The Shire New Horizons Band brings people together through music

October 10, 2019

One of the 2019 recipients of funding from the IMB Bank Community Foundation, the Shire New Horizons Band epitomises the Foundation spirit. A volunteer-lead not-for-profit organisation based in the Sutherland Shire, the New Horizons Band invites players of all skill levels to experience the soulful joy of playing in ensembles with other people – no matter their level of experience.

“I started without having played a note of music four years ago,” says oboist Belinda Raymond. “[New Horizons] is geared for people who either haven’t played music before or who haven’t played for a long period of time.”

The band opens new horizons beyond the sheet music too, as saxophonist Ashley Boorman told the Sutherland Shire Leader. "I joined New Horizons to start playing music again, but I didn't expect to make such wonderful friends and to feel such accomplishment from challenging myself to become a better musician."

Flautist Michelle Aitken agrees. “I love playing my music with other people, it’s an absolute buzz.”

Such has been the demand, there are now five bands playing under the New Horizons banner, including one dedicated to playing the blues exclusively.

The IMB Bank Community Foundation grant has enabled the New Horizons Band to expand in other ways: playing concerts in larger venues throughout the community. And, while many ensembles charge fees for their performances, but the New Horizons Shire Band plays for free, which benefits the whole community.

Musical Director Jennifer Williams explains, “The grant has allowed us to think bigger. Normally we’d go to a small retirement village and play for them, but to bring people together is so much better.”

Applications for 2020 are opening soon – stay tuned (and spread the word).

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