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Olympia New Horizons Band

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Band Camp 2011, July 12 through July 16 at Airstream Park in Olympia, brought lots of musicians together for a LOT of fun! As seems to be true each time we hold a camp here in Olympia, if you weren't able to make it you missed another great experience in teamwork...and a great opportunity to expand you musical talents, make new friends and greet old friends, and exercise your sense of humor. This year's camp was extra-special since it marks the 20th anniversary of the New Horizons Music movement. (We are now international, with several groups overseas in Europe and Australia.) And to make it extra-extra-special, founder Roy Ernst joined us, playing his flute along with the rest of us in the band!

Over 80 musicians played together and made wonderful music. It's incredible to me to realize we were given 15 pieces to sight read on Tuesday afternoon, played and practiced them with our three conductors, and actually had the nine "chosen" ones (a difficult process!) ready to play at the concert for hundreds of people on Saturday night. It was so awesome to achieve that result, and was definitely worth the hard work and time we put into getting there.

Our conductors were simply awesome. They were patient, encouraging, cheerful, and really pulled out of us more than many of us thought we could accomplish. Thank you! to Vic Jowders, our Olympia NHB director; to Lew Sbrana, who came to us again from the Santa Rosa, California band; and to Michelle Kalo, a bundle of energy from Chandler, Arizona (who also spent time with us each morning teaching us breathing and exercises that really did enhance our endurance and posture).

We had musicians here from all over the country: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, and, of course, Washington. We ate together, played together, did other activities together, and even put on our own "in-house" Revue on Friday night. From slapstick to serious, and a lot in between, it was an event only those who were there could describe. Sorry about that for those of you who missed that show; I don't think those of us who participated (including an involved audience) could repeat it. Maybe next time we hold a camp in Olympia, you'll join in and find out how much fun we really have!

I hope to have pictures from camp available here soon, so please check back.

NOTE: I did notice that someone has put up a youtube file from the concert on the web here. It came up when I "googled" "Olympia New Horizons Band." There may be more of the same out there, so if you know of any more links, let us know and we'll put the link on this website, even though we don't have room to put the actual videos here.

As mentioned above, we were privileged to have the following directors conducting us (and playing in the band when they weren't conducting!): Host Vic Jowders of Olympia, Lew Sbrana of California, and Michell Kalo of Arizona.

Each conductor brought five pieces of rehearsal music. They also brought an enormous amount of positive energy, expertise, and just plain fun to the proceedings. Vic Jowders had us practicing The 1812 Overture, Big Band Signatures, The Fairest of the Fair March, Into the Raging River, and Just a Closer Walk. Michelle Kalo gave us Beyond the Horizon, El Choclo, Give My Regards to Broadway, Mountain of the Sun and When Honor Prevails. Lew Sbrana selected An Irish Air for Winds, The Dam Busters, Longwood Celebration, Sunflower Slow Drag and Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.

Our finale was a concert on Saturday night, August 16th. The concert order we finally settled on was this:

The Fairest of the Fair March - John Philip Sousa, arr. Brion/Schissel
Into the Raging River - Steven Reileke
Just a Closer Walk - arr. Don Gillis, adapted for band by Calvin Custer
When Honor Prevails - James Swearingen
El Choclo - A.G. Villoldo, arr. Robert Longfield
Mountain of the Sun - Rob Grice
An Irish Air for Winds - Warren Barker
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans - H. Creamer and J. Layton, arr. Jerry Nowak
The Dam Busters - Eric Coates, arr Douglas E. Wagner

Those of us who participated have many great memories of Olympia's New Horizons Band Camp 2011, from good food and fellowship to surprises involving roses and silence. We all went home tired but satisfied, and (maybe after a few days of rest?) looking forward to another camp in the future.

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This page last updated on December 1, 2011

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