They may be tackling such popular children’s ditties like Hot Cross Buns and Mary Had a Little Lamb for the first time, but members of the New Horizons Band are definitely not kids.
While many first-time musicians are young students, that’s not the case for the members of Ottawa’s new adult band. Band director Cathy Wilcox got the idea to strike up the band after a friend asked her where to get lessons. That’s when Wilcox realized that aside from costly private lessons, the city has few opportunities for adult beginners.
“Kids have fun at school and enjoy the camaraderie and sense of community that comes from belonging to a band,” she said. “That should be available to adults too.”
The 55-piece band — with members from all career backgrounds — was a huge hit when it met for the first time at Dominion-Chalmers United Church recently.
While many of the adults who signed up for the band have a piano background or played an instrument in high school, other members have never touched an instrument in their lives.
Walt Sullivan picked up the alto saxophone about 40 years after playing in high school.
“I like the shared creativity you get when all members of the band are … together to create music,” he said.
“I hope to find something interesting to do, something completely different from my everyday life,” said member Nancy Carberry.