The New Horizons International Music Association (NHIMA) is an organization founded by Dr. Roy Ernst, professor emeritus at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester N.Y. His goal was to create an entry point to group music-making for adult beginners and a comfortable re-entry point for adults who played music in school and would like to resume after years of building careers and raising children. This led to the formation of the first New Horizons group in Rochester in 1991. There are now over 150 New Horizons Music groups across the U.S. and Canada.
Grand River New Horizons Music, located in Waterloo, Ontario, is a relatively new member of the NHIMA, having been founded in the fall of 2008. Starting with 26 members, whose musical experience ranges from new (never played an instrument before) to symphony level, this concert band has been gathering each week to learn and make music together, and have fun doing so!
Given that music fills important needs for adults: the need for challenging intellectual activity, the need to be a contributing member of a group, the need to participate in meaningful and exciting events in the future and that music-making can reduce stress and depression, and increase the strength of the immune system,
the objective of GRNHM is to expand people's lives through making music.
Grand River New Horizons Music exists to:
• provide adults with entry points to making music, including those with no musical experience at all and those who were active while students in their school music programs but have been inactive for a long period
• provide opportunities to make new friends and socialize in a supportive environment based on principles of inclusion, mutual respect and cooperation
• encourage members to develop and exercise their non-musical skills and talents by contributing their expertise to the operation of the organization.
• provide entertainment to the community through public performances
In addition to the main concert band and the jazz group, members who share a love for the same kind of music have also performed in smaller ensembles including a woodwind ensemble, a brass quintet and a dixieland quartet. Everyone is encouraged to pursue their musical passion.