CCM Alumni & Friends Toast CCM Preparatory’s New Horizons Orchestra

The Littlefield, located in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood, provides the perfect framework for Happy Hour success: Craft beer, local eats and bourbon. Throw in the bar’s philanthropic flair, perfect summer weather, and the College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department’s New Horizons Orchestra (NHO) and you’ve got a winning night. On June 14, CCM alumni and friends came together to celebrate the orchestra and its members by hearing performances and enjoying a pretty special cocktail…

Since opening, The Littlefield has sponsored dozens of non-profit organizations as their “Drink of the Month” partners. Each month, their mixologists come up with a unique, themed cocktail based on the organization’s moniker which is then sold to raise funds: $1 of every drink sold goes directly to support the cause. And throughout June, “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” a delicious blend of tea-infused vodka and basil lemonade, benefited CCM Prep’s New Horizons Orchestra, with a total of 400+ cocktails sold to help support NHO scholarships and programs!

New Horizons Music programs provide entry points to music-making for people over age 50, including those who were active in school music programs but have been inactive for a long period, as well as those with no musical experience at all. It’s part of an international network with over 100 chapters around the world. Research shows that band participation creates positive social and cognitive benefits for adults, including providing a sense of belonging and challenging emotional, auditory and motor systems of the brain.

And BettyAnne Gottlieb, New Horizons Orchestra Director and CCM Assistant Professor of Music Education (Strings), says it doesn’t stop there. “When we started, there were no other programs like it in the area, and it provides many opportunities for multiple stakeholders,” she says. “NHO is a creative outlet and learning opportunity for adults who may have wanted to play or return to playing a string instrument, but wanted to do so in a group setting.

“It also provides an additional connection between the community and CCM, specifically for adults, in which they can reap the benefits of the high-quality teaching and musicianship that CCM provides.”

Orchestra members say they are constantly reminded of how enjoyable it is to be a part of a group of people who are working together toward a common goal. Violist Anne Cushing-Reid says, “People become friends as a result of playing together and help each other succeed. It’s hard to describe the feeling.”

Cellist Amy Dennison adds, “There are members who never dreamed that they could be playing in an orchestra – and they are now! To be able to offer an opportunity like that to the Cincinnati community is so important. New Horizons is more than providing a ‘hobby’ or ‘activity.’ Playing a musical instrument activates the entire brain! As we age, exercising the brain is just as important as exercising the physical body.”

Among all the benefits that come with participation in the orchestra, there’s one thing that always rings true: It’s never too late. So how can you be involved as an orchestra member?

  • Call the CCM Preparatory office at 513-556-2595 to learn when and where NHO is meeting. The July summer session is for current orchestra members and those with prior experience.
  • Come stop by to observe a rehearsal and talk to current members. If you’re brand new to the instrument, we encourage trying out the instruments to figure out the best fit and sound that matches your interests. This can be done by appointment or during one of the class breaks.
  • Classes for beginners start this September.

And CCM alumni, you can come back to The Village and share your expertise! NHO is always looking for guest musicians to lead a masterclass or workshop.

Have questions or want to get involved? Contact New Horizons Orchestra Director BettyAnne Gottlieb for more information.

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