We have a story for anyone who thinks it's too late to chase their dream.
An 'old new' sound is being heard out in 21Country.
Band leader John Morse says, “Same scale, just play the first note and make sure we're all on the same pitch.”
In the basement of Fort Wayne’s Crescent United Methodist Church, lifelong dreams are unfolding...very slowly.
Morse says, “Something's wrong somewhere. Many of them played in their younger years, put the instrument in the closet, haven't touched it for a long time. You sure you're looking at the B flat scale? B as in boy…pardon me!!”
It is slow going at times, but under the steady hand of bandmaster John Morse, the New Horizons band is making progress.
Morse says, “Okay good, all of a sudden we're in tune.”
New Horizons could be called the 'second chance' band.
All these senior citizens have some lifelong connection with a band instrument...played one in school fifty years ago, or just always yearned to play.
Musician Dave Held says, “As a kid, I wanted to play a trombone but I never got it. End of the Second World War and stuff wasn't readily available.”
Musician Ellen Gingrich says, “Oh I always wanted to play drums. Since I can't see the music, why I kind of make it up as I go along but John doesn't seem to mind. He says that's what all drummers do anyway!”
Jeanne Nuechterlein played clarinet in third grade, then put it down for sixty years.
Nuechterlein says, “I'm having fun. This is my fun thing for the week. I love it…absolutely love it. How do you think you sound? Pretty bad, but I think we sound better all the time.”
Morse says, “Let's work that a little bit!”
John Morse was a public school music teacher for forty years.
He says these seniors bring an almost childlike enthusiasm with them to class that is quite refreshing, after four decades of teaching less than enthusiastic children.
Morse says, “Right now they're playing at a level of a good middle or junior high school band and I expect a year from now they'll be doing a lot of high school stuff. Basically they're having fun with it.”
'A man is not old as long as he is seeking something' a philosopher once wrote.
In this corner of 21Country they appear to have found it.
Morse says, “Oh that is so nice. Let's do that one more time.”
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