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South Puget Sound (Olympia) New Horizons Band

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Here you will find notes and comments regarding our band's accomplishments and plans. In this informal "diary," most recent entries are posted at the top, oldest entries are last.

Spring 2015 We have been working on some fun pieces, and some very challenging ones. Not all of us can play every note, but there are enough of us that the music gets covered pretty well anyway! We are in the process of getting ready to perform a benefit concert in June. This is our way of supporting the local Thurston County Food Bank, so we are all determined to play our best and give the audience a good show.
We have added some new members, and it's fun getting to know them. Of course, names may be harder to remember than new faces, but luckily we wear name tags too for those moments. :) We also have occasional guests who sit it with us for a rehearsal or two...usually they are visitors who are band members in other states. We've also had a visit from a professor who is doing a survey of older musicians--and he sat in and played with us, too!
On April 8, we had a visit from John Dodge of the Olympian newspaper, and the next day we were featured on the front page of the paper: Nice article, a picture, and a video clip! Thanks, John.

Fall 2014 Our 2014 band camp was as fun as we hoped...and as rewarding. We had over 100 musicians in attendance, and made really good music. Please read the summary to find out more about that challenging and fulfilling experience.
Big changes are happening! We have combined the Olympia and Tacoma bands starting this fall, and will now be known as the South Puget Sound New Horizons Band instead of being separate Olympia and Tacoma bands. One great result is the bigger sound we make at rehearsals; another is the wider selection of people (characters?) to interact with during our breaks. Haven't you noticed? Musicians are SO interesting! It is fun to be playing every week with the Tacoma members we saw only a few times a year before this consolidation. We look forward to the continued growth and development of our band...and what we're accomplishing. This is a delightful way to enjoy life!
Another benefit of joining the two groups is that we've lowered the quarterly dues to $40 from the original $50 since we don't need two separate facilities for practice. How many other costs can you think of that have gone down 20% in the past decade? Awesome!
We also have a new president, Dwight Bergquist-Moody, who is replacing Jerry Hendricks. Jerry, founder of our Tacoma and Olympia groups with his wife Carolyn, had served as our president since 2003. Best wishes to Dwight as he takes over the reins at a time of exciting change. And best wishes to Jerry as he hands over the administrative responsibility and gets to focus on playing clarinet in the band!
We have two concerts coming up this quarter. Our Armed Forces Tribute will honor military veterans on the Wednesday after Veterans Day, and we will be playing at the Christmas Forest at the Olympia Red Lion on December 3rd. This annual performance has become a tradition for our band, and benefits Providence St. Peter Hospital. We will actually be the "opening act" for this event -- and the largest group to perform. Come hear us!

Spring 2014 We have been adding more songs to our repertoire, as well as adding new members! We'll be playing along with some elementary school youngsters in May, as well as having our get-together with the Tacoma band. We're taking a break from rehearsals in June so we can get ready for our band camp in July. And we're really looking forward to that 2014 band camp! We have nearly 100 people signed up, and are busily getting things set up to make it the best camp ever. We have 3 great conductors scheduled (Roy Ernst is one of them!), and it looks like a really delightful selection of music will be crammed into those few days! We'll be living and breathing music the whole time (inhale...exhale...smile).
We're also looking at some changes coming in the next year. Three of our long-time PNWNHB (Pacific Northwest New Horizons Bands) board members have decided they want to pass the torch on to new carriers. Another member, Caroline Fenn, our treasurer, will serve one more year before retiring. After 10 years as officers, I suppose they all deserve the opportunity to "just" play the music for a change! Jerry Hendricks, our president (and past president of NHIMA), Joan Smythe, our secretary, and Lloyd Peterson have been awesome leaders, and have nurtured our band into a growing and financially sound organization since its inception. I'm sure they will be great mentors for the new board members--that's what emeritus status is for, right?

Summer 2013 The past year showed us growing, both in numbers and in the variety and difficulty levels of the music we played. Performances were a joy, glitches were overcome, and we continue to have the privilege of being led by our wonderful conductor/director/sometime-comedian, Vic Jowders. We are excited at the prospect of hosting another New Horizons Band Camp here in Olympia in 2014, and hope former campers will want to return to our beautiful area again. We really do have fun at these camps!
We have welcomed several new members, and some of our current members are learning new and different skills (eg, flute and piccolo players becoming percussionists!) We've also had to say some sad goodbyes to a few of our member/friends this past year, and miss them, both personally as friends and for the musical skills they brought to our group. Some have moved away, some can no longer get to rehearsals, and some have passed on. But we can sincerely attest to the fact that "Music and Friends" is truly at the heart of our New Horizons community.

Summer 2012 ( ed. note: Yes, 2012 did happen, as you can see by our performance schedule...the notes just didn't show up here! But it was fun and busy.)
Here's a nice "Thank You" for our food bank benefit performances at Ocean Shores in June of 2012.

Fall 2011This quarter has been a bit different for us. We started practicing a month early, changed our website and web email addresses, and have been working under Merle Webster's direction while Vic Jowders is on vacation. Lots of differences -- but still fun! Our outdoor performances in Tumwater went well, with the rain stopping just before we began to play, and holding off till we were driving home afterwards. Serendipity strikes again.
Our participation in the Veterans assembly at the Boistfort school on November 10 was again a special time for us. We played several numbers, and were joined by the Boistfort band students on two of them. (We received a very nice "Thank You" from their band members.)
This is a small school in a small rural community, but their appreciation of our nation's veterans is tremendous. It was wonderful to see their respectful recognition of each veteran in attendance.
It was our privilege to have band member Carol Frahm recite the American's Creed while the band played "America the Beautiful" in the background. This was a very moving moment in the program, bringing tears to many eyes. (The words of the creed follow this entry.)
At this point, I would like to recognize this year's participating Olympia New Horizons Band members who are military veterans. Thank you so much!

Jim Archer US Air Force
R B Bernd US Army
Jim Binkerd US Air Force
Clark Christine US Navy
Elmer Collins US Navy
Harmon Eaton US Army
Paul Eddy US Air Force
Dick Genske US Navy
Edson Holloway US Air Force
Glenn Hough US Army
Michael Jackman US Army
Dave Johannes US Navy US Marine Corps
John McCullough US Coast Guard US Navy
Don McMinds US Air Force
Harry Nelson US Marine Corps US Army
Fred Richards US Air Force
Rush Ward US Army
Merle Webster US Air Force

The American's Creed

by William Tyler Page

I believe in the United States of America
as a government of the people, by the people, for the people;
whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed,
a democracy in a republic, a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States;
a perfect union, one and inseparable;
established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity
for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my country
to love it,
to support its Constitution,
to obey its laws,
to respect its flag,
and to defend it against all enemies.

Written 1917, accepted by the United States House of Representatives on April 3, 1918.

August 2011 Our Olympia New Horizons Band has been invited by the Tumwater Historical Society to play at Tumwater Falls Park on October 2, 2011, so this year our fall quarter starts earlier than usual. Instead of waiting until September, we will begin rehearsing on August 17 so that we can get our music "polished up" enough to give a good performance in October. Vic Jowders, our director, is taking a sabbatical/vacation/break this fall, and Merle Webster has agreed to be our conductor for this session. We're hoping to make it reasonably easy on Merle, since he's already one of us. Hope you had a good summer, and if you aren't already part of our band, please consider joining us. We have fun!

June 2011We are pleased to present this report by Graham Sattler of the Orange Regional Conservatorium, New South Wales, Australia. The observations and conclusions expressed are those of Mr. Sattler, who visited the Olympia and Tacoma NH bands in the spring of 2011. The author has granted us permission to post this report on the Olympia, WA New Horizons Band web site. Thank you Graham! We really enjoyed your visit and appreciate your input.
Our April concert at Panorama City was a big success, and we appreciated the introduction by Al Rettenmier, as well as the standing ovation from the audience at the end. It was a good evening for all.
We also performed at the Memorial Day commemoration ceremony at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Tumwater on May 30. It was truly a privilege to participate in this program honoring those who gave their lives to secure our freedom.
Our final concert will be June 13, and will be a joint concert with our new Olympia New Horizons Orchestra. This joint concert will be another first for us, and we're proud that our New Horizons organization keeps on growing. We are really excited about this evening performance at the Land Yacht Harbor, and hope that the audience gets as much enjoyment out of it as we do. (June 21 note: They did! We had a grand time and played our best!) We are especially proud that one of the numbers we are playing is "Cooper Point Overture" by Lantz Berets...who will be conducting it personally. What an honor to have the composer lead our group!
Finally, we are looking forward to our "end-of-year" luncheon, which will occur after our last Wednesday morning rehearsal this month. Good music, good food, and good friends....such a great way to break for the summer. (And most of us will probably be "band-starved" for getting back to playing by September; however, several of us will be keeping up to speed during the summer by attending our very own band camp in July! Hooray!)

March 2011We've been working on a variety of music (at levels of difficulty we never dreamed of a few years ago!), and are getting our concert program pretty well shaped up. Our spring concert will be on April 25 at Panorama City's auditorium, and we're looking forward to it! We are excited that we'll be performing a new composition, "Cooper Point Overture," by Lantz Berets, the director of our new Olympia New Horizons String Orchestra.
Good news: Harry Nelson, our Assistant Director, is back with us, playing french horn, after experiencing some health difficulties last fall; winter is finally going away; and it looks like we'll be getting some more new members after the summer break. Good things happen!
Another highlight of our spring session was a visit in March from Graham Sattler, of New South Wales, Australia. Mr. Sattler has been visiting some New Horizons groups in various parts of North America to acquaint himself with the program. He is hoping to introduce our New Horizons program to Australia, and we wish him luck. He played a pretty mean trombone (all sight reading!) with our group, and even conducted a number we're rehearsing. I hope he felt right at home! (NOTE: For more information on Mr Sattler and his work, please check out this website.)

January 2011Our band was invited to play for a very special event in November: the Centennial Celebration of Women's Suffrage in Washington State. The program was held in the rotunda of the state capitol, and we were honored to perform the music for the event. Ken Lewis, our contact person for scheduling our public appearances, received a nice "thank you" note to us from our Washington Secretary of State, Sam Hunt.

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We had a wonderful concert at the Festival of Trees in early December, playing for nearly a full hour (and even being urged to play longer!). We do enjoy these performances which benefit a local hospital, especially when we can see our director as well as we could this year (a long story, but it has to do with how we've been able to arrange our chairs). The music came out well, and our audience was very appreciative. These are the kind of concerts you like to remember!
We celebrated a very special landmark in January, when our "senior" flute player, Jan McKenzie, reached her 90th birthday. Jan is a fascinating person who has had a very interesting life and is talented in many areas, including flute playing. Our group usually dedicates a piece of music when someone passes on, but this year we started a new tradition: when one of our members reaches 90, we will dedicate a piece to them, so they can enjoy playing it, too! For Jan, our special piece is J. S. Bach's "Arioso" which, of course, features the flutes! It is a beautiful piece of music, and a fitting salute to a fine flute player.
We are working on several pieces for our concert at Panorama City in April and, even more "urgently," getting our resources and energy directed to hosting our Band Camp 2011 in July. This is an awesome experience (both preparing for it and participating in it!) and many of our members are already hard at work to make it a success. Hope you can attend! (For camp registration & information, click here.)

August 2010 Because of some scheduling conflicts for our rehearsal hall, we're going to have an abbreviated schedule of September rehearsals, as follows:

    SEPTEMBER 22, Wednesday, 10:00 am Rehearsal in the hall as usual.
    SEPTEMBER 29, Wednesday, 10:00 am IF we can find a suitable rehearsal spot (hall is not available).
At this time, rehearsals in OCTOBER are still scheduled for Wednesdays at 10:00 in the hall (our normal days/times/place). These are important sessions, since we need to be ready for our November 8 performance in the capitol dome.

Spring 2010It's the last day of May, and we have had a very busy and productive time of it. We had one performance at the end of April, then a spate of performances in May -- 4 of them in the same week! We achieved some notable firsts for the group. Our performances in Ocean Shores over the May 21-22 weekend included four numbers which combined our band with the voices of the North Beach Singers. This is the first time the band has played with a vocal group, and it was wonderful! And we received a very nice thank-you letter for our help in raising donations for the food bank there.

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Another first was our performance at the Odd Fellows Memorial Day Observance in Tumwater. This is the first time in all the decades of this event that a band has been invited to play. We were pleased to be invited, and appreciated the positive response our music received. And the rain which had been drenching the Puget Sound area was thoughtful enough to stop while the ceremony was held. In fact, the sun actually came out and we had blue skies with puffy little clouds by the time we were through playing! What a beautiful day to remember and pay respect to our fallen soldiers.

The dedication and endurance of the band members has been wonderful, with everyone making a "concerted effort" to be available for as many performances as possible. The friendships we build within this group make the music even more special. A dear friend and wonderful bassoon player, Maxine Bell, passed away this spring, but her memory will always be with us. Another friend, Al Rettenmier, trumpet player, is making great strides in recovering from a stroke this past month, and we hope and expect to have him back to help us out soon.

Fall/Winter 2009We had three performances in the "snow months" this season: our Veterans Day concert at Boistfort School (without the snowstorm this year!). our performance at the Festival of Trees which benefits St. Peter Hospital, and our annual Christmas concert here at Land Yacht Harbor for residents, family and friends. We are gaining more confidence and members all the time, and are enjoying our rehearsals as much as our performances!

August 2009 Because of some scheduling conflicts for our rehearsal hall, we're going to have a rather eccentric schedule for our September and October rehearsals. Below is a schedule showing the changes that have been made:

    SEPTEMBER 16, Wednesday, 10:00 am We will meet in the GROVE behind/below the hall - weather permitting (where we had our picnic last June). (note LOCATION CHANGE) Bring your chairs as well as your stands.
    SEPTEMBER 23, Wednesday, 10:00 am. Rehearsal in the hall as usual.
    SEPTEMBER 30, Wednesday, 3:00 pm. (note TIME CHANGE) Rehearsal in the hall.
    OCTOBER 9, FRIDAY, 3:00 pm (note DAY and TIME CHANGE) Rehearsal in the hall.
The rest of the rehearsals in OCTOBER are still scheduled for Wednesdays at 10:00 in the hall (our normal days/times/place).

2009 Summer Quarter NotesSince our Olympia New Horizons Band doesn't play through the summer, some members took the summer off (from this band, anyway) while others continued to play with the Tacoma New Horizons Band. Whatever our summer activities, we're all looking forward to being together again in September!

2009 Spring Quarter NotesWe had fun this quarter! We were given a great mixture of numbers to work on, from marches to musicals to classics...and more! We performed with two different school bands (Boistfort School and Meadows Elementary), and really enjoyed working with the young people. They seemed to be enjoying the collaboration, too. We also played a concert for our ONHB 10 year anniversary celebration at our Land Yacht Harbor (Airstream Park) rehearsal site.
Those were "indoor" events, but we managed to play three "outdoor" events without getting rained out! We played a concert in the gazebo in Olympia's Sylvester Park as part of this year's 150th birthday celebration for the city of Olympia. (The weather was a bit on the cool side, but our music sounded great!) We played outdoors again in a patio concert for the residents of Lacey's South Sound Villa apartments, and then again before we feasted on our end-of-quarter barbecue in the grove at Land Yacht Harbor.
P.S. Is there really talk of a band trip to far away places? Stay tuned!

Winter 20082008 has come to an end, and we're well into our winter 2009 quarter of band. It has been soooooo good to be back among our good musical friends, and to be getting to know the new members who've joined us in making music this year. And, after a rather long holiday break (with some unexpected "snow days" thrown in on top of our scheduled break), we're all putting our energy into learning lots of new music. Wednesdays are really something to look forward to!

Fall 2008We had four performances during our fall quarter, the first in late October and the last in mid-December. The first was a concert for the Good Samaritan Club's State Rally on October 24, 2008. We performed the Star Spangled Banner, some marches, and a medley of tunes from Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady. We enjoyed playing for the group, and were pleased to have Rosie Walter, a college classmate of Vic's, as our guest conductor on the Liberty March. She also happens to be an officer in the Good Sam club!

Brass section at Boistfort Veteran's Assembly, 2008
Boistfort Veterans Assembly

Our second performance was for the Veterans' Appreciation assembly on the morning of November 10, 2008 at the Boistfort school in an area hard-hit by 2007's December floods (Lewis County). This school contains pre-school through 8th grades, and has a total student body of 70+ students. It was a privilege to attend and participate in such a heartfelt and respectful tribute to our veterans.
Our New Horizons band played the national anthem after the presentation of the colors, then the pre-schoolers led us all in the Pledge of Allegiance. We later played Armed Forces Salute, a special medley that features the songs of each of the service branches. (We also played two additional marches: Emblem of Unity and Burnished Brass.) When the veterans attending the the assembly were named and recognized individually, it was awesome to realize that about half of our band members have served in the armed forces!
The speaker, Robert Wheeler, recounted an amazing story of his wartime experiences as a child; a sixth-grader read the poem Red, White and Blue; and the children of the school sang a beautiful song, Thank a Vet, that brought tears to the eyes of many of us there. The upper-grade band students performed with us on two songs (America: Sweet Land of Liberty and Liberty March), and did a fine job.
One of our own Olympia New Horizons band members, Merle Webster, has "unretired" this year in order to teach the band and choir students at the school. After meeting and playing songs with the band students and hearing the vocal group, we're convinced that he's really doing a great job with them. Go Merle!

Our third performance was at The Festival of Trees at the Red Lion in Olympia, at 4:00 pm on December 3, 2008. We "changed gears" in our rehearsals and prepared several pieces of Christmas music for this event. It is part of a week-long fund-raiser for the local hospital, and many of our friends came to hear us!

Our fourth performance was also a Christmas program, this one at Olympics West in Tumwater on December 15, 2008 at 3:00. We always look forward to this one, too, since the people there always make us feel welcome and enjoy our music -- this year just as in past years. It is so much fun to make people smile!

NOTE: Speaking of "making music," one change you'll notice here at the website is our new e-mail address. Because at one point we received over 3000 spam mailings in one day, we've changed our approach: our address will no longer actually appear in text anywhere on the website.
Instead, you'll see the "rainbow 45" * picture (shown at the bottom of this page) containing our e-mail address. This means you'll have to read the address on the picture, then type it into any e-mail you send us, rather than just clicking on a link -- but it also means the spammers can't "harvest" our e-mail address from these pages. Thanks for your understanding.

* If you know what a "45" is, you're old enough to play in the band!!

If you want to know what several of us did this past summer (2008), please check our Band Camp 2008 page. We had a wonderful band camp here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest this summer! More information about this experience will be coming to the website later on. And, news flash, it looks like we'll be presenting another one in 2011!!! It's not set in stone yet...but we're hoping to make it happen.

Summer (except for Band Camp!) was a nice break for most of us, although we enjoyed our busy spring! During that spring quarter, we played a concert at Boistfort, WA (one of the areas affected so severely by the 2007-08 winter floods) on March 26, 2008, and had a pretty good-sized and very enthusiastic turnout...even though everyone had to drive through a snowstorm, and there was enough snow on the ground to make us think it was January!

We also performed at the Land Yacht Harbor on May 2, 2008, for their owners' association's annual meeting. We enjoyed it, and were warmly applauded by the large crowd. We played a great variety of music, including Sousa and King marches, a Carribean paso doble, selections from "Guys and Dolls," Anderson's "Blue Tango," a rousing piece composed by Red Skelton, and a Dixie-ish version of a favorite hymn. We get to have so much fun!

Our most recent official performance was on the afternoon of May 14, 2008, at the May birthday celebration for residents at Olympics West in Olympia. The oldest honoree turned 103...and was there enjoying the concert, smiling and applauding! It's fun bringing music and smiles to people with our music.

We also gave an impromptu concert on May 21, 2008 when we shared our rehearsal space with the Good Sam RV group which was meeting there. As we practiced in the front of the hall, we gained an audience from the RV'ers, and were even given the opportunity to play several songs under the baton of a guest conductor, Rosie, who was a classmate of Vic Jowders in college and went on to be a band director herself. She was there with the Good Sam group, and seized the opportunity to practice with us. What an enjoyable (if unplanned) experience for all of us. Serendipity strikes again!

September, 2007, was a busy month for us, starting rehearsals on the 5th, then performing at Land Yacht Harbor on Wednesday the 19th at 1:00 for the Holiday Rambler RV group.
The band also played at Sylvester Park in Olympia on September 23 to greet the stagecoach which reenacted the mid-1800's run north from Vancouver, WA to Olympia. And on the 26th we had a program at the "Firs" for the Random Acts of Kindness group at 1:15. Busy!

Our next performance will be at the Red Lion in Olympia on November 28, 2007 at 4:00 pm for the annual Festival of Trees.
Then, in December, we will be playing a concert at 3:00 pm on the 5th at Olympics West, and a concert at the Labor and Industries building on the state capitol campus on the 10th at 11:30 a.m.

We went to Nisqually Middle School on June 11, 2008, and sat in with the band students there. It was fun spending a couple of hours playing music with the young people--and maybe they've decided that we "old people" are kinda cool after all! We certainly hope our participation encouraged them to stay involved in band through their school years and beyond.

Our last "event" for the 2007-2008 season was a catered luncheon on June 25th, 2008 after a 2-hour rehearsal. We celebrated a wonderful season which was not only fun and productive, but was also our biggest yet as far as adding new members. We are a GROWING band!

We performed for the Olympia Festival of Trees on Sunday, November 26th, 2006 at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia, and on Wednesday, December 6th, 2006 at Land Yacht Harbor in Lacey.

We ended our 2006-07 year with a flourish, playing two combined concerts with the Tacoma band in May of 2007 -- one of them here, at our regular meeting place, and the other in McMinville, Oregon. We enjoyed performing both, and those who made the Oregon trip had a great time meeting and playing with New Horizons band members from other groups.

Now, we're all excited about getting back together after our summer vacation and are already looking forward to playing those three concerts in September (talk about jumping right in!).

(And, how about our new purple shirts? Wow! We're having pictures taken September 5th, and should have photos for you to see soon!)

(If you have comments for or about this page, please type the e-mail address from the image below in the "TO" line of your e-mail, and put "Quarterly Notes" in the "SUBJECT" line. Thank you.)

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This page last updated on April 21, 2015

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