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HPU to host Heart of Texas New Horizons Band inaugural concert on April 24

BROWNWOOD – April 18, 2022 – The Heart of Texas New Horizons Band will present its inaugural concert on Sunday, April 24, at 3 p.m. in Howard Payne University’s Grace Chapel. The program is free of charge and open to the public.

Stephen Goacher, HPU professor of music as well as the New Horizons Band’s director and organizer, will lead the band in a program of classic music on themes by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Offenbach, Bizet and Verdi. The members of the Heart of Texas New Horizons Band are Donna Carey, Ricky Carey, Sandra Carey, Jerry Chastain, Mary Dunn, Cayla Furry, Brigetta Harold, Jim Jackson, Betty Martin, Charlene Perez, Debra Price, Cindy Thames and Cherye West-Tucker.

“The Heart of Texas New Horizons Band was a beginner’s band for senior citizens in January 2020,” said Dr. Richard Fiese, dean of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts. “Two years later, after COVID interruptions and restrictions, along with many wonderful rehearsals, the band is no longer a beginner’s band but a seasoned ensemble ready to present this first concert.”

The New Horizons Band is an initiative of Dr. Fiese and part of the Center for Rural & Small School Music Education. Dr. Fiese’s vision was to launch a New Horizons Band under the auspices of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts.

The New Horizons Band (International) is the result of a medical experiment conducted at the Rochester Medical Clinic in 1990. Doctors sought to construct an experiment to investigate whether the healthy elderly could learn new processes. After some debate, the doctors chose music as the new language for the healthy elderly and band instruments as the new medium through which the experiment would be constructed.

The first class of beginning senior citizens was taught by Dr. Roy Ernst, chair of the Music Education Department of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. At the end of the first semester, medical doctors evaluated data from the experiments and concluded that the elderly indeed could learn new processes. As the medical teams departed, the band members expressed a strong desire to continue enjoying the musical activities. As a result, the first New Horizons Band was born at the Eastman School of Music. As the senior citizen population in the U.S. continues to grow at the fastest rate of any demographic, the Brownwood Heart of Texas New Horizons Band became the 217th in the world and the fifth in Texas.

For more information about the concert, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.

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Cutline: The Heart of Texas New Horizons Band will present its first concert on April 24.

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