The NEW HORIZONS music program originated at the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) in 1991 by then Chair of the Department of Music Education, Dr. Roy Ernst. Today, there are over 120 New Horizons bands, orchestras, and choral groups across the United States, Canada, and Australia. Ernst notes that, "Older adults have the time and motivation to develop musical skills rapidly. In addition, performing music - especially in large groups - can improve health and quality of life." He adds, "many gerontologists believe that music making supports good mental and physical health as one grows older. Studies actually indicate that participants take less medication, have reductions in depression and loneliness, and have increased strength of the immune system.
The UNLV New Horizons Band was stared in January 2006 and is under the aegis of the Division of Wind Band Studies within the School of Music at UNLV. This ensemble is offered as a non-credit course through the UNLV Department of Educational Outreach. In accordance with the New Horizons philosophy, this musical ensemble places an emphasis on the learning and enjoyment of music rather than the rigor and pressures of performance. Although musical comprehension and appreciation are of the highest priorities, the UNLV New Horizons Band also performs regularly throughout the academic semester both on and off the UNLV campus. Rehearsals take place every Tuesday night in BMC room 160 under the supervision of Professor Anthony LaBounty.