As we enter a new decade, ANCA also enters into a new phase with its change in administrators and members of its National Council. Glenys and Richard of Stockdale, our former administrators, have smoothly handed over to The Association Specialists, our new administrators. We thank both Glenys and Richard, and Stephanie, Francis and Sue, for making this process as seamless as possible. If you have already called the National office over the last month you would have spoken to Stephanie. We look forward to a productive future with The Association Specialists.
I would also like to thank Peter Ingram, outgoing ANCA National President, for all of the hours he has put into ANCA whilst in the President’s Chair, and also Nic Bannan and Erzsi Marosszeky as they have stepped down from their State President positions in 2019. I feel our State Chapters are in great hands as we head into the new decade. All of our State Chapter committees, and National Council, give their time voluntarily to nurturing and developing the choral life of Australia. I thank each one of our volunteers for their input and look forward to working alongside everyone in ANCA over the next few years.
It is with much eagerness that I start 2020. Firstly, I like even numbers, and secondly, I have served on National Council since 2010 and feel confident that I can work with the organization to move it forward. In the last 10 years there has been a large output of research confirming that singing in an ensemble has enormous benefits on an individual no matter what age they are. However, the last 10 years has also seen a decline in the amount of expendable income in Australia and less finances in general given to the arts, no matter whether at the amateur or professional levels, or somewhere in between. As a not-for-profit organization, the National Council of ANCA, has been discussing opportunities that can continue to allow the organization to offer valuable events to the music community in this country. I look forward to working with the National Council to make connections which will allow us to strengthen the financial position on ANCA.
Across Australia we have a wealth of choral and conducting activity, and this extends to our close neighbour New Zealand. ANCA’s mission is to stimulate interest and participation in choral music and related activities, nurturing growth in all choral activities. We need to celebrate all of the achievements of all of our choirs, their conductors, and the teams that stand behind these choirs which allow them to operate to their fullest potential.
Since returning to Australia from the USA, and being involved in ANCA on the State and National levels, I have seen how unique each State is and how each State Chapter needs to cater their events to the needs of their memberships. I encourage all of our members to become more involved with their State committees, to communicate their needs and to suggest events that will benefit their organizations. We, as an organization, can only improve and grow if we are hearing from our members.
A new decade, a change in Administrator, and changes in the make-up of National Council can bring about some small changes. There is never much scope to make new inventions in the Choral Arts, or come up with new cures for out of tune singing. But we can look to the next 10 years and continue to support and develop the Choral Arts community of this country. I look forward to sharing this journey with all of you.
Dr. Debra Shearer-Dirié
ANCA National President