Grand River New Horizons Music
Concert Band
1914 Band
Swing Band
Parquet Players
Beginner Band
Meet Our Conductors

Robin Habermehl

Robin Habermehl Robin has had a career spanning three and half decades of performing and teaching in Canada and abroad.

He started his music career in the early 1970’s in Toronto, then moved to Ottawa in 1980 to join the Central Band of the Canadian Forces. In 1994, Robin moved back to the Golden Triangle where he now resides in Kitchener.

In addition to Grand River New Horizons, he conducts the Waterloo Region Police Services Concert Band, Big Band Theory (a contemporary jazz ensemble) and Copper Brass (Waterloo Region Police Services Dance Band).

Robin has performed in jazz festivals, rock concerts, and orchestra concerts throughout North America and Europe as a lead vocalist and instrumentalist.

He is also the owner of Robin Reid Music recording, performance and education company.

Ray Sweezey

Ray Sweezey Ray is a retired high school music teacher and semi-professional musician who has lived in the Waterloo area for over 35 years. He started his musical career in North Bay playing piano in a country group while in high school and then with other local groups on sax and string bass. In the summer months of the early 60's Ray would travel weekly to Dunn's Pavilion in Bala, Ontario to hear and be inspired by such greats as Ellington, Basie, Kenton, the Dorsey brothers, the Herman Herds, and the Louis Armstrong All Stars. While performing with the 8th Field Squadron RCE Military Band on clarinet and sax, the director recommended Ray pursue a career in teaching instrumental music. He then studied pedagogy and later composition and arranging with Rayburn Wright and Manny Albam at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. and went on to obtain his Bachelor of Music degree from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

While head of music at schools in Sudbury, Cambridge (Galt) and Kitchener, Ray directed the concert and jazz bands as well as the pit bands for several Broadway musical productions. During the summer months, he attended music programs including the Banff School of Fine Arts summer program, studying under Eddie Daniels and Lee Konitz. In 1981, his jazz group from Cameron Heights C.I. in Kitchener won the All Ontario Jazz Finals and competed in the Canadian Nationals, an award of which he is very proud. While teaching, Ray continued to stay involved as a musician in the community. Over the years he has been conductor or assistant conductor of several area concert bands. He has also played in small combos of several styles (jazz, Dixieland, rock and ethnic) in the Waterloo area. Presently he plays in the Waterloo Concert Band and the Ayr Paris Band.

Ray says, "I am very happy to be part of the Grand River New Horizons Music program in Waterloo and I am grateful to the other volunteers and to the participants who have made this an enjoyable and productive endeavour. I hope that more former and would-be musicians hear the music and come forward and join the band."