Celebrating a funding win for the New England Conservatorium of Music (NECOM) to ‘fine tune’ the Old Armidale Teachers College, NECOM board member Dr Alana Blackburn, left, Artistic Director Corinne Arter, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, board member Dr Erica Smith, Business Director Sophie Williams and Market Communications and Events Co-ordinator Ashley Flint.
Monday, 21 March 2022
THE New England Conservatorium of Music (NECOM) will be activating currently disused spaces in the Old Armidale Teachers College, thanks to a $192,603 State Government grant, announced today by Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.
Mr Marshall said the grant would enable the conservatorium to develop purpose-built facilities for Early Childhood and Music Therapy amongst other much-needed improvements.
“I have always thought it fitting that one of our region’s strongest cultural institutions is housed in one of Armidale’s most iconic buildings,” Mr Marshall said.
“This partnership has been mutually beneficial – NECOM has a perfect space to teach and perform, while the building is well cared for by a long-term tenant.
“In an exciting development with NECOM to unlock more of the building for community use, refurbishing a section to create a fit-for-purpose music therapy studio, early childhood music studio and digital teaching studio, with contemporary music hub for guitar and drumming lessons.
“A soundshell will be installed in the auditorium to improve acoustics and enhance audience experience during concerts.
“Safety and security upgrades will also be undertaken throughout, ensuring the building meets WH&S standards and suitable access for all members of the community.”
Mr Marshall said in a tribute to the Howard Hinton collection, re-creations of the famous artworks would be hung on the walls of the Old Teachers College walls.
“In a very personal touch, a children’s art trail will run throughout the building, paying homage to the significant pieces which once adorned its walls,” he said.
“With greater opportunity for music education and programs and artworks again permanently on display, NECOM is making sure the CB Newling Building remains a proud home for the arts in Armidale.”
NECOM Business Director Sophie Williams said the conservatorium was focused on broadening community engagement and delivering equitable access to the arts.
“Our passion is supporting social and community cohesion through high-quality education and performance experiences,” Ms Williams said.
“The State Government’s funding will allow NECOM to expand and improve its service delivery and support community organisations with the use of improved rehearsal facilities, fostering creative practice and appreciation of the arts.
“These improvements to our vital cultural asset will provide a safe, secure and well-resourced hub at Armidale Teachers’ College now and into the future.”