After spending their younger years learning to play music in school or through private lessons, many players hang up their instrument once they become adults.

New Horizons Band and Orchestra of Fresno provides a unique opportunity for those with a love of music to revive their skills and play in an organized group once again.

“It’s like a family. It’s a social thing, also.”  — Archie Rader, New Horizons orchestra director

But it’s more than that.

“It’s just not music that we do,” said orchestra director Archie Rader. “It’s like a family. It’s a social thing, also.”

Supportive Environment for Learning and Friendship

New Horizons Band and Orchestra has more than 50 members who practice at Bullard High School and present seasonal concerts throughout the year.

The Fresno group is part of an international organization whose mission is to encourage adults over 50 to stay connected and engaged. The groups are focused on providing a supportive environment and positive experiences that are conducive to developing musical skills in a comfortable setting.

New Horizons Welcomes All Skill Levels

“Your best is good enough,” is the mantra that captures the positive spirit necessary for senior musicians to engage and succeed, according to the website for the international organization. “Research has confirmed that actively putting music in your life improves mental health, lowers blood pressure, exercises the brain, and provides a sense of satisfaction and well-being.”

“It keeps us active. It keeps our brains ticking and just keeps us looking forward to that next performance,” said band director Craig Erker.

Watch the 12 Days of Giving video above by GV Wire’s Jahz Tello to see Fresno’s New Horizons Band and Orchestra in action.

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