Eastman - Rochester New Horizons Music
The Birthplace of New Horizons. Founded in 1991 by Dr. Roy Ernst, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY
Barry Rabson: Bass Clarinet
1991 was a very special year for me because that was when I saw a Rochester newspaper ad about the upcoming formation of a senior band, later to be named the New Horizons Band. About thirty or forty people attended that first meeting, and I well remember when Roy Ernst asked me what instrument I would like to play in the band. Having only studied piano as a child, and remembering my love of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw recordings, I asked if I could learn to play the clarinet.” Of course” he said, and that very day I went to a music store and rented one. I was then assigned to an Eastman School graduate student who started a small group of us off.
Three weeks later, Roy said that he thought I was ready to play in the band. My response was that I could only play one note, and he asked which one that was. I think I told him it was a “C”, and he said that was fine. Whenever “C” came up in the music, I could then play it. Twenty-two years later, I can play all of them..
Now in my mid-eighty’s, I can honestly say that playing in the band has made me feel ten-to-twenty years younger. What a great thing!
About eight or ten years ago, I switched to playing the bass clarinet. The fingering is the same as a B-flat clarinet, but I love the deep low tones that I get out of the instrument. In addition to playing in the Symphonic Band, I also play in the New Horizon’s Clarinet Choir.
Now, a little history about myself:
-Born in New York City, and grew up there -Attended Cornell University with a major in chemistry -Received an MBA from the University of Rochester -Retired from Kodak in 1986, and also sold a business that I had started in 1960 -Married over 60 years, with two children and one grandaughter -Have been involved in Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra operations since 1986 -Hobbies include world-wide travelling, gardening, cross-country skiing, playing bridge, and, most recently, home breadmaking