New Horizons – Program Details


An information meeting is held during the first week of the semester, but anyone can join anytime during the year. Registration forms are available on-line or from the ECMS office, and payment is submitted after the bill is received. A complimentary registration is available for those who are 90 or older.

Enrolled members of intermediate or advanced groups who also desire to help out with the beginning band or beginning orchestra will not need to register for those ensembles.

Ensemble Placement

With the assistance of the director through a conference and/or skills assessment, participants, except beginners, choose their own ensemble placement. Changes can be made easily during the term. Beginners’ choice of instrument might be based upon timbre preference, physical characteristics, and ensemble instrumentation.

Snowbird Policy

Many members spend the winter months in a warmer climate. Students who are gone four or more months are asked to notify the ECMS office by December, and they will be billed for the fall semester only. All are welcome to attend rehearsals for the balance of the school year at no additional charge when they return. Students are welcome to participate in the ECMS Spring Festival concerts (late May or early June) if they return to rehearsals 5 weeks prior to the festival concert. Snowbirds should not expect to play a principal part. All snowbird band members may participate in the June Full Band community outreach series. Ensemble directors have the final word regarding ensemble seating, part assignments, and concert participation.


Those seeking financial support may apply for a scholarship awarded by the San Fillipo Fund.

Eastman School of Music New Horizons Fund: A fund has been recently established to provide program support.


Members are encouraged to attend all rehearsals and concerts.


Should bad weather cause rehearsals to be canceled, members will be notified through radio, television, and e-mail. Those without e-mail will be notified by phone.


Known as the Red Band, 40 volunteers from the intermediate and advanced bands perform for audiences in assisted living centers, nursing homes, senior centers, and at other venues throughout the Greater Rochester area. Three weeks prior to a Red Band concert, volunteers commit to perform. Red Band literature for the year is rehearsed during the first few weeks of the fall term.

Intermediate and advanced band members combine to form the Full Band, and it performs 3 community concerts in December using holiday season repertoire. Six other concerts occur in June using modified Red Band repertoire.

All large ensembles, the Big Band, and most chamber ensembles perform during the ECMS Spring Festival, and the orchestras and chorus perform one to three other concerts per year. The Big Band and chamber ensembles perform often throughout the community.

Small Ensembles

Members are invited to create and manage their own small ensembles, such as woodwind and brass quintets.

When and Where

Rehearsals are held during weekday mornings at the First Unitarian Church, 220 South Winton Road, Rochester, just south of the intersection of East Avenue and South Winton Road. Large ensembles rehearse for either one, one-and-a-half, or two hours, with longer rehearsals including a break.


Professional educators/performers or Eastman School graduate students instruct weekly sectionals (large group lessons) for band and string members. Sectional content includes instrumental techniques, skill development, music fundamentals, history, theory, and literature.

Equipment and Sheet Music

Except for large percussion instruments (bass drum, timpani, crash cymbals), all instrumentalists own their own instruments and equipment, including a portable music stand. Instruments must be in good working condition. Music is supplied for all ensembles, and individuals purchase their own lesson books for sectionals, beginning band (Green Band), and beginning strings (Green Strings).


The NH season calendar is based upon those of the Eastman School and ECMS, and it is announced in the early fall. Updated information is posted on the ECMS website as it becomes available.

For additional information contact ECMS.