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New Horizons Plans Free Concert Wednesday

FREDONIA — The 50-member New Horizons Band of Western New York will present their Spring Concert at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The free concert will be in the Harry A. King Concert Hall on the SUNY Fredonia campus. The concert is dedicated to Janet Stout, co- founder of the New Horizons Band of Western New York music program for adults, which is affiliated with SUNY Fredonia’s School of Music. In her honor, the New Horizons Band of Western New York is gathering funds to establish a New Horizons Music Scholarship to be awarded to music students who demonstrate interest in fostering community music. Information will be available in the concert program.

After opening the concert with Jack Stamp’s arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner as a “love song to the country” in a setting intended to portray the nation’s stirred patriotism following the attacks of 9/11, the band, under the of Dr. Katherine M. McKay, music director, will show their support and respect for the Republic of Ukraine by performing their stirring national anthem. Next on the program will be Marta Keen’s Homeward Bound, a popular and widely performed contemporary choral piece that has become an anthem for many soldiers returning home from foreign wars.

Windstar concert overture (1981) by Claude T. Smith contrasts bold horn and trumpet fanfares with light, fast segments surrounding a slow romantic centerpiece with a soleful euphonium solo. John Philip Sousa’s march The Free Lance (1906) brightens the program with its many march tunes, which Sousa composed for his operetta of the same name. New Horizons Band of WNY Hornists will perform Nachruf by Anton Bruckner. This is a tribute to Janet (Popp) Stout, co-founder and hornist. The first half of the program will conclude under the direction of John Krestic with the performance of Travis Weller’s The Wellerman Come. “Wellerman” refers to sailors of The Weller Brothers Company whose Wellerman Boats traveled to whaling stations to sell provisions, deliver mail, and carry away oil.

The New Horizons Jazz Band of Western New York will start the second half of the program under the direction of Fredonia student director Will North. Their first selection will be Lullaby of Birdland with lyrics by George David Weiss and music by George Shearing. The second selection will be Misty with words by Johnny Burke and music by Erroll Garner. Gordon Goodwin’s The Very Best of Times will be the last selection on the program for the Jazz Band

The New Horizons Band of Western New York will start their second half under the direction of Dr. Katherine M. McKay, music director. The second half of the program offers a musical stroll through jazz, popular, and lighter selections. In American Riversongs, Pierre LaPlante artfully weaves a tapestry of songs of the 17- and 1800s river industry. Irving Berlin: From Rags to Ritz is a medley of his many hits from 1910-1920. Zoom! by Mississippi’s Ayatey Shabazz is thrilling, suspenseful, and climactic in contrast with the poignant and yearning solo “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. Laura Estes’ comical Kvetchers evokes her good-natured kvetching (a Yiddish word that, in the U.S. means “to complain”) with her best friend. The Golden Age of Broadway features Rodgers & Hammerstein songs from their most popular musicals 1940-1959. The last dance of the evening is a Polka Party of the “Pennsylvania Polka,” “Just Because,” and the “Chicken Dance!”

The New Horizons Band Steering Committee members are: Wendy Ohnmeiss, Chair; Ellen Cornell, Vice-Chair; Nancy Larson, Secretary; John Krestic, Treasurer; Carol Corcoran; Karen Davis; Bill Loftus; Craig Scott; and James Wilcox. Craig Scott is the liaison/contact person for New Horizons Band of WNY to the New Horizons International Music Association.

The New Horizons Band of Western New York (NHBWNY) provides opportunities for chronologically-gifted adults to learn to play a musical instrument and to enjoy playing with others. The band reflects the New Horizons International Music Association philosophy that music can provide challenging intellectual activity, social involvement, and “the opportunity to develop one’s musical potential to the level that will be personally rewarding.” (http://newhorizonsmusic.org) “Music making is just too much fun to leave only to younger folks,” McKay 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 NHBWNY will rehearse Mondays and Thursdays, June 26 to July 31 under the direction of Music Director Katherine L. McKay. Experiences players are welcome to join any time, but those new or long away from instrumental music should join in Fall 2023, when our fleet of outstanding retired music teachers/conductors, and Fredonia music student instructors can provide a range of instruction and experiences. Band, rehearsals, and lessons meet in the School of Music’s Mason Hall on the Fredonia State University of New York campus. A reasonable registration fee covers the cost of instruction and music. It is possible to return to playing or learn to play an instrument as a senior adult! For more information and contacts, visit our website: https://www.fredonia.edu/academics/colleges-schools/school-music/music/community/newhorizons.

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