top of page

A Little History

The New Horizons Program began in 1991 at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY under the guidance of Roy Ernst, now Professor Emeritus from that school. Since that time, the idea has been adopted throughout the U. S. and in Canada, resulting in the forming of more than 200 organizations.

The newspaper article in the Democrat which started it all was published in Dec. 1990. It was entitled “ MUSIC INSTRUCTION OFFERED, SENIOR BAND BEING FORMED, STRIKE UP THE BAND.”


It said that there would be two meetings at Cutler Union to hear about it and, perhaps, to sign up.  It indicated that the first semester’s lessons would run from 1/29/91 through 3/12/91.  So, I attended that first meeting and the rest is history.


More details can be found in the 2014 DVD “Music For Life, The Story of New Horizons”.  It was a co-production of WXXI and the Eastman School of Music. Among other things, it shows a picture of the newspaper article which started it all, and pictures of early rehearsals of the original band.  One of the original members, Barry Rabson, says "It was fun but the music was terrible!"


The first rehearsals were in Cutler Union (now part of the Art Gallery).  After a year or so, the band was thrown out of Cutler Union because the sound was so bad that the people who worked there complained.   Rehearsals were held at a variety of places, ending  up at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester on Winton Rd.

Thanks to Barry Rabson for the above history.

more info>

five originals.JPG
1991 newspaper article.JPG
bottom of page