It's a local success story that has overcome some tough times…
NCMA is an internationally renowned community hub for all things musical in the Nelson-Tasman region. It’s a hive of energy and activity and has a fantastic reputation that has spread well beyond the Nelson region. We are so lucky to have a thriving music hub like this in our city, and this week we spoke with Kim McCormack, who is the venues manager and the education manager (amongst many other things, as you will soon discover)
“I have always been involved in music education. We made the move to Nelson from Auckland because we love the outdoor lifestyle Nelson offers. It’s the kind of place where we wanted our kids to grow up, so now we have 3 grown kids, and the family are into biking, hiking and adventuring. It’s great!”
Kim is a qualified Primary school teacher and would be in charge of the school choir, Kapahaka groups, ukulele classes and the school production. They say if you want to get something done ask a busy person. They also say if you can run the school play (without having a nervous breakdown), you could easily run for prime minister of New Zealand.
“Managing the energy, enthusiasm and coordinating rehearsals for school arts events requires a lot of planning and energy, but it’s worth every minute to see the kids shine and the parents applause.”
Kim is the venues manager (events) and also oversees all the music teaching that happens in the venue along with the education coordinator. There are many different rooms with great acoustics and beautiful architecture. There are 800 members on their books, with over 600 active regulars students. With over 70 accredited music teachers, you can imagine it’s a busy space.
With the earthquake regulations that came into effect after the Canterbury earthquake a decade ago, the building had a major revamp and has been strengthened. It’s retained its historic feel with a modern twist. NCMA was formerly known as the Nelson School of Music – now titled Nelson Centre of Musical Arts. They are a non-profit, charitable organisation and operate with generous support from Nelson City Council in the form of an annual grant as well as funding from a small number of key funding partners.
Their website states, “Our vision is to be New Zealand’s most vibrant, innovative and accessible music community.”
Obviously, with current Covid restrictions, the venue can’t host large events, putting a lot of pressure on an already lean budget. We’re planning now so that when we reach Level 1, we will can rebuild quickly.
“There have been cancellations to manage, which is always a challenging task for any venue. We have reorganised ourselves to be able to operate our education program; however, we closely follow the Ministry of Education guidelines, and lessons involving singing and woodwind instruments have extra restrictions.”
Kim is passionate about teaching and has been involved in teaching resilience to kids using music and the arts as a tool. She has worked at several local Primary Schools, including Clifton Terrace school, but with her role becoming a full-time gig, she has plenty on her plate.
“I love working one on one with the little ones who might be navigating a tough situation, and to see them build confidence through music and other creative tools is very rewarding and inspiring.”
With unique and flexible spaces, our state of the art facilities is available for hire for performances, rehearsals, business meetings and conferences or private receptions. If you are a fan of the piano, there’s a fabulous Steinway in there that puts shivers down your spine. Not to mention the pipe organ in the main auditorium that sounds like a choir. It’s just incredible.
Please support live music events when Covid restrictions ease, join their mailing list, social media pages. Visit their website to learn more and to make contact.
Location 48 Nile Street, Nelson
Explore the virtual tour at NCMA here