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On 11th St., New Musical Horizons

If I’m still living in this neighborhood when I turn 50, I’m going to knock on the door of the Third Street Music School at 11th Street and Second Avenue and join New Horizons, a wind and brass ensemble composed only of adults that old and older, many of whom had never picked up an instrument until they retired from other careers.

In the three and a half years since New Horizons came to the East Village, it has grown from 15 students to 70 and split into two bands that each meet twice a week. These students practice on their own up to two hours a day and the bands perform once every several weeks.

New Horizon’s parent organization, New Horizons International Musical Association, started twenty years ago in Rochester as the inspiration of Roy Ernst who wanted to get older adults into playing music together. It now has locations across the United States and in Iceland, the Netherlands, Australia, and Ireland. Here, the program has funding from the National Endowment for the Art and is “the first and only New Horizons in New York City,”according to Nancy Morgan, the director of school and community partnerships at Third Street.

Ms. Morgan told me that when this band of New Horizons musicians started, “they didn’t even know how to put their instruments together.” New students are always welcome, she said, so if you’re “50 or better” and you’ve always wanted to become a musician, maybe now’s the time. Check out the band and see what you think.

More information about New Horizons can be found here.