NECOM has now been in operation for 16 years. In that time we’ve seen many students grow up with the programs offered by the Conservatorium. Thanks to a very large photo archive and with the help of some of our long term students, we are continuing our student feature called NECOM Then & Now. This month is Samuel Russell, who began his NECOM career with Mini Minstrels, he is now a member of at Armidale Youth String Orchestra and New England Singers:
“Since I was three years old, I have been lucky enough to have been involved in many of the programs offered by NECOM. My first music group was the Mini Minstrels until I got too old to continue. This served as a great foundation for me to go on to play violin in the Armidale Youth String Orchestra and win my division of the individual violin eisteddfod due to the good work of my teacher, Laura Curotta. I also became involved in the Cantilena choir when I was eight, and then the New England Singers as a progressed into high school.
My earliest memory of NECOM was from when I was in Mini Minstrels, whilst we were singing the song Firetruck, my personal favourite.
Later this year I will be progressing into the Armidale Youth Orchestra, and I will move on to having music remain an important part of my life into the future within NECOM and in other situations.
Overall, NECOM through Mini Minstrels has been an important foundation for my musical life, and has supported me through all of my musical endeavours, and has guaranteed that music has a place in my future life.”