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NEW – What are my opportunities during the current COVID restrictions?

Since mid-March 2020 in-person rehearsals have been suspended and virtual rehearsals are being offered on-line via Zoom. A number of concert and jazz band sessions are being offered throughout 2021 until COVID restrictions are lifted and we can safely return to in-person rehearsals.  Details are posted at ‘Our Bands’ under ONHB Virtual Bands.  These sessions are open to all past and current ONHB members.  New members familiar with their musical instrument are welcome.  However, we regret that due to currency issues the invitation to join the virtual session(s) is (are) extended to Canadian residents only.

Which band should I join?

During the current COVID restrictions, new virtual band options have been created.

Prior to COVID, our in-person program consisted of six concert bands and three jazz bands at various levels. Our virtual program was developed based on interest in continuing in an online format only. As a result, there are fewer bands but we have maintained varying levels to reflect the wide experience of our membership. Pre-COVID, the beginner-level concert band offered instruction on how to play instruments and to read music.  We have not found it practical to offer this level of instruction in a virtual rehearsal setting, so the online beginner-level band assumes a basic knowledge of these elements.

Keeping in mind that the number and levels of virtual band offerings are subject to change for each session, here is a general framework:

  • Jazz band – easy to medium easy
  • Concert band – easy intermediate (level 1-1.5)
  • Concert band – intermediate (level 1.5-2.5)
  • Concert band – advanced intermediate (1.5- 3)

Which instruments are normally considered as part of a concert band or jazz band?

CONCERT BAND

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet/bass clarinet
  • Bassoon
  • Saxophone (alto, tenor, baritone)
  • Trumpet
  • French horn
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium/Baritone
  • Tuba
  • Bass guitar
  • Percussion (includes bells, xylophone, drums, tambourine, etc.)

JAZZ BAND

  • Flute (reading transposed trumpet and alto sax parts)
  • Clarinet (reading trumpet parts)
  • Saxophone – alto, tenor, baritone
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium/baritone (reading trombone parts)
  • Electric guitar
  • Electric/acoustic bass
  • Drum kit
  • Aux perc/vibes
  • Piano

On the registration page, you can see what your instrument choices are for any band by clicking on that band and scrolling to the drop-down list.

How long are the sessions?

During the COVID restriction period, virtual rehearsal sessions can range from 8-10 weeks, with bands meeting online once per week, typically on a weekday evening. Please see the ONHB Virtual Bands page for up-to-date information.

What is the demographic of ONHB members?

Our musicians range in age from 18 to 90+, and we all share a passion for music!  Many of the New Horizons band programs which started in the United States in the 1990s were geared to serving retired folk.  When we began our Ottawa program in 2008, we opened the doors to all adults.  Our Ottawa NHB membership includes not only a wide age range, but also an interesting group of people with backgrounds as diverse as public servants, educators, medical and legal professionals, animators, college and university students, and even professional musicians looking to expand their skills to a new instrument.

Who are the band leaders?

Our ONHB band leaders are professional musicians and/or music teachers with a passion for teaching.  Their credentials are impeccable and many have been with ONHB for several years. Check out our Band Leaders Bios.

What does it cost?

Fees per session are set by the ONHB volunteer board of directors to cover anticipated expenses such as band leader fees, music, insurance coverage, website, and other costs. Virtual band fees are subject to change for each session. For example, fees for the 2021 winter session were $60 for the first band and $30 for each additional band.

How do I register?

Registration generally begins a few weeks prior to the start of a new session.  Payment is by PayPal, credit card via the PayPal portal, email transfer or cheque.

If you wish to register for more than one band for the session please use only one registration form with all your information on the same page prior to pressing ‘Submit’.

If you wish to change your registration after submitting the form (switch from one band to another or join an additional band), please send an email with the following information to:  secretary.onhb@gmail.com.

First name, last name, band you wish to join, preferred instrument, and how you will be paying. Please keep in mind that a discount applies when registering for additional bands ($30 each additional band). Payment options for additional bands are:

  • By email transfer – to secretary.onhb@gmail.com (Please note that we are now set-up for automatic deposit. No security question is required.)
  • Mail a cheque:
    Cheques are to be made out to Ottawa New Horizons Band. On the memo line, put your name (If different from the name on the cheque) and the name(s) of your band(s).
    Cheques may be mailed to:
    ONHB
    745 Island Park Drive
    Ottawa ON K1Y 0B9

Each band leader will send a detailed email out to all registered band members about a week prior to the start of the session.

Will I get a refund if I need to withdraw?

A member withdrawing from a band before the third rehearsal of a session will receive a full refund, minus a $25 administrative fee. Refunds will not be provided for later withdrawals.

To withdraw, please send an email to our ONHB Administrator Anna Tessier and your band leader to advise them of your decision. Please tell them why you are leaving so that we may improve the ONHB experience for our members.

How can I share my feedback?

The members of the Board of Directors as well as band leaders appreciate feedback provided by our ONHB members. Their contact information is found on the Contact Us page. Each band also identifies a band representative to support their respective band leader and members and can be contacted during the session or rehearsals. We also run surveys throughout the year to help us fine-tune our program.  All comments are carefully considered, and many great suggestions have been implemented.