The most important first step in starting a new group is to join the New Horizons International Music Association as a planning member. You will be sent a New Horizons DVD, which includes New Horizons performances, interviews, and text files that can be printed from your computer. These PDF files can also be sent to others who may be involved in starting your group. The text files include a Planning Guide, sample brochures, a sample poster, sample news releases, guidelines for teachers, information on developing the organization and more. A two-year planning membership in New Horizons International Music Association also includes four issues of the New Horizons News and free phone or e-mail consultation with a New Horizons director. The cost of a two-year planning membership is $27. Go to the Planning Membership page to get an application form. You can also complete a planning membership entirely on-line from that same page.
There are several ways you can get involved in starting a band, orchestra or other ensemble. Each of the following have been very successful in starting new groups:
Retail Music Stores
You can get the ball rolling by calling a meeting in your community to discuss the concept and start planning. You probably know the music teachers in your area better than anyone else and can help in the important task of identifying potential directors and teachers. This program has been especially successful for dealers that provide a band or string instrument rental program. This program will help you increase service to the vast and growing population of senior adults and those adults who may have never played before or have been away from music for quite some time.
Having rehearsal space in the store is an advantage, but almost all of the New Horizons Bands and Orchestras do not meet in a store. They find rehearsal space in other locations, such as churches, senior centers, and schools.
University Teachers and Administrators
You can call a planning meeting of a small group of people to discuss the concept, how it can serve the mission of your university (new teaching opportunities for students and a highly visible service to the community) and start a planning process. There are several New Horizons groups that are closely affiliated with university music departments. This relationship can often result in being able to use university facilities for rehearsals and performances. Be sure to obtain the New Horizons Planning Materials before the first meeting so that you have all the needed resources, including a suggested agenda for the meeting.
Director-Teachers or Potential Participants
The New Horizons Planning Materials provide all the information necessary on how to get a New Horizons Band or Orchestra started. You won’t have to do all of the work by yourself – all you need to do is help plan one meeting to discuss the concept. Many of the New Horizons programs flourishing today started through the initiative of one teacher or participant.