New Horizons Band

New Horizons Band is a non-auditioned performance ensemble for adults age 50 and over. Members get to be part of a band, play favorite melodies and exciting band arrangements, meet new people who share a love of music, and have a weekly outing that promotes good health, relaxation, and fun! Directed by Glenn Pohland, New Horizons Band gives a variety of public performances. NISOM's NHB was formed in 2009 and is a part of the international organization New Horizons Music (see below for more info on NHM).

If you already play a band instrument, join today! Need beginner or refresher lessons? It's never too late to learn to play an instrument or read music! Those in need of beginner or refresher lessons can set up instruction through NISOM. When you are ready, join the band!

Join NHB

Registration Form

Sign up today! To join, simply submit a NHB registration form with payment to NISOM. Each semester is only $25 to participate. Returning members who played in the past year do not need to fill out a new registration form and can bring payment to the first rehearsal. Register and pay by Sept. 26, 2017 to participate in the fall concert. Contact NISOM at (563) 690-0151 with questions.

All Rehearsals: Tuesdays, 4:30PM at Loras College

Fall 2017 Semester: September 5
First rehearsal is a free open rehearsal. Join us to try NHB free!


Free and open to the public

October 25, 2017: Performance
11:30AM at Hills and Dales Lifetime Center

October 27, 2017: Jr. High Honor Band Concert
6PM at Loras College Fieldhouse

April 29, 2018: Spring concert with Dubuque Community String Orchestra
4PM at Westminster Presbyterian Church

Additional 2017-2018 performances TBA


What is New Horizons Music?

NISOM's New Horizons Band is part of the international organization New Horizons Music (NHM). NHM is living proof that, when it comes to learning to play a musical instrument, it truly is “never too late.”  Most NHM members, who must be at least 50 years old, started taking music lessons only after passing their half-century birthday. Yet the New Horizons Music concept, the result of a groundbreaking music course at the University of Rochester’s (NY) Eastman School of Music, has become a popular performing ensemble in communities across the U.S., enticing amateur musicians ranging in age from their early fifties to mid-eighties.

Recent studies have determined that adults over 50 are the fastest growing segment of the population, and music and wellness in older adults is an increasingly popular area of study.  Programs such as NHB provide mental and social stimulation, stress relief, and a number of other potential health benefits.  Some holy unions have even been formed! In New York Charley and Rita Rose, both 80 years old, met while performing with the Rochester ensemble and married last year.
The NHBs nationwide have confirmed the original convictions of creator Roy Ernst, Eastman music education professor, that music is an ideal activity for seniors. “Older adults have the time and motivation necessary to develop musical skills rapidly. In addition, performing music—especially in large groups—can improve health and quality of life,” said Ernst.

The pilot Eastman program in Rochester began in 1991. Sixty candidates responded to a local newspaper ad—twice the number expected. In the ensuing years, similar bands have popped up across the nation. To date, there are 350 New Horizons music members scattered throughout Milwaukee, WI; Indianapolis, ID; Iowa City, IA; Carefree, AZ; Madison, WI; and Winnetka, in addition to Rochester, NY. The program has even captured the hearts of senior musicians across the Pacific, with the formation of a NHO in Australia.
“Each of these chronologically gifted musicians have either met or exceeded their original expectations,” says Ernst. “A person in his or her seventies may not be able to develop the same level of technical skill that would have been possible in his or her late teens. On the other hand, senior adults have a lot of life experience to bring to their interpretation of music.”

Ernst and Eastman were instrumental in spreading the NHB program nationally, while grants from NAMM: International Music Products Association and the National Association of Band Instrument Manufacturers (NABIM) support NHBs nationwide. For more information about New Horizons Music, visit


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