Arlene Fletcher has recently taken on the role of conductor of the Side by Side choir, a program run in conjunction with the Armidale High School’s Special Education Unit:
I had the pleasure of becoming involved with Side by Side Choir mid-term 4 and from the very first rehearsal, I knew this would be something really exciting and special to be involved with. The interaction, communication between each student, accompanist Warwick Dunham, the teachers and peer students is golden representation of community and music.
Each rehearsal has been interesting in preparing everyone for the performance from learning how to teach new and unfamiliar melodies right to the very moments of being taught by them. A particular highlight was learning the song they composed as a choir titled ‘Christmas Is The Best’ which should be added to everyone’s collection of Christmas carols.
I was given the job to help prepare the students for The Christmas In the Mall event where they performed Twelve Days of Christmas, Light A Candle, Colour My World and their original Christmas Is The Best as the finale. Side by Side performed with grace, positivity, musicality and warmth to a packed crowd of our Armidale community.
This performance has inspired ideas for New England Sings 2018, NECOM Winter Choral Concert and other community events. We hope to explore writing more repertoire of our own, arrangements of contemporary tunes and explore Australian composers to add to a wide variety of repertoire and musical exploration.