New Horizons Band of Austin, TX
An Outreach Program of The University of Texas Butler School of Music
The New Horizons Band in Austin was initiated in the Spring of 1998 by University of Texas Professor Glenn Richter with four “students.” Sponsored by the University of Texas Butler School of Music, this Pilot Project was based on a program begun at the Eastman School of Music which was designed for people 50 years of age or older desiring to play musical instruments. By October of 1998, twenty of us, alerted by an article about the beginning band, gathered at Glenn Richter’s church, Shepherd of the Hills in Westlake Hills, and began our “new” musical experience. Many of our members had not taken their instruments out of their cases for over 30 years!! By 2010, we had grown to about 60 members and had our weekly rehearsals directed by Glenn Richter at the Westlake United Methodist Church in Westlake Hills. Current membership hovers between 65 to 70.
Our members come from all walks of life: former and present professors, practicing physicians, psychiatrists, retired educators, librarians, medical technicians, retired UT accounting professor, retired resident scientist at UT McDonald Observatory, sculptor, realtor, architect, Legal Administrator, Systems Analyst, Engineer, Social Worker, Counselor, Researcher and Writer, Teachers, Physical Therapist, CPA, Pastor, Computer analysts, Nurse, retired military, Geophysicists, retired business owners, and homemakers.
Our band has been a conducting lab for a number of University of Texas School of Music students over the years. Often we are the first full “band” the young students have ever led.
We generally perform from two to four concerts every year. There is always one in the Spring and one in December. Our December concert features family members joining us on stage for our traditional closing piece, “Sleigh Bells,” with many young children coming on stage ringing bells and others playing instruments as part of our band.