A GROUP of Australian soldiers will bring relief to rural areas in the coming weeks through the gift of music.
The Australian Army Band Newcastle is heading to the Upper Hunter to host a free community benefit concert at Scone High School next Saturday.
The concert is part of a tour which will include many stops in the New England area along the way, with the likes of Tamworth, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Inverell, Croppa Creek, Warialda and Guyra all set to benefit.
Captain Graeme Reynolds, Second in Command of the Australian Army Band Newcastle, said the tour is on the back end of the "very long and enduring drought" and aims to boost local's spirits.
"What we're endeavouring to do is to reach out to those rural communities because of the hard times that they're enduring," he said.
"We want to let them know that the Australian Army and indeed the Defence Force are thinking of them."
Captain Reynolds said the event would be a "hearts and minds concert" and offer "welcome relief in the form of entertainment free of charge".
"It will be uplifting music, songs that people would know and can sing along to with themes tied to Australia, horses and country," he said.
"And these will be performed by soldiers - men and women in uniform - not necessarily in a ceremonial fashion that most people see on television on Australia Day or Anzac Day. We'll be coming out with our camouflage uniforms."
The event is being supported by the Rotary Club of Scone who have done the hard yards in the local area by organising the venue.
They will also be feeding the army band members and any money that's raised if donations are taken will go towards local families or where they see fit.
The Australian Army Band Newcastle has a long history in the Hunter region which dates back to 1861 with only a short break from service after World War II.
The members are heavily invested in the support and promotion of the Australian Defence Force whilst striving to develop music and musicians within the Hunter region.
The band comprises of ensembles from quartets to a full military band. It also features a Pipes and Drums section.
The free Community Benefit Concert will take place on Saturday, February 22, from 6pm at Scone High School. A barbeque and refreshments will be available.