On Wednesday 1 March, Armidale Regional Council adopted the recommendation to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the New England Conservatorium of Music (NECOM).
Council Administrator Dr Ian Tiley said that Council is keen to support the outstanding community organisations working in this region.
“Organisations like NECOM make an invaluable contribution to our community and are vital to the social and cultural fabric of this region – supplementing and complementing the role of Council by enhancing the livability of our region and its reputation as a desirable place to live,” said Dr Tiley. “NECOM has become a social and cultural landmark in this region.”
It provides a wide and diverse range of music programs to schools, children and adults, in addition to concerts and events for the community.
The proposed MOU focuses on Council supporting NECOM’s Music Therapy Program and student Bursary Program.
“The Music Therapy Program provides early intervention music therapy for young children with disabilities and their parents. The Bursary Program provides financial support for up to ten students annually for music lessons and extension activities designed to achieve personal bests for the participants – many of whom may not be able to afford these opportunities otherwise,” Dr Tiley said. “These programs are providing long-term social and cultural benefits to our community.”
The proposed MOU, with a duration of two years, commits Council to annual sponsorship of $7500 per annum ($5000 for the Music Therapy Program and $2500 for the Bursary Program) and in-kind sponsorship of up to $2000 for hall hire to a maximum of four concerts annually.
NECOM Director Susanne James adds "On behalf of the Board and the NECOM community I thank Dr Ian Tiley and the Council for supporting these programs that make such a difference to so many young people, adults and their families here in Armidale. The Music Therapy Program, in particular, is the only one of its kind in the region and offers services that really matter to our community - it is heartening to see the Council acknowledge this wonderful program with support for the next two years".
NECOM will deliver 3-4 concerts with high calibre musicians (including internationally renowned musicians) annually to the community, including discounts, group ticket prices for schools and students, and one annual public concert presented by NECOM students at a venue such as the Rotunda in Central Park.