Mini Signers


New England Singers

NECOM’s Choral Program, established in 2004, has achieved an outstanding reputation for excellence in choral training for young people and it continually achieves impressive outcomes -  more choristers are given places in the prestigious Gondwana Choirs National Choral School than from any other regional centre in Australia, and its biennial New England Sings! choral showcases won the national APRA AMCOS Art Music Award for Excellence in Music in 2012 and Excellence in a Regional Area in 2014.

IN 2017, NECOM provides 7 choirs to match children's age, social grouping, performance skills and vocal maturity. Entry  to the choirs is either open (no competitive auditions) or via auditions for extension choirs.

  • Minisingers (Years K-2)
  • Cantilena Singers (Years 3-6)
  • Cantilena Chorale (Years 3-6) - extension cho
  • New England Singers (Years 7-12)
  • New England Chamber Choir (Years 7-12) - extension choir
  • Side-by-Side Choir (Years 7-12) at Armidale High School Support Unit 
  • Children's Chorus (Years 3-6) for Opera in the Paddock 

Each choir nurtures a love for music and aspiration to achieve excellence in vocal performance, technique and music literacy skills. Rehearsals are presented by an experienced choral conductor and accompanist in a friendly and inspiring environment that encourages children and young adults to make lifelong friends and develop their self-confidence and creative expression.

Choirs have 8-9 weekly rehearsals each term and begin with a 5-10 minutes warm-up that focuses on techniques for good vocal tone quality and vocal health, essential for the developing voice. A variety of repertoire (including popular and contemporary music, classical music, music from other cultures, spirituals, Jazz, Broadway and Australian music is covered for performace concerts throughout the year.

Extension choirs are a component of NECOM's gifted and talented services and are availabe to  choristers who wish to sing more challenging repertoire and. Entry is via audition. The extension choirs for 2017 are:

  • Cantilena Chorale
  • New England Chamber Choir
  • Children's Chorus for 2017 Opera in the Paddock

Minisingers – K to Year 2

Conductor: Rebekkah Baumgartner, Connie Rolf Accompanist: Nicole Mackson

Minisingers is perfect introduction to music, singing and performance for for young childre. There are lots of fun action songs and musical games to develop vocal skills in pitch and rhythm, concentration, co-ordination and memory. Singing in a fun and friendly environment with other children helps every young Minisinger develop their confidence, self esteem, communication and social skills.

Cantilena Singers – Year 3 to Year 6

Conductor: Cathy Welsford, Accompanist: Warwick Dunham

Cantilena performs more complex unison songs, 2 and 3 part and songs and provides additional performance opportunities, including solo spots, as the children gain in confidence.

Cantilena Chorale is an extension choir offered via audition to gifted and talented members of Cantilena who have outstanding potential, commitment and music skills to learn more challenging repertoire to perform. The Chorale rehearses for an additional 30 minutes after Cantilena Singers rehearsal.

New England Singers - Year 7 to Year 12

Conductor: Leanne Roobol, Accompanist: Robyn Bradley

The acclaimed New England Singers provides talented and committed young singers the opportunity to develop their musical skills in a challenging and inspiring environment focused on achieving excellence in performance.

New England Chamber Choir is an extension choir offered via audition to gifted and talented senior members of New England Singers who have achieved a very high standard in music literacy, vocal production and performance skills. The Chamber Choir rehearses for an additional 45 minutes after the New England Singers rehearsal.

Side-by-Side Choir – Year 7 to Year 12

Conductor: Rowena Teege, Accompanist: Warwick Dunham

The Side-by-Side Choir is a special Music Therapy Program initative in partnership with the Armidale High School Support Unit (see Music Therapy Program for further information).

Children's Opera Chorus in 2017– Cantilena Chorale

Conductor: Leanne Roobol, Accompanist: Robyn Bradley

NECOM presents Opera Australia's touring production every two years and this includes preparing a Children's Chorus to perform on stage with the cast of the opera. The Chorus is an extension opportunity for choristersin Cantilena Chorale.  Information regarding the Opera Chorus will be available in early 2017.


Minisingers Wednesday 4- 4:45pm
Cantilena Singers Wednesday 4-5pm
Cantilena Chorale Wednesday 5-5.30pm
New England Singers Monday 4 -5:15pm
New England Chamber Choir Monday 5.15-6pm
Children's Opera Chorus Term 1, TBC
Side-by-Side Choir Project based at AHS

2017 Special Initiative

To encourage instrumentalists to join a choir, NECOM's initiative 'If you can sing it, you can play it' offers a generous Choral Fee discount of $20/term to all NECOM students concurrently enrolled in the Foundation Music Program or Instrumental Lessons Program.

For information and enrolment, go to the Enrolment Tab, click on Enrolment forms and read through the separate Information and Enrolment forms under CHORAL PROGRAM.

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