Eastman - Rochester New Horizons Music
The Birthplace of New Horizons. Founded in 1991 by Dr. Roy Ernst, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY
A native of Rochester and graduate of the State University of New York, my career was secondary level computer programming education. My husband and I enjoy a blended family of five children, twelve grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren. Our hobbies include travel, gardening, and Red Sox baseball. Sharing Bill’s interest in antique car restoration, in 2013 we participated in the Hemming Motor News Great Race, driving the Great Mississippi River Road from Minneapolis to Mobile, Alabama. My passion, more than any other hobby, is being a member of New Horizons Music, which I’ve been involved in for nearly twenty five years. A recent honor was to have been invited to serve on the New Horizon International Music Association (NHIMA) Board of Directors. “Life Is Good” because of Roy Ernst’s dream . . . mature adults beginning or returning to making music.
My musical journey with the clarinet began in fourth grade, played a major role in my school days and ended with high school graduation. For more than forty years I didn’t touch a clarinet and one day encountered a group of “older” (New Horizon) band members performing a holiday program at our local airport terminal. Wanting to get involved, I bought a used instrument and I was surprised to find the dots connected to my brain and the fingers quickly responded. It took well over a year for me to find the courage to attend my first New Horizons rehearsal and it has resulted in a life changing, fulfilling musical adventure with a fringe benefit of acquiring new friends from near and far.
Being a member of Eastman Rochester New Horizons has been life changing; originally as a band member with the B-flat clarinet and currently as a bass clarinetist. Fifteen years ago, an RPO musician offered me the opportunity to use his bass clarinet and I fell in love with its deep, rich, dark tone. He later assisted me in choosing one of my own. In addition to band, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to play bass with our NH orchestra, community bands in Penfield and Irondequoit, New Horizons Clarinet Choir, Bonita Springs NH Band and the Gulf Coast Symphony in Fort Myers, Florida.
Over the years, participation in NHIMA sponsored music camps has been great fun. My most memorable music experiences, under the direction of Dr. Alan Woy, have been Clarinet Choir performances at the International ClarinetFest conferences (by audition/invitation only) in Austin, Baton Rouge and Orlando.
Having served on the band’s gig and publicity committees, I’ve switched focus to our band’s “Play It Forward” initiative. Recognizing the impact of budget cuts on the Rochester City School arts programs, the PIF program funds timely instrument repairs, private lesson tuition and supplementary mentoring for music students at two schools in the district. These endeavors are funded by audience donations at our fall, holiday and spring concerts.
As a seasonal Fort Myers, Florida resident, I am a bass clarinetist with the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra and Bonita Springs New Horizons band. Thanks to the symphony’s community outreach program, “Music Works!” I have the opportunity to volunteer with an after school program for underserved children who wouldn’t normally have access to music lessons. This variety of “snowbird” activities make it a little less painful to leave my western New York music family during the winter months.