The Sutherland Shire community band New Horizons has received a welcome funding boost from IMB Bank as it heads into the festive season
The band was formed in 2014 with the aim of using music to build a sense of community.
As saxophonist, Ashley Boorman, says New Horizons is just as much about having fun as it is about learning to play an instrument.
"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," Ashley said.
New Horizons now comprises five ensembles that cater to various ability levels from beginners, through to seasoned musicians - including a group which just plays blues music.
"We want to ensure all members of the community can get involved, regardless of whether they have played an instrument before," says New Horizons Band Director, Jennifer Williams.
The band members aren't the only ones to reap the social benefits of New Horizons.
Most community groups that visit facilities charge a fee, limiting the entertainment options available for elderly residents in retirement and aged care homes.
However, New Horizons treat residents of the various aged care facilities throughout the shire to regular concerts freet of charge.
Over the past two years, New Horizons has received $6000 in funding from IMB Bank Shire Community Foundation, as a recognition of the value it provides to the local community. This funding will enable New Horizons to continue its regular performances throughout the festive season in aged care facilities without cost to the facilities or attendees.
This year, New Horizons was one of 14 not-for-profit groups across the shire to share in $100,000 of donations under the IMB Bank Shire Community Foundation.