World stage set for Warwick Thistle Pipe Band
THE talents of the Warwick Thistle Pipe Band will be beamed worldwide after it was allocated funding in the Southern Downs Regional Council 2019-2020 budget.
A win at the Maclean cup this April secured the group an invitation to the prestigious Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Sydney, a showcase of military music featuring 1400 performers and a life-sized Edinburgh castle.
The cost of transporting and accommodating 90 members and their instruments interstate, however, was too expensive for a band that played for free at the many Anzac Day services, dedications and agricultural shows across the region.
That dream is now possible with a grant between $12,000 and $13,000 awarded as part of the $1,159,385 in community grants allocated in the council budget.
Vice-president and drum Sergeant Alexander Manfield said the band felt incredibly lucky to have their efforts recognised.
"It's incredibly generous,” he said.
"We're aware that in a time of crippling drought, getting funding for community groups can be difficult.
"We had a really bold plan to go down to New South Wales and represent something unique and recognisable to our community.”
It will be the largest audience the band has ever played in front of, and for some, it will be the biggest gig they are ever able to attend.
Funding will go directly to bus travel and accommodation for the group, with as much as possible spent within the Warwick economy.
The band is one of many community groups recognised in the budget, with an overall spending increase of $134,000 next financial year.