Ensemble Program

Learning to play music together in small and large ensembles is a crucial component in the development of young musicians. International and Australian research proves the significant and far-reaching benefits that ensemble training gives to young musicians. It inspires them to develop advanced aural, co-ordination, music reading, technical and communication skills in an expressive environment - it also promotes co-operative team work and responsibility.

NECOM provides a range of ensembles for beginners in the Foundation Program and for intermediate and advanced students in the Chamber Ensemble Program, Armidale Youth String Orchestra and Armidale Youth Orchestra.

To ensure access and equity to all students wishing to participate in regional conservatorium programs, ensemble membershipis open to all students enrolled in NECOM programs or are learning with private teachers and Music Educator Members.

NECOM provides opportunities across the year for all ensembles to perform in concert (see Concerts and Events). 


NECOM’s Foundation String and Wind Ensembles establish a sequential training pathway that leads to a full symphonic orchestral ensemble. The Program operates on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons providing 7-10 x 45 minute tutorials and rehearsals each term with specialist conductors and accompanists from the NECOM teaching musicians on staff. At the end of each term, the Foundation Ensembles will present a concert showcasing their repertoire and developing performance skills. 

The 2017 Foundation String Ensemble program exemplifies best practice  orchestral string training. A new structure centring on 4-weeks of small sectional tutorials for violins, violas and cellos is followed by a 5-week block of combined string ensemble rehearsals. Each Tuesday afternoon, the Puddledock Srings and Booralong Strings will rehearse at 4.00-4.45pm. 

The 2017 Foundation Program Huff'n'Puffs Wind Ensemble will rehearse with Paul Marshal and accompanist on Wednesdays at 5.00-5.45pm.

Strings All ensembles             
  Puddledock violins  K-Yr 2 Tuesday 4.00-4.45pm
  Puddledock cellos K-Yr 3 Tuesday 4.00-4.45pm
  Booralong violins, violas Yrs 3+ Tuesday 4.00-4.45pm
  Booralong cellos Yrs 4+ Tuesday 4.00-4.45pm
Winds & Brass Huff 'n' Puffs Yrs 3 + Wednesday 5.00-5.45pm

2017 Foundation Ensemble Information

2017 Foundation Ensemble Enrolment Form


NECOM'S Chamber Ensemble Program was launched in 2015 as an extension program for aspiring young musicians who are ready for the next step in their development as performers. Chamber music is music for a small group of musicians (usually 3-6) where every player has his or her own part. Each player takes on a leadership role as every part is of equal importance. There is no conductor so chamber ensemble players work together to make their own musical decisions. 

Chamber Ensembles can be trios, quartets, quintets or sextets (or more) of a combination of instruments - orchestral strings and woodwinds, harp, guitar, recorder and piano. Students of Grade 3 and above may join the program. 

Playing chamber music requires unique skills, both musical and social. It forms the bridge between solo playing and orchestral playing, nurtures outstanding musicianship and brings unlimited benefits:

  • Listening –matching sound quality, pitch, rhythm and articulation
  • Communication skills, visual and verbal
  • Leadership, self-discipline and independence
  • Sharing expression and stylistic interpretation
  • Extensive repertoire knowledge
  • HSC ensemble preparation
  • Gigs – weddings, events, busking

Don't miss this unique opportunity that is rarely available outside tertiary music institutions - click on this  information and application form below.

2017 Chamber Ensemble Program Information
2017 Chamber Ensemble Program Application Form


Armidale Youth Orchestra (AYO)

Conductor Paul Marshall
Rehearsals 4.00 – 6pm Tuesday
Venue Orchestra Studio, NECOM
Membership Orchestral players 12-25 years
By audition

Armidale Youth String Orchestra (AYSO)

Conductor Joanna Fairs-Wu
Rehearsals 4.00-5.30pm Tuesday
Venue Auditorium, NECOM
Membership Strings 8-12 years
By audition

2017 Armidale Youth Orchestra Audition Form
2017 AYO String Orch Audition Form


Government Associates