General Description

For up-to-date information on our current band session, please visit our ONHB Our Bands page.

The Ottawa New Horizons Band program helps adults learn or re-learn a musical Instrument in a fun social environment.

We are a group of about 200 adults who come together to play music in a supportive and fun environment, led by experienced professional musicians.  Some of our participants are playing an instrument for the first time, some are playing an instrument they have never played before and some are re-connecting with an instrument they have not played in years.

We are affiliated with the New Horizons International Music Association.  The New Horizons program was conceived by Dr. Roy Ernst at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, to provide entry points to music making for adult beginners and re-entry points for adults with skills from their youth. The first New Horizons Band was formed in Rochester New York in 1991 and today, there are more than 175 similar programs in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe.


We play various types of music, including marches, classical, folk, jazz, rock and musical theatre.  With some exceptions (large brass and percussion by special arrangement) band members need to bring an instrument.  For those undecided about which instrument to play, there is an opportunity every year in June to try some out.

Learning and Performing

Rehearsals are once a week. For the first few weeks of each session (starting September and January), the weekly practice is generally divided into instrument clinics led by experienced musicians for one hour and full band for one hour (with a break in between for refreshments and socializing).  The latter weeks of the session are spent in full band, learning and polishing pieces for performances.

At the end of each semester, we perform a concert for family, friends and the general public.  We also perform at schools, seniors residences, church services, fundraisers and other locations when the opportunity arises.  Some of our bands take part in the Capital Region MusicFest or Kiwanis Music Festival.

We encourage a passion for music and support our members who are courageous enough to try something new and share the joy of music with the community.  At the Ottawa New Horizons Band, your best is always good enough!