The New Horizons Band
The New Horizons Band

East End Arts is launching a new concert band for beginning musicians over the age of 50, and they’re holding an open house next Wednesday, Jan. 20 at the band’s rehearsal space at Southold’s Peconic Lane Community Center at 970 Peconic Lane in Peconic (the former Peconic School).

From 10 a.m. to noon on Jan. 20, prospective band members will have a chance to meet the music director and other musicians and to try out instruments on-site, courtesy of Music & Arts in Riverhead (formerly Ninow’s Music). Musicians can also bring their own instruments.

Matthew Gardiner of Mattituck has been appointed as the band director. Mr. Gardiner is a musician, music educator and music director who received his Master of Arts in Music Education and Bachelor of Arts in Music, both from Hunter College in New York.

As a music educator, he believes in using music principles and theories to inspire deep and critical thinking through coding and decoding as well as drawing meaning out of text and musical lines. As a director, his vision is one that entwines music and community both inside and outside of school.

Matthew teaches both instrumental and vocal students privately, leads a youth choir, and was a music director and conductor for the Riverhead Faculty Community Theatre. He has experience in competitive marching bands, playing in jazz bands, leading choirs, musical theatre groups and plays multiple instruments including piano.

The New Horizons Band program was founded 25 years ago by Professor Roy Ernst, the Music Education Department Chair at Eastman School of Music. There are now more than 215 New Horizons bands on three continents, dedicated to helping adults learn new skills and play concert band music in an ensemble of life-long learners.

The band is based on the philosophy that music is a complex activity that helps in memory and motor skills and the coordination of the senses. Music combines physical, mental and social engagement, which in turn promotes healthy aging.

Rehearsals begin on Wednesday, Feb. 3, and continue every Wednesday for 15 weeks from 9 a.m. to noon. Tuition is $100 per month, and musicians can register at the East End Arts Community School of the Arts at 141 E. Main Street in Riverhead, NY or online here. For more information, call 631.369.2171.


Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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