Band members gathered at the Parkerville Oval for a rehearsal with the refurbished instruments in preparation for their upcoming concerts. Picture: Guanhao Cheng

Parkerville Community Band grant a success

Once word spread in the community, the band saw many generous instrument donations.
July 4, 2024
Guanhao Cheng

PARKERVILLE Community Band’s $3000 funding has kick-started a recent surge in charitable action to help community members access instruments and get to playing music.

The band received the funding in November 2023 to buy second-hand instruments to foster more community musicians, as reported in Parkerville Community Band instrument offerings.

Parkerville Community Bands manager Yvonne Blyth said the grant had been successful in more ways than they had envisioned.

“Not only were we able to purchase quality instruments, refurbish them, and bring in new members to take them up, but with the success of the Echo News story getting the word out, the community also donated instruments to us, which we then donated back,” she said.

“In one instance, an electric keyboard was donated to us, and we gifted it to a woman from Swan View considered legally blind and wished to join her local vision impaired music group but had no instrument.

“This was a great result.”

Ms Blyth said another lady donated her dad’s clarinet that hadn’t been used in over 30 years, which they refurbished with grant money.

“Now we have an excellent quality instrument that we can make available if there is someone wanting to take up the clarinet again and join our band,” she said.

“The grant was also used to buy necessary equipment, such as music stands and uniforms for our new players.”

Parkerville Community Band conductor Peter Hind said the grant had been spent with lots of consideration which was why they only began enjoying the benefits recently.

“Yvonne’s been scouring the marketplace for second-hand instruments at a good price, and we’ve been fortunate to find lots of really good instruments out there, but it has taken some time,” he said.

“We’re glad we were able to give these instruments a second life.

“Hopefully we continue this way, and more members join on with the band. More community members are certainly welcome.”

Parkerville Community Band trombonist Meghan Oakes said the band has been a fantastic opportunity to access an expensive instrument she had otherwise been saving up for.

“It’s only my third or fourth rehearsal but it’s been really good playing with the band,” she said.

“I stopped playing after high school because I tried to buy my instrument from them, but they didn’t let me.

“I had been saving up but then my friend contacted me and let me know that they had gotten hold of a trombone, so I joined on, and it’s been great.”

Ms Oakes said she was excited to take part in the next performance which will be the band’s ‘Golden Oldies’ concert.

“I’m most excited to play the Beatles from the song list,” she said.

The band will be performing their senior citizens focussed repertoire later this year in the Darlington Arts and Rotary Markets, with exact dates to be updated later on.

More information on upcoming events can be found on the Parkerville Community Band Facebook page, and community members interested in joining can contact Yvonne Blyth at 0416 233 277.

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