ENCORE Community Band Finally Gathers in Person

After six months apart due to the pandemic, members of Houghton’s ENCORE New Horizons Band got to have an “end of the season” gathering on September 10. After being granted permission, eight instrumentalists gathered outside at the Houghton Wesleyan Church for practice. The group established themselves in a distanced circle so as to best see and hear each other while playing.  

Diane Emmons ’74, who helped to form the group this past spring, conducted from a platform across the driveway from the players. The band spent a half hour practicing and then ended the session playing four-part hymn arrangements. “It felt SO good to harmonize once again,” Emmons emphasized.   

The ENCORE band consists of about a dozen senior citizens in the Houghton area, as part of both The New Horizons International Music Association and Houghton’s ENCORE initiative. It has both beginner musicians as well as those more experienced—including an 89 year old man who has played the baritone horn since being 10 years old. Emmons noted not only musical improvement among members, but also new bonds of friendship being forged.   

The hope is for another group like this to be rebuilt here in Houghton in the future.  

Article written by Marketing and Communications Intern, Erin Maggio ’21.