Happy New Year!

Welcome to a new year! Whilst it is a busy time for all of you, there is always value in making ‘space’ in our busy schedules to reflect on our craft.

Introducing the new committee

At our recent AGM a new committee was elected and I am very excited to be working with some of the leading school and community conductors in NSW. I want to take this opportunity to thank the previous President Cathy Chan for her tireless work in rejuvenating the strategic direction of the organisation over the last few years. Cathy will remain on the Committee as Vice-President and retain her role as National Secretary. Joining myself Cathy on the executive are:

  • Scott Ryan (Vice-President) – The Arts Unit; North Sydney Boys HS
  • James Pensini (Treasurer) – Director of Bands, St Aloysius College; SYO Wind Orchestra
  • Jennifer Power (Secretary – Communication) – Director of Concert Bands, St Augustine’s College
  • Jill McGuire (Secretary – Membership) – Engadine High School
  • James Brice – Head of Co-Curricular Performing Arts, Knox; Northwest Wind Ensemble; Castle Hill RSL Youth Wind Symphony
  • Paul Vickers – Director of Music, Scots College
  • Mark Brown – Manly HS; SCEGGS Darlinghurst; Sydney Wind Symphony
  • Phil Molloy – Directions in Music, South Coogee PS, Coogee PS
  • Tim Crow – Arts Unit Jazz Orchestra; Director of Bands – Queenwood; Freelance trumpeter

Successful final Jerry Nowak Summer Conducting School

Recently ABODA NSW hosted the final Jerry Nowak Conducting Summer School at Kambala School. With twenty-six participants the course was a great success and was followed by a celebratory dinner to mark Jerry’s thirty-year contribution to music education in Australia. I did a course with Jerry in 2006 and benefited greatly from his wisdom and expertise. On behalf of the current committee and all ABODA NSW members I wish to thank Jerry for his passion and commitment to Australia.

Understanding seasons and time

In addition to it being a new year with a new committee, I believe we are entering a new season in the life of ABODA NSW. With fresh ideas and an ongoing commitment to music education, the current committee is looking forward to building upon the work of our predecessors. Along with a growth and future-focussed mindset, it is also important in any endeavour to understand the foundational principles of an organisation and with this in mind we have included an excerpt from Russell Hammond’s 21st ABODA anniversary speech in the most recent copy of ‘The Score’.

But back to seasons…often as conductors in positions of leadership it can be difficult to understand seasons. We are confronted with endless demands on our time that all seem to be urgent. In addition we can get ‘stuck’ in our ways unwilling to innovate or try something new purely because that is ‘what we have always done’. Yet, this can lead us to become stale in our craft, stale in our vision for a program and stale in our passion for music.

As a committee, we are robustly looking at what we do and what we provide members so that we don’t become ‘stale’. This isn’t just something for a new committee but is something we should all do on a regular basis. I encourage you all to consider what ‘season’ your own programs are in and invest the time and energy accordingly to ensure future success.

Have a great Term 1!


Featured image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kingbob86/4710765125/sizes/l/


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