The New Horizons Band of Western New York will present a spring concert of "Songs, Dances and Marches" at 7 p.m. today in King Concert Hall on the SUNY Fredonia campus in Fredonia. The concert is free, but the band will be accepting food (non-perishable) donations for the Food Pantry of the Chautauqua County Rural Ministry.
The program's songs include "Moon River" and "Dear Heart in the Mancini Spectacular" conducted by Dr. Katherine Levy. Don Keddie will conduct a medley of songs from "The Sound of Music" including "My Favorite Things," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and "Edelweiss." Guest soloist Kay Barlow will sing "My Funny Valentine" with the New Horizons Saxtette, and the New Horizons Jazz Ensemble will play "Sound of Silence" with student conductor Morgan Townsend.
Dances on the program include three French Renaissance dances arranged in Bob Margolis' "Fanfare," "Ode," and "Festival" and the Cuban hit "Peanut Vendor" that started a rumba craze in the 1940s.
The New Horizons Band of Western New York will perform tonight in King Concert Hall.
Marches on the program include Ted Petersen's Empire State Salute conducted by Pauline Emilson, Glory by John Cacavas conducted by Don Keddie, and Barker Centennial March composed and conducted by Amrom Chodos.
The NHB Jazz Ensemble led by Matthew Suprina and Steve Hirst also will perform "Take the 'A' Train" by Billy Strayhorn, arr. Gassi and "A Nasty Bit of Blues" by Doug Beach.
The New Horizons Saxtette will also perform and "Puttin' on the Ritz" by Irving Berlin, arranged by Vinson. "St. Thomas" by Sonny Rollins, arranged by Rapp will be performed by the New Horizons Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Torrell Moss.
The band, under the direction of Levy, was launched by the SUNY Fredonia School of Music seven years ago and is living proof that, when it comes to learning to play a musical instrument, it truly is "never too late." New Horizons Band members, who are at least 50 years old, learn to play a band instrument, return to playing a band instrument after a long absence, or continue to improve playing an instrument they have long enjoyed.
The band program includes two weekly group lessons on an instrument and two weekly band rehearsals at SUNY Fredonia's Mason Hall. The band has an enrollment of more than 60 musicians. The average band member age of the New Horizons Band of Western New York is 63. Band member ages range from the early 50s to the late 70s.
By popular demand, a special summer session will be held during the month of July. No lessons will be offered during the summer session. Cost of the summer term is only $20. The summer session will conclude with concerts in Fredonia on July 25 and Brocton on July 27. This is an opportunity for former players to get in shape.
In addition, the New Horizons Jazz Ensemble will share the stage with The Dave Golando Big Band in a unique atmosphere at the Willowcreek Winery in Silver Creek on Aug. 11 at 7 p.m.
Levy, associate professor of music education, conducts the band. Advanced music education students in the School of Music provide group lesson instruction. Levy was introduced to New Horizons in 1995 when she became the brass instructor for one of the first New Horizons Bands in Iowa City, Iowa. She has conducted New Horizons Bands in Iowa and Georgia, and she founded a New Horizons Band in Hagerstown, Md.
"Music making is just too much fun to leave only to younger folks," Levy said. "Almost anyone can enjoy learning to play a musical instrument when good instruction, a friendly environment, and lots of helping hands are available."
The New Horizons Band of Western New York is part of the Musical Journeys Program, a community outreach project offered in the Fredonia School of Music. More information about New Horizons music efforts and the New Horizons Band of Western New York is available online at www.fredonia.edu/music/community/newhorizons.asp or call 673-4628. Those who are not sure what instrument to play may contact Levy at 673-3401 to schedule an appointment to try out various wind, brass and percussion instruments.