New England Sings!

Great news as New England Sings! can go ahead in 2021 as NECOM has just secured a government grant of $10,000 from Destination NSW to help support delivery of our flagship choral project. As the largest choral event in regional Australia, New England Sings! involves over 850 regional school students, teachers and musicians and will bring 1000+ audiences to Armidale for the concerts. This is very heartening news after we had to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel the event in October this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. It allows us to look to the future to present this important event and no one will miss out. A new date is presently being negotiated so watch this space for the announcement.

NECOM'S flagship choral development project with schools is a biennial event celebrating Australian repertoire. It includes a comprehensive program of music education workshops commence well in advance from June each year ensuring the children of all ages are engaged in the creative process from conception through to performance. Two major works are commissioned from leading Australian composers – in the past commissioned composers have included Felix Riebl, Joseph Twist, Christopher Gordon and Paul Jarman for the Secondary choir and orchestra and Dan Walker, Harley Mead and Luke Byrne for the Primary choir. Additional repertoire is carefully chosen to cater for the developmental needs and interests of our cohort. A practice CD of the works for performance is prepared and distributed to participating schools to enable school teachers to rehearse in their own schools. A series of education workshops delivered by professional choral conductors and accompanists are held in cluster regional centres and in isolated schools leading up to the performance.

The two commissioned composers attend some of these workshops and work collaboratively with local conductors, music educators and teachers to develop the works for performance. The final weekend of rehearsals is led by eminent Choral Directors including Lyn Williams and Mark O’Leary culminating in two performances at Lazenby Hall, UNE for an audience of 1100 people. The Side by Side choir for teenagers living with disability will also perform at the concert.

New England Sings! has received national acclaim and in 2013 was awarded the prestigious APRA AMCOS Australian Art Music Award for Excellence in Music Education and in 2015 for Excellence in a Regional Area. This was a great honour in categories where such iconic organisations such as Gondwana Choirs and Moorambillah Voices were also nominated.

For more information:
Contact the NECOM Program Manager, Corinne Arter, on or (02) 6788 2139.