New England Sings! is a biennial mass choral/orchestral educational event which brings together 800 children from regional and remote schools around the New England and North West region including Armidale, Inverell, Gunnedah, Walcha, Tamworth, Guyra, Glen Innes, Ashford, Bellingen and Dorrigo.
A comprehensive program of 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 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.
In 2018, New England Sings! will be presented on 20-21 October at Lazenby Hall, UNE.
For more information:
Contact the NECOM Program Manager, Corinne Arter, on [email protected] or (02) 6788 2139.