Oswego New Horizons Band members, including two with the band since its inception in the late 1990s, voted unanimously to change their name to the Oswego County New Horizons Band and Chorus (OCNHB&C). The new name better represents the organization which now includes a relatively new chorus and county-wide membership. Actually, the organization also includes a few members from Cayuga and Onondaga Counties.
Instrumentalists and singers in the two groups are seniors 50 years of age or older. Most members who had been musicians in their youth, had put musical pursuits aside while raising families and/or while employed. Members who were previously non-musicians decided to take up an instrument or sing (several did both) during their senior years, and a few former musicians began playing an instrument new to them.
The 30-member band and 19-member chorus perform independently and jointly at adult care facilities and various events in the surrounding area. OCNHB&C appeared most recently for the Joy of Christmas Concert on December 13, 2009, at the Minetto United Methodist Church.
The New Horizons Band program was founded in 1991 by Roy Ernst, then professor at Eastman School of Music in Rochester. The program, now known as New Horizons International Music Association (NHIMA), consists of over 150 bands, orchestras, and choruses in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and Australia. OCNHB&C, under its new name, has continued its membership in NHIMA (http://www.newhorizonsmusic.org/ > groups > NHIMA groups > New York, Minetto) and affiliation with Oswego County RSVP. Midstate Music in Oswego sponsors OCNHB&C.
The band (ensemble includes strings) rehearses Wednesdays 9:00-10:30am, and the chorus rehearses Tuesdays 9:00-10:30am at the Minetto United Methodist Church. You are welcome to visit a rehearsal and talk with members.
Anyone interested in scheduling a performance, or joining the organization (whether experienced in music or not) can also contact Band Director Frank Bickel at 343-5791 or Choral Director Mary Lou Carpenter-Bjorkman at 343-2908.