Indiana State University Newsroom

Musical experiences available for all ages, abilities at Community School of the Arts

August 21, 2015

No matter your age or musical ability, Indiana State University's Community School of the Arts will help you hit the right notes.

The New Horizons band for adults, ages 25 and older, is accepting new members, and a newly formed youth orchestra begins rehearsals this fall.

In existence locally for about a year, New Horizons is designed for adults who have little or no musical training and want to learn to read music and play instruments. Led by Norm Hanson, jazz ensemble and string orchestra director at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the participants all have a common goal of improving their skills.

"It seemed to bring to mind the fun they had as kids participating in band," Hanson said of last year's band. "The group really came together and sounded great by the end of the year."

New Horizons will have an informational meeting at 10 a.m. Aug. 29 in room 159 of Indiana State's Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts, 300 N. 7th St.

This fall, the Community School of the Arts is adding a new youth orchestra for Vigo County students in grades five through 12, which are the same grades that music programs are offered in the school system. Those involved with the youth orchestra hope to have the same success as the New Horizons band and would like the young students to build friendships founded in music.

With the help of university music students and faculty, Erik Rohde the current conductor of Indiana State University's symphony orchestra, will lead the students as the ensemble's artistic director.

"These young students don't have to want to be professional musicians, they just have to want to make music and learn with us," Rohde said. "It should be fun. That is one of the first things that I believe in, that music should be fun."

Placement auditions are scheduled for 5:30-6:30 p.m. Aug. 31, Sept. 2 and Sept. 4 in room 159 of the Landini Center. Students should select one piece that they are comfortable playing for the audition. Scholarships are available based on need.

To give more individual attention at times, students will be split into groups lead by Rohde's Indiana State students to more efficiently work on skill level appropriate music. At other points, rehearsals will be conducted as a whole ensemble for less experienced musicians to practice "playing up," meaning playing with more skilled players to learn from peers.

New Horizons has a similar system in their weekly Saturday rehearsals, running Sept.12-Dec. 12, which are split into two one-hour sessions. The first hour, 9 a.m.-10 a.m., is for beginning musicians, and the second, 10 a.m.-11 a.m., is for intermediate players. All participants are welcomed to attend the full two-hour rehearsal.

Youth orchestra rehearsals are Mondays, Sept. 14-Dec. 14.

For more information, call the Community School of the Arts at 812-237-2528 or go to


Contact: Petra Nyendick, director of the Community School of the Arts, Indiana State University, 812-841-2884 or

Writer: Haley Sluboski, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or