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New Horizons Band forming in the RGV

Posted on Nov 4th 2018

Krissie Weimer

Are you an adult who has always wanted to play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument but never learned how? Or, are you an adult who played a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument in middle or high school but gave it up long ago? Have you or do you currently sing, play piano,guitar or any other non-wind or percussion instrument? If so, we want you to join the Rio Grande Valley New Horizons Band!!

This New Horizons band is possible thanks to a grant through the UTRGV College of Fine Arts. It will be led by Dr. Krissie Weimer, Assistant Professor of Music Education at UTRGV. This band is being formed to serve the adult population of the Rio Grande Valley, enriching lives intellectually, physically, mentally, and socially through performance in a musical ensemble. Further, the band aims to build connections between community and university. New Horizons Bands are an international organization, providing beginning instrumental music education to adults over age 50. The New Horizons International Music Association (NHIMA) was established at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY in the early 1990s, as a way to provide options for adults over the age of 50 interested in music participation. The organization now includes close to 200 ensembles in many countries. While the organization was originally established for those over age 50, many New Horizons bands are open to adults of any age. You can learn more at newhorizonsmusic.org.

No New Horizons Bands or similar ensembles currently exist in the Rio Grande Valley. Performance opportunities exist in the form of community ensembles. However, no known opportunities exist for older adult learners to participate in band ensembles as complete novices with no prior musical experience. A New Horizons Band offers just that. It encourages people with no prior instrumental experience to join along with people who have played before. Because the Rio Grande Valley is home to a large seasonal population of Winter Texans who we encourage to join, we will meet as an ensemble during the winter months.  

We aim to enrich and transform the lives of older adults by providing access for them to actively engage in music performance opportunities through performance in a band; provide a relevant music education and occasions for socialization, improving the physical and mental health of older adults; and increase the visibility of the UTRGV School of Music, building relationships between New Horizons band members and the School of Music by connecting band members with students, faculty, and ensemble members and performances. 

All are welcome and encouraged to attend! You need absolutely no prior musical experience, minimal musical experience, or lots of musical experience on an instrument other than a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. We will have an informational meeting on Tuesday November 13, 2018 at 6:00p on the campus of UTRGV, Performing Arts Complex Building A Room 1.308. We will discuss more about the New Horizons International Music Association, our goals and purpose, along with how you can rent or purchase instruments. We will continue to meet each Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6:00-7:30 PM in the same room the meeting will be held If you have questions please contact Dr. Weimer at kristina.weimer@utrgv.edu

Making music is for everyone regardless of age or experience! I hope to see you on November 13!