Whether joining with no musical experience whatsoever, revisiting a musical instrument from high school or perfecting that one special gift, everyone at the Congaree New Horizons Band has one thing is common: wanting to create wonderful musical experiences for others. The Congaree NHB is dedicated to providing musical opportunities to senior adults in the Midlands. The band is approximately 80 strong, and members come from all walks of life — teachers, doctors, lawyers, business people, nurses — even clergymen! Members learn to play and perform a band instrument in a group setting and have lots of fun doing it.
The Congaree NHB program was founded in January 2007 and has grown to four ensembles: the Congaree Concert Band, the Saluda Shoals Explorer Band, the Beginner Band and the Crescent Moon Jazz Band. The Congaree New Horizon’s Band, directed by Jeremy Lane, is affiliated with New Horizons International Music Association, an organization comprised of approximately 200 bands worldwide that encourages seniors to learn and make music with friends. New Horizons groups pride themselves on “it’s never too late” — regardless of prior musical experience, only one thing is required to participate in the Congaree NHB: an appreciation and love for music. The groups range from bands and choirs to orchestras and jazz bands.
The Congaree NHB will be hosting their 7th Annual Spring Concert on April 29 in the University of South Carolina Band Building (324 Sumter St.). Music starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free.
The Congaree New Horizons Band meets in the USC School of Music building (813 Assembly St.) and welcomes anyone age 50 and above. For rehearsals, the band meets on Monday nights in the USC String Project building (851 Park St.) from 5:30-6:45 p.m. or 7-8 p.m. depending on band affiliation. Possible band instruments include: flute, oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba or drums/percussion.
Signing up is easy—the new member enrollment meeting for the fall semester will be posted soon on New Horizons’ website. For first year members, fees are $150/semester. Fees include the Monday night rehearsal and a weekly 30-minute private lesson with a specialist on the specific instrument. Fees also include a t-shirt and music for the semester. After the first year, membership fees are $100/semester for enrollment in one group and $140/semester for enrollment in more than one. The cost pays for music, band shirts and stipends for the undergraduate students that work with the group. Private lessons are also available for an additional cost.
If band instruments are not appealing, the USC String Project may be the place for ones interested in a string instrument instead. Also, private lessons are available for voice and a wide variety of instruments through the USC Community Music School.
For more information contact Cara Edwards by phone at (803) 466-9025, or by e-mail at email@example.com. Visit the USC Community Music School page at http://www.sc.edu/music/community/community_music_school.