We are adults who are: New Horizons Band members, New England Music Camp alumni, and/or community band members. We range in age from 20-something to nonagenarians. We are novice to advanced musicians looking for a place to spend a week making music and trying new things in a safe, nonjudgmental & noncompetitive environment. We want to meet new friends and just immerse ourselves in the joys of making music with others at this beautiful camp on Snow Pond. Some of us bring our spouse or special friend to share the week with us in one of the two spouse/friend tracks (either music involvement or just time to hang out and enjoy the camp).
All of our participants play in one of the two bands, Concert Band (novice – intermediate) or Symphonic Band (intermediate – advanced) where each person, regardless of his/her skill level, is invited to either play what is safe, or to go for a challenge and try something a little out of range, with no worries about ridicule. We are NOT a “boot-camp” environment with a lot of sight-reading and exploration of literature (although we do offer optional sight-reading sessions).
We send out the music ahead of time (four pieces for each band) so that people can have time to practice the parts and feel prepared when they arrive at camp. We spend our rehearsal time really digging into making music out of what we see on the page. We work on listening skills: hearing what is happening in other parts, hearing how one part relates to another across the band, discovering how the tuba part fits with the piccolo part or what that suspended cymbal roll adds to the moment. We work on emoting and playing the music with passion and excitement (with or without all the right notes!). The goal is that each camper goes home with a pretty good understanding of what the composer/arranger might have been thinking and doing in the composition, and perhaps with some new ideas on how to approach his/her own music making.
Your Best is Good Enough: We follow the New Horizons Music philosophy of “Your Best is Good Enough”. New Horizons groups create a safe space for people returning to instruments or just starting to play an instrument. The New Horizons groups are intended to be non-competitive places where your bandmates are encouraging and helpful. So often we bandies can get into one-upsmanship and perfectionism (especially if you’ve been to music school), but the New Horizons programs pride themselves on erasing that stress so that you can just enjoy hearing the music flow around you and be part of something bigger than yourself. You will not find a lot of competition in most New Horizons programs. Here at our camp, we mix up the parts so that everyone gets a chance to play first, second and third, or, for the percussionists, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, timpani, mallets and traps. It is a place where a more novice player can be sitting next to, and learning from, a supportive advanced player!
If you want an emphasis on creating beautiful music and making new friends in a casual, warm environment, New England Adult Music Camp is the place for you!