Neil Yocom, President of The New Horizons Band in the Pines, joined the musicians in 2018 and began the group’s Spring semester on January 8th, 2019.
The New Horizons Band in the Pines is a local group of retirees that has been playing in Moore County for the past ten years.
The New Horizons Band began originally in Rochester, New York. The original group began playing concerts in front of audiences, and their fame spread.
“It became a movement from that point,” Neil said. “There are groups all over the United States.”
“It’s an international group at this point,” Ed Dunn said.
Ed Dunn, who is the Membership and Advertising Chair for the group, joined the band to reconnect with his passion for music.
“I used to play the clarinet and tenor sax in high school,” Ed said. “Just about a year ago I bought music to just play and entertain myself. My sweet wife suggested that I sign up for The New Horizons Band.”
Although it had been years since Ed was playing regularly, he chose to take the leap and participate in the band. He was thrilled to experience the group’s relaxed atmosphere.
“I played second clarinet and it wasn’t over my head,” Ed said. “We are interested in the process instead of being totally interested in the end result.”
Molly Wilson and Dr. Bob Romine work together to direct the band. Dr. Romine is a retired Pembrooke professor who mainly directs the swing band that rehearses just before The New Horizons Band.
“It’s not intimidating in any way, shape, or form,” Ed said. “If you go in and mess up a section, you’re not going to get hammered for it. It’s the process that counts.”
New musicians can find help with playing their instruments, and returning musicians can revive their skills in an encouraging environment.
“One of my mottos is ‘My best is good enough’,” Neil said. “I was a band director, and it broke my heard when students finished high school and put their instruments in the case… It’s a good time to pick it up again.”
New Horizons Band in the Pines practices every Tuesday at Sandhills Community College at 101 Wellard Hall. Swing Band practices from 1:30PM-3:00PM while the New Horizons Concert Band rehearses from 3:30PM-5:30PM.
The cost to participate is $70 per semester, and new students get their first semester free. Fees help to cover paying directors, sheet music, and more. The New Horizons Band is also sponsored by the Moore County Arts Council.
“Our rehearsals are enjoyable and we laugh every single week,” Neil said.
The New Horizons Band in the Pines plays throughout the year for local groups such as Belle Meade, St. Joseph of the Pines, the Senior Enrichment Center, and more.
On February 13th, The New Horizons Band will be putting on a concert at Chapel in the Pines at 2:00PM. All are invited to attend this free event.
To learn more about The New Horizons Band or to join the group, call Neil Yocom at (910) 215-0240 or visit www.NHBinthePines.com.