Are you an adult with a secret desire to play in a band or orchestra? Did you, perhaps, play the clarinet in middle school, high school or college, only to put it away for 30 years while you pursued a career and raised a family? If this sounds familiar, then the Community Arts Center has a program that may interest you.
The New Horizons music program is coming to Danville. Developed more than 20 years ago by Roy Ernst of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., New Horizons programs provide the entry point into music-making for adults, particularly seniors.
“It’s a band program tailored for adults who wish to create music,” says Mary Beth Touchstone, executive director of the Community Arts Center. “Adults of all skill levels are invited to participate.”
Beginners who wish to learn to play an instrument are encouraged to join; the ability to play or read music is not required — just a willingness to learn something new.
Ernst found adults have unique advantages when it comes to learning music, as they are more motivated and self-disciplined than their younger counterparts. Those who have played before find that they remember more than they thought possible, and they are able to learn quickly to play again.
“Our mission is to create new arts opportunities for everyone in our community,” said Touchstone. “The New Horizons program is an ideal way for our senior community to experience the joy of playing music from the past while developing new skills and making friends.
“The Lexington program started with just four members and now has more than 40. Their members are very enthusiastic about the program and several will be attending our informational meeting Oct. 11 to perform and share their experiences with our community.”
This program has been successful around the world, providing opportunities for adults to make music and to develop strong friendships. Participants are challenged intellectually and become a contributing member of a group. Having the chance to build new social contacts is important at any age, and especially so for senior adults.