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Finding Happiness
Gina Maldonado

I am so happy to be the newest member of New Horizons. I am having a lot of fun and have rediscovered the joy of playing in a large group. I had a list of things I promised myself I would do when I retired and one of them was to get back into playing my flute. Here is my story about finding New Horizons.


Gina Maldonado.jpg

I had not played regularly since high school, other than a 7 year stint in the student - parent band at Willink Middle school in the 2000s. Playing with all three of my children was a blast. Other than that, it had been way too long since I had played. 


Upon retirement I went to Thomas music and had my flute overhauled. They were excellent and excited that I was going to pick up my instrument again. To encourage me, they gave me a brochure about New Horizons but I was too nervous to call. 


Watching the news late one night, I saw the community story about the 90th birthday party celebration for a long time member and I thought “that’s the band from the brochure and everyone looks very nice and normal and welcoming” so the next day I called Eastman Community Music School. 


The office gave me the email of the band directors and I realized that one of them was Larry Neeck, who had taught my children music AND co-directed the student-parent band. Small world! When I emailed Larry he remembered me and was very encouraging.

I took a deep breath and summoned my courage and came to a rehearsal and I love it! It is a challenge for me because I have not played for so long.  However, it has been such a welcoming and encouraging group and  I am improving every week. The directors are excellent and it is simply a wonderful group.

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