The Wee Waa Community Band is well and truly back together again, after a short break due to COVID-19 restrictions and practising at a new location – the Presbyterian Church Hall on Monday evenings.
The enthusiastic ensemble is also sounding sweeter than ever due to the addition of some new instruments.
Band founder and conductor Peter Carrett said a tuba, bass clarinet and two soprano saxophones now belong to the band thanks to a combined contribution of $6000 from community donations, a community grant from Narrabri Shire Council and a Create NSW grant from the NSW Band Association.
The generous contributions reflect the fact the band has struck a strong chord with people across the district.
And the band, which is made up of musicians of all ages and abilities, is incredibly grateful.
“The addition of soprano saxophones means primary aged children can start on these types of instruments and it gives them an excellent lead into learning the alto or tenor saxophones as teenagers,” said Mr Carrett.
“The soprano sax plays the same music as a trumpet so we are adding to our lead line,” said Peter Carrett, Wee Waa Community Band founder and conductor.
“The sound of a band is built upon the foundation of a strong bass sound. The tuba and bass clarinet sounds offer the band that foundation and like any house built on Wee Waa black soil that foundation needs to be strong,” said Mr Carrett.
“Both the saxophones and tuba are brand new.
“A new bass clarinet was too expensive to consider but this one has been workshopped, given new pads and will give many years of faithful service to the band.”
The Wee Waa Community Band is just about to celebrate its second birthday, a milestone which fills Mr Carrett with joy and admiration.
“Most of the members of the band were complete novices on their instruments when they started.
“In two years we have developed from that stage to a point where we are beginning to perform more complicated music and beginning to turn the dots on the pages into music of great depth and meaning.”
Mr Carrett said the band is enjoying practice but itching to perform again.
“By this point last year the band had performed eight times for audiences in Narrabri, Wee Waa and Burren Junction but COVID restrictions in 2020 put thoughts of performance on hold.
“The sounds of chariot armies, Latin swing and jungle music mixed with old favourites will feature in upcoming concerts.”
Mr Carrett said the band now rehearses out of the Presbyterian Church Hall or on the grass square in warm weather each Monday night.
“Recently two experienced players joined our ranks in Emily Ellwood and David Fry and their playing has certainly added to the quality of the band.
“Jenny Carrett and Elizabeth Horne have joined as percussionists and our group of young learners have started joining rehearsals on their melodicas.
“We are hoping to be able to visit Weeronga soon to entertain the residents there and hopefully play in the main street by Christmas time.
“The band is always looking for new members. Anyone who once played an instrument and wants to rekindle that interest again or anyone of any age, from five to 85 is welcome.”