Meet NHIMA’s Treasurer, Newsletter Editor and Database Manager. All are contract employees for New Horizons International Music Association. You can e-mail them by clicking their name.
William (Bill) Gates
Corvallis New Horizons Band, Oregon
I began playing the cornet when I was in the 4th grade in Newton, Iowa and continued playing either trumpet or cornet with the Newton Grade School, Junior High, and High School Bands as well as the High School Orchestra. I was accepted and played with the 1960 & 1961 “Iowa All State Bands” and also played with the Drake University Band while earning a business administration degree. The horn was then sat aside for nearly 40 years while my attention turned to career and family. I worked for the GuideOne Insurance Group for 40 years, starting as a part time mail & supply clerk and ending as the Operations Officer of their life insurance company when I retired 40 years later. I am also a retired Command Sergeant Major, from the US Army Reserve.
Shortly before my retirement, our local newspaper featured an article about the recently formed “Des Moines New Horizons Band.” That article, along with the anticipated “free” time that retirement would bring, was all that it took for me to join up. It only took a few months before my wife dusted off her son’s old flute and also joined. Bobbie was new to the flute, but not to music. Today, our music has become a focal point for us as a couple. We attended the 2006 and 2007 New Horizon Band Camps at Interlochen, Michigan and the 2008 Camps at Olympia, Washington and Chautauqua, New York. The social aspects and friendships that have resulted from our New Horizons membership are as important to us as the music itself.
Joining the Des Moines NHB was just what I needed to help me bring back some of my “Trumpeter” skills from the past. In Iowa, I also played with the Urbandale Community Adult Band and the “Iowa Military Veterans Band.” We moved to Oregon in November 2008 to enjoy the milder Oregon Winter and to be closer to our youngest grandchild. Both Bobbie and I are currently playing with the Corvallis New Horizons Band which we were familiar with from previously having sat in while visiting in the area.
Linda L. Johnson
NHIMA Newsletter Editor
New Horizons Band of Northern Colorado, Fort Collins
I grew up in Hingham, Massachusetts, graduating from Hingham High School in 1971. Following high school, I attended Saint Michael’s College in Winooski, Vermont, graduating with a degree in English in 1975. While growing up in Hingham, I taught myself to play the guitar and sang alto in choruses in both high school and college. While at St. Mike’s, I organized and sang lead vocals for a band specializing in 1950s and 1960s music and also performed in duets at a popular campus coffee house.
I joined Air Force ROTC in college and following graduation was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force (USAF). I had no idea at the time that this would be a 20-year career in the USAF. I began my service tour as an Air Traffic Control Officer and about halfway through my career switched to Communications. One of the many highlights of this time was my final assignment at the White House Communications Agency where I supported Presidents George Bush (Sr.) and Bill Clinton in Washington D.C. at the White House as a Presidential Communications Officer and Commander, Audiovisual Unit.
During Air Traffic Control advanced training at Castle AFB in Merced, CA in 1977, I met my future husband Mark who was attending KC-135 navigator transition training. Mark is also a 20-year Air Force veteran and we were very lucky to be together during most of our time in the Air Force. We have two grown daughters, Holly and Sara, who both have their own families now. We are blessed with four beautiful grandchildren, Zoe (age 11), Ezra (age 8), and Sophia (age 5) and Haley (almost 3 years old)!
After retiring from the Air Force in 1994, we remained in the Washington D.C. area for another 16 years working for the Defense community as civilian contractors. In 2010, we finally had enough of the overcrowded east coast and found an amazing retirement location in sight of the Rocky Mountains in Fort Collins, Colorado. It was here in Fort Collins that I decided to take my 30+ year love affair of taking photographs and writing and start a photography business and do freelance writing and photography assignments. Though my photography business is currently “on hold”, I continue taking many photos in my free time.
Shortly after moving to Fort Collins, I noticed a small ad for our local New Horizons Band (NHB) and suggested to Mark, who played trumpet in high school, that he check it out. He joined the band and was having so much fun that I decided to give it a try as well!
I took up the drums almost 6 years ago and after much hard work and with the help of some great teachers, I now perform in two concert bands and, in addition to our New Horizons Concert Band, now play in the group’s Swing and Dixieland ensembles. I am also the drummer in a local 17-piece non-NHB jazz band that plays a variety of genres throughout the year. And most recently, I’ve started a classic rock band to add another dimension to my drumming skills.
Drumming, photography, hiking, biking, camping, listening to music, gathering with friends and spending time with our grandchildren and Mark are definitely highlights in my life.
Learning to play music at this stage of my life has been a great experience! Don’t let anyone say that you are too old to learn an instrument…with practice and instruction, it is most certainly possible to have a rewarding musical experience! Our NHB attracts wonderful people and we have made many new friends! Learning to play well is a fulfilling challenge that will last a lifetime.
NHIMA Database Manager & Publications Coordinator
Port Huron New Horizons Band, Michigan
I am a native of Racine, Wisconsin, having received my K-12 education there and college through the University of Wisconsin system. I started playing clarinet in grade 5 and continued through high school band and orchestra. I put the clarinet down in college as no opportunity arose for me to play in any organization do to a busy college schedule.
I received a BS degree in Earth Science and then migrated to Port Huron, Michigan to look for adventures in a brand new career. I began employment with CSC (an IT out-sourcer) at a major defense contractor. I held many job descriptions throughout my 37 years, starting at computer operator and finishing with an assignment as Senior Applications Technical Support Engineer.
During this time, I continued to look for opportunities to play my clarinet and began playing with my church choir. One day (12 years ago), I stopped by a local music store to purchase reeds and ran into the New Horizons Band director; 1 week later I was playing in the band. I even got to play the instrument I was fascinated with since the 7th grade – bass clarinet, as there just happened to be one in the music store’s shop. That first bass clarinet served me well and I now own two fine bass clarinets and rarely miss a rehearsal of the Port Huron NHB.
I retired from CSC in June, 2014, deciding to spend more time in music. In addition to my contractor position with NHIMA, I do instrument fittings and instrument rental meetings for the local music store. Wanting to branch to another instrument, I took on learning the Double Bass and am part of the Chamber Strings group and the Port Huron NHO.