The Ron Phillips New Horizons Band was founded in 1995 as a member of the New Horizons International Music Association. (The name of the band was recently changed from the Desert Foothills NHB to the Ron Phillips NHB to honor its founder, Ron Phillips.) We are a 501(C) (3) non-profit formed for the purpose of “studying and preserving the art of band music performance by senior citizens.” The target age for membership is 50 and older; however, we gladly accept any adult who wishes to participate. Many of our members are of a high degree of musicianship and some are truly beginners. Many have put music aside since youth or for a number of years and now have the desire and time to take it up again.
Our active season runs from October to May as we rehearse in preparation for several concerts held at Faith Bible Church or at other venues for special engagements. Besides the concert and jazz bands, there are opportunities to join small ensembles and a “solo and ensemble recital” is held at the end of the season for anyone and everyone who wishes to collaborate and perform.
The New Horizons movement was started by Dr. Roy Ernst, Professor Emeritus at New York’s Eastman School of Music in Rochester, with the first band being founded in 1991. The concept behind the movement is that “anyone can learn to play music at a level that will bring a sense of accomplishment and the ability to perform in a group.” Ernst also believed that “your best is good enough.”