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Our parent organization is the New Horizons International Music Association. New Horizons Music programs provide entry points to music making for adults, including those with no musical experience at all and those who were active in school music programs but have been inactive for a long time. Many adults would like an opportunity to learn music in a group setting similar to that offered in schools, but the last entry point in most cases was elementary school. We know that for most of the last century, about 15-20 percent of high school students nationally participated in music. From that, we can estimate that at least 80 percent of the adult population needs beginning instruction in order to participate in making music. New Horizons Music programs serve that need.
When I started the first New Horizons band in 1991, my philosophy was that anyone can learn to play music at a level that will bring a sense of accomplishment and the ability to perform in a group. Thousands of New Horizons musicians have proven that to be true, many starting in their late retirement years with no musical background at all. — Dr. Roy Ernst, Founder of New Horizons International Music Association
The purpose of The Association of Concert Bands (ACB) is to encourage and foster adult concert, community, municipal, and civic bands, and to ensure that each musician who wishes to perform may have that opportunity; every community may have the opportunity to take civic pride in its band; and citizens of the world community may enjoy live performances of band music.
ACB members include bands, individuals, and corporations who are uniquely dedicated and equipped to serve the needs of adult instrumental musicians that perform in and/or lead adult concert bands. Our philosophy is manifested in such projects and goals as the ACB Band Builder’s Manual, sponsored clinics, Project Posy, and ACB music-commissioning projects.
In 2018, West Michigan New Horizons Music Ensembles began a partnership with AARP (Michigan) to bring music to events that AARP sponsors in the Grand Rapids area. Several performances by Ransom Street Big Band were held at “AARP on Tap” at local brew pubs. WMNHME held a “Petting Zoo” at the Grand Rapids Brewing Company, sponsored by AARP. Attendees explored various wind band instruments while WMNHME musicians talked with people about the instruments. AARP and WMNHME collaborated twice to present an evening of music, finger food and learning about the two groups. Future events are on hold due to the pandemic.