Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How many New Ventures Bands are there?
A. New Ventures Bands consist of three main bands – Intro, Mezzo (intermediate) and Avanti (advanced).  (Charitable registration number is 831673389RR0001). There are a number of additional specialized bands and ensembles which Mezzo and Avanti members can join.

Q. Do I have to have experience playing an instrument to join one of the New Ventures Bands?
A. No, absolutely no musical experience is required or expected to join the New Ventures Intro Band. All you need is the desire to learn and perform with the band. In fact, we count on new Intro Band members to maintain the long-term viability of the Bands.

Q. Do any of the band members have experience playing an instrument?
A. Most new members have never held an instrument, ever. Others come to the band having played an instrument many years ago in school or elsewhere and are now rekindling that experience. Still others may have played one instrument and now want to broaden their experience by trying another instrument. No matter what your level of experience, there is a place for you in one of the New Ventures Bands.

Q. How do the band members play together with so many different levels of accomplishment?
A. Band members are grouped according to ability.  You will be placed into the band where you will be comfortable, either as an aspiring new musician, or one who has some experience.

Q. Where do the bands rehearse?
A. All bands rehearse at 387 Ontario Street (Orange Hall) in Cobourg from September to June. (We have no political or religious affiliation.)

Q. I’ve never played before. How do I know what instrument to choose?
A. Every September we hold an open house at the rehearsal hall, usually the first Wednesday of September. Every year the event is advertised locally and is posted on our website. At the Open House you have an opportunity to hear members play each of the instruments currently in the band and learn a little about each one. Chat with our members or talk to our band leader, Shawn Hills (, to get some help making your decision. Or watch this video.

Q. What instruments can I choose from?
A. Our band music has parts for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Saxophone (Alto, Tenor or Baritone), Trumpet/Cornet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium/Baritone Horn, Tuba, Electric/String Bass, Percussion and Drums. You can choose from any of those instruments.

Q. I don’t have an instrument. Do I have to own one?
A. You will need an instrument to join one of our bands, but you don’t need to own one.  Many new members rent until they are sure they have made the right choice of instrument. The cost of buying or renting an instrument varies with the instrument chosen. NNVB continues to purchase some of the more expensive instruments for members to use free of charge. 

Q. What are the membership fees?
A. In addition to rental or purchase of an instrument, joining New Ventures Band requires a very small investment of $150 annually (September to June).  (*Dues may be subject to adjustment annually.)  A small additional investment includes:

1. Standard of Excellence Series Method book (about $10 each) for skill development:

    • Intro Band Book 1 (red)
    • Mezzo Band Book 2 (blue)
    • Avanti Band Book 3 (green)
    • Tone & Technique as directed by the band leader each year.

2. Band uniform shirt for performances; ($35-$40)
3. Name badge (about $10) worn at performances and rehearsals;
4. Plus your own BLACK dress pants, BLACK socks and BLACK shoes (no sandals) for all performances;
5. A solid, black music stand for home practice and for performances is recommended but not essential. (approx. $50)

For information about joining NNVB email or go to Contact Us

Choosing an Instrument

Watch this video to hear some of our members share their thoughts about the instrument they play.


Music books and instrument rentals

Long and McQuade WEBSITE
7789 County Road 2 (Elgin Street West)
Cobourg, ON, K9A 4J7

Harknett Music WEBSITE
2650 John Street, Unit #15
Markham, ON, L3R 2W6

Cosmo Music WEBSITE
10 Via Renzo Drive
Richmond Hill, ON L4S 0B6