiting list.
- Group wind ensembles were reinvented as distanced duo instrumental lessons.
- String ensembles in all schools and on the campus continued with distancing.
- Program Manager Corinne Arter and AMTA presented extensive HSC preparation workshops in sightsinging, musicology, composition and performance.
- Guest conductor David Saffir from Barker College Sydney workshopped with the Armidale Youth String Orchestra.
- NECOM hosted three days of HSC Recital exams and four days of AMEB exams.
- Mini Minstrels and Music Therapy programs resumed with increased distancing and increased enrolments.
- Over 200 students and 8 teachers presented 4 solo concerts and 9 studio concerts with strictly distanced audiences
- 6 days of ‘mock exams’ helped prepare over 25 students for their AMEB exams
- Over 55 students attended 11 workshops in aural skills, sight reading and scale parties
- The upgrading of technology resources allowed for more online teaching activities.
- Online masterclasses for scholarship and senior students were hosted with leading teachers and musicians from the ANU School of Music and Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
- Online weekly music classes commenced at St Joseph’s Primary School Mungindi.
- Online Song Writing Workshops with composer Luke Byrne sold out within hours.