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BYU professor to help establish Provo New Horizons Orchestra

Organizational meeting scheduled for Dec. 14

When it comes to learning to play a musical instrument, it's never too late.

A new educational and musical group for senior adults, the Provo New Horizons Orchestra, will join the ranks of some 450 New Horizons groups nationwide.

The launch of the Provo orchestra by BYU professor of music education Andrew Dabczynski will create the first New Horizons orchestra in Utah.

"This is a program that is meant for people who always wanted to play a stringed instrument, but for some reason never did," Dabczynski said. "Or it's for folks who might have spent years playing an instrument throughout their school and even college years, had to put it away to have a career or raise a family, and now have the time and desire to pick it up again."

To kick off the New Horizons Orchestra Program, an organizational meeting will be hosted at the Eldred Senior Center from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 15. Any adults over age 40 who are interested in participating in the orchestra will have the opportunity to try out the four orchestral string instruments--violin, viola, cello and bass--with sample instruments provided by Summerhays Music Center.

Most New Horizons members started taking music lessons only after passing their half-century birthday. Yet the New Horizons orchestras and bands have become popular performing ensembles in communities across the United States, enticing amateur musicians ranging in age from their early forties to early nineties.

"It is not an exaggeration to say that each of the adult musicians I have seen take part in a New Horizons program, and particularly those who are 'chronologically gifted' have either met or exceeded their original expectations," Dabczynski said.

The program is co-sponsored by the Brigham Young University School of Music and the Eldred Senior Center. Interested adults over 40 who wish to study a stringed instrument (violin, viola, cello, or string bass) are welcome, and no previous musical experience is necessary.

Instruction will be provided by BYU faculty and students, as well as by other experienced musical educators.

Instruction will take place Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Oak Hills LDS Chapel, 1650 N. 900 E. in Provo. Tuition is $95 per semester, not including costs of instruments, music, or other related materials. An organizational meeting will be held Thursday, Jan. 8, at 9:30 a.m. at the Oak Hills Chapel.

"While an adult may not be able to develop the same level of technical skill that might have been possible in his or her teenage years, senior adults have a lot of life experience and patience to bring to their interpretation of music," Dabczynski said. "The experience fortifies and restores intellectual stimulation, and provides opportunities that many adults may have previously relied upon the workplace to provide."

For further information on the Provo New Horizons Orchestra, contact Andrew Dabczynski at 422-2317 or the Eldred Senior Center at 852-6620.

Writer: Rachel M. Sego

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