© Andrew Wagstaff - The Citizen-Record
PARRSBORO - Being a junior band member in Parrsboro just got a lot easier.
Thanks to a $3,500 funding grant from the provincial department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, the band's "For the Joy of Playing" application was successful in gaining funds to help musicians cover the cost of instrument rentals.
Parrsboro Citizens Band director Rob Bentley, one of the volunteers involved with putting on the junior program, was thrilled with the news.
"It's going to make a big difference," said Bentley. "I'm quite excited about it right now to see all the kids involved."
The funding will be available to help band members cover up to 80 per cent of the cost of their instrument rentals, based on attendance, retro-active to September, when the program started.
"I think it will make a huge difference because right now there isn't a cost for the lessons - we're using Parrsboro Citizens Band members to provide instruction - but the last barrier for a lot of families is the rental cost of instruments," said Bentley. "I think it's going to definitely boost interest."
The junior band has a current membership of about 15, with the bulk of the membership coming from the Grade 6-7 age group. Bentley and fellow citizens band member David Towns have visited the elementary school to introduce themselves to the students, in hopes of dovetailing the junior band program with the already existing Grade 6 band program co-ordinated by Elizabeth Estabrooks.
"Eventually, if we can keep the interest up, it will only take a couple years before they can play with the citizens band," said Bentley. "Then it's a continuous program of a couple years with the junior band before moving into the full band."