Iowa City New Horizons back in action

The group prepares for live performances with a new director

Iowa City New Horizons back in action

The New Horizons band rehearses at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area in Iowa City. The group will give their first live concert in over a year and a half on July 26 at the Coralville Center for Performing Arts. (Contribution / Suzanne Smith)

Iowa City’s New Horizons are returning to concerts for the first time in over a year and a half, with a new director at the helm.

Tyler Strickland, a graduate student in the Director of Musical Arts program at the University of Iowa, took charge of the group in early summer.

Strickland said the band have gotten used to playing well together in person – although it was an adjustment to lead so many people at once after so much time away.

“It was also a learning curve for me. Maybe I was right there with them, and I think we all learned together how to come back to making music as a large ensemble, ”he said.

Members of the Iowa City New Horizons group at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area in Iowa City. (Contribution / Suzanne Smith)

Strickland said he quickly got to know the group, which has around 30 members this summer.

“It’s a great group of musicians who are really looking forward to playing,” he said. “They’re just a bunch of funny people. It’s only been six or seven weeks at this point, but we bonded quickly. “

Joyce Marner, president of the New Horizons group, said the group has moved rehearsal spaces several times, from parks to the senior center, and finally an indoor space to the Terry Trueblood recreation area.

The group is preparing for their first post-pandemic concert on July 26 at the Coralville Center for Performing Arts.

Upcoming concert

What: New Horizons Band

Or: Coralville Performing Arts Center

When: July 26

Cost: Suggested donation of $ 5

More information: https://www.coralvillearts.org/calendar.aspx?EID=993

Strickland said the group will perform about 45 minutes of music, including mixes of Disney, Gershwin and other favorites.

The group will also perform at Willow Creek Park on July 31.

Marner said the group had settled into their new rehearsal space and were excited about the performances to come.

“We’re going to have to dig and work a little harder to make the music sound as good as we know it, even though we’ve had some kind of weird build,” she said.

The group practiced during the pandemic using a program called Smart Music.

Marner said that while the program has allowed musicians to keep their skills sharp, it’s nothing compared to rehearsing in person.

“The experience difference between playing mostly alone and being in a room with other people playing together, it almost makes me cry, because it sounded so good to hear someone other than me”, a- she declared.

Some of the band members are retired musicians and music teachers, some performed in high school or college, and some pick up an instrument for the first time when they join the band.

Marner learned the flute about 15 years ago when she joined the group New Horizons.

“It’s a little harder when you’re older to learn something new, but that’s the whole concept behind the band – to make your brain work, your body and make music,” he said. she declared.

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