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Roy Ernst, professor emeritus from The Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, recently visited Hot Springs New Horizons Band, which is celebrating its 19th birthday.

Ernst started New Horizons Music International, the home of New Horizons Bands, in 1991. Designed as an entry point for older adults who wanted to study music and be part of a band, and a re-entry point for people who had played in school band. but put their instruments in the attic for decades until retirement, New Horizons has grown to over 200 bands in North America and overseas.

"In the 1970s I noticed so many retired people who spent their days watching TV and talking about the past. Then they died. They never talked about the future. I had wished they had something new in their lives, something that made them look to the future. I thought it would be wonderful if they had the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument and be part of a band. They would learn new things and look to the future," Ernst said in a news release.

Twenty years later, Ernst created New Horizons to give older people those opportunities.

In 1998, Hot Springs Village resident Harvey McIntyre decided to start a chapter of NHB in Hot Springs. He invited Ernst to help establish the band under the auspices of the Hot Springs Community Band. Hot Springs NHB began with 20 members.

Since 2006, the band has been under the direction of Bill Crook of Crook's Music Service. About a quarter of the current 36 members had never been part of a band or played an instrument before joining NHB. Some of the beginners have gone on to audition successfully for the Hot Springs Concert Band. Other members have learned to play a second instrument in NHB, and still others have simply returned to the instrument they had abandoned decades ago.

Visit Crook's Music Service at 2024 Central Ave. for more information about Hot Springs NHB, or to buy tickets to hear them in concert March 4 in Jessieville.

Entertainment on 02/25/2018

Print Headline: Music professor visits New Horizons Band

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