The New Horizons Band of the Alton-Godfrey area was founded in 1998 on an impulse of the Lewis and Clark Community College Music Director, Harlan Hock. This group is a member of the National New Horizons Band organization which was designed for musicians 50 years of age or older. Professor Roy Ernst founded the national organization in 1991 at the Eastman School of Music in New York. His philosophy was that anyone can learn to play music at a level that will bring a sense of accomplishment and the ability to perform in a group. Thousands of New Horizons musicians in USA and Canada have proven that to be true, many starting in their late retirement years with no musical background at all.
Another aspect of his philosophy for New Horizons is that the style of instruction must be completely supportive and free of competition and intimidation. New Horizons directors feel liberated and find new enjoyment in teaching when they don't have to give grades, take groups to competitive festivals and have participants compete for seating in a section. Our motto is, "Your best is good enough."
The goal of New Horizons groups is to create an entry point to group music-making for adult beginners and a comfortable re-entry point for adults who played music in school and would like to resume after long years of building careers and raising children.
The Godfrey band is, from its inception, under the direction of Stanley Chytil, a native of Czech Republic. He graduated from Conservatory of Music in Ostrava in 1979 in performance and education and came to United States in 1989. He is an outstanding conductor which is evident in his stage presence that exhibits his talent, humor and highly energetic personality.
Presently the band consists of 52 members from 45 to 86 years of age. Listeners, who heard the band at its inception 15 years ago, find it difficult to believe after hearing the band now, that some of the members had never played an instrument. Their dynamic repertoire is an eclectic blend of popular songs from the past, such as the Glen Miller swing era, hit tunes from musicals, marches, polkas and other concert band repertoire. Their venues are just as diverse as their musical selections. They play at many community events, such park concerts, charity fund raisers, nursing homes, private parties, VFW halls, dances, and municipal parades. The New Horizons Band's most acclaimed works, to date, are annual USO type shows, which honor veterans and pay tribute to famous celebrity entertainers. These shows have gained outstanding rapport with the audiences resulting in a large following that notices the hard work of all these dedicated members who share a special musical bond.
The New Horizons Band is open to new members wishing to join.
Rehearsals are every Monday and Wednesday starting at 5:00 - 6:30 pm
at K of C Hall, 1713 Stamper Lane,Godfrey,IL.62035
Tuition $50.00 per trimester - Spring/Summer/Fall