Taree and Great Lakes audiences are in for a treat when the Hunter Wind Ensemble plays two concerts this Sunday and Monday, August 11 and 12.
The musicians, including seven members from the Manning and Great Lakes, are fundraising for their international concert tour to China in 2020.
They have recently returned from a successful tour of Central Australia, were awarded B-grade champions at the Canberra National Eisteddfod and are regular performers at the Sydney Opera House.
For Kyler Johnston from the Great Lakes, who has been with the Hunter Wind Ensemble for more than a year, the best part about being involved is playing with others at such a high level.
"It's a great experience," he said.
"Being in an ensemble with such high level conductors and students makes you want to always try and achieve more and do your personal best.
"It is a once in a life opportunity and anyone who has the chance should take it."
Shaun Carroll, also from the Great Lakes, has been playing with the ensemble for about two years and enjoys being part of a group that shares a common love of music.
"Being part of Hunter Wind Ensemble gives me the opportunity to work with very experienced and knowledgeable tutors and conductors who give each of us the chance to become better musicians by sharing their talents.
"I also learn more about music and enjoy great experiences such as playing at the Sydney Opera House and our recent tour of Central Australia.
Mitchell Brown from Taree has been a member of Hunter Wind Ensemble for four years.
"I've had so many amazing opportunities that I would not have had if I was not a member of Hunter Wind Ensemble, and you meet the most amazing musicians and conductors, which is so important for your own development."
His younger brother Riley is also a member and said he enjoys hanging out with "people who love music like you do, and the type of music that you love".
"It's hard work but you don't notice because you are making great music with amazing people."
The Taree performance is at St John's Anglican Church at 3pm this Sunday, August 11, where for $15 (from Bass'n'Blues Music Store) you will enjoy two concert band ensembles - Hunter Wind Ensemble and Manning Valley Stage Band - and a combined performance.
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The Tuncurry concert is at Tuncurry Bowling Club on Monday, August 12, at 6pm.
Tickets are $10 (available at Sitting Wombat Bookshop in Forster) and include Hunter Wind Ensemble, as well as students from local schools, and the Great Lakes Concert Band.
As well as the concerts, Hunter Wind Ensemble conductors will direct a workshop with school students from 10am on Monday at Tuncurry Bowling Club.
Students also have an opportunity to audition for a place in the ensemble and join them on their 2020 Tour of China in April next year, as well as regular performances at the Sydney Opera House and National Eisteddfod.
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