Baton Rouge will soon have its first New Horizons Band, an innovative program designed to give seniors the chance they missed in youth to develop their musical skills.

To kick off the program, the LSU Performing Arts Academy will host a free information session and “play day” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, as part of its public open house at the LSU Music & Dramatic Arts Building, corner of Dalrymple and Infirmary drives on campus .

The program is for anyone age 50 and older. No previous musical experience is required.

On this day, seniors will have the opportunity to try out various instruments, including flutes, clarinets, saxophones and even a baritone horn, under the guidance of Performing Arts Academy instructors.?

Recent studies have determined that adults over age 50 are the fastest growing segment of the population. The LSU New Horizons Band will embrace this burgeoning number of Americans, offering an activity that seniors can easily adapt to fit their needs.

The New Horizons program restores intellectual stimulation and opportunity that members had previously relied upon the workplace to provide. In fact, some holy unions have even been formed - Charley and Rita Rose, both 80 years old, met while performing with a similar ensemble in Rochester, N.Y., and were married last year.

The program combines both musical training and a relaxed, social atmosphere.

“I’ve been approached by so many adults who’ve told me that they have always wanted to play an instrument but think that the opportunity has passed them by,” says Performing Arts Academy Director Blake Wilson. “I think this program is proof that it’s never too late to learn something new.”

After the open house, the LSU New Horizons Band will meet from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Sept. 8, in the Music & Dramatic Arts Building.

For information, call (225) 578-3230.

•ON THE INTERNET: email: mbwilson@lsu.edu

http://cmda.lsu.edu/paa