On The Road With West City Band!
Have you ever tried to squeeze a set of kettle drums into a hatchback car? Well, that was the problem faced by the West City Band every time they played a concert. A part of the West Auckland music scene for over 40 years, the West City Band is made up of three different groups. As well as the main concert band, there is a West City Youth Concert Band and a West City Jazz Orchestra.
The three bands under the West City umbrella currently have 120 members ranging in age from 13 to 70. Members play a variety of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. The groups regularly perform throughout West Auckland at community concerts, parades and special events including the Farmer’s Santa Parade.
However, transporting the band’s expensive and often super-sized instruments from venue to venue was becoming more and more of an issue.
‘Currently we require four or five vehicles to shift all the percussion gear,’ explains the band’s secretary, Anthony Yelavich, ‘and it is very tricky to lift some of the instruments into cars.’
Thanks to the $20,000 raised in this year’s Million Dollar Mission, the band can now buy a custom-built trailer to transport all their musical instruments.
‘The trailer will keep our instruments safe,’ advises Anthony. ‘They are more likely to be damaged when being lifted in or out of vehicles or being driven around without being carefully secured. These instruments are very expensive and so keeping them safe is an important concern.’
According to Anthony, participation in the Million Dollar Mission has brought several welcome benefits to the West City Band.
‘Being part of the Mission was a great experience,’ he advises. ‘It built a sense of community amongst our members, core audience and supporters, all working together to achieve a common goal. We also managed to raise our profile in the process, which was great.’
Anthony has some words of advice for any community group or organisation that is thinking of applying:
‘Make sure that you know who your networks are and don’t stop telling people to vote until you reach your goal!’
West City Band is 1 of over 100 projects that has received Million Dollar Mission funding from The Trusts in the last 3 years. You can learn more about where The Trusts funding goes here.