"You could have heard a pin drop" when Gunnedah's deputy mayor shared the shire's drought struggles with its sister city Lane Cove.
Cr Rob Hooke was a special guest at Lane Cove's Rain Bringer Christmas Concert this week where Lane Cove Youth Orchestra (LCYO) and Hunters Hill High School raised funds for the shire.
"The audience was just really hungry for information for what was really happening out in country NSW and you could have heard a pin drop when I was speaking," Cr Hooke said.
"They came away with a real understanding that we're actually all in this together; the country and the city divide has certainly narrowed greatly. People are definitely concerned for what is happening out in country areas.
"[People said] 'we really feel for you. We understand, we can see that prices are going to rise. We're concerned about the bushfires and the length of the drought'. And everyone said, 'What can we do to help?' A lot of people had tears in their eyes."
LCYO president Lyndall McNally said his words "brought to life the stoic strength of the Gunnedah community during the drought".
"He also painted a really lovely snapshot of the beauty of the area... and people were charmed by it and moved by it," she said.
"Everyone enjoyed getting that snapshot of the country, both the hardship and the beauty."
Cr Hooke also encouraged the city-siders to visit country towns and BuyfromtheBush.
Ms McNally said a number of students' parents approached her about the social media campaign "so the message is getting through".
The theme of Monday's concert was rain and they raised funds by selling "rain sticks", which were used by audience members during the concert.
Ms McNally said the musicians "generated a storm" inside the building using sheets of metal, accompanied by the "rain sticks".
"I think it was one of the high points ... there was a nice feel," she said.
The popular "rain machine" made an appearance again and participants purchase "rain clouds" and "rain drops" (marbles) and put them into the machine.
When people released their raindrops, they run down the xylophone, onto a "tin roof", hitting coloured bells at the bottom and a drum, before finishing their descent in a tank.
More than $3500 was raised at the concert. Last year, more than $2500 from the Red Earth Christmas Concert was donated to Namoi Partner Schools.
Gunnedah and Lane Cove became sister cities in 1990s when the shire was in drought.