collage“Playing music from the past keeps us in touch with our history. Daily practice keeps us active in the present, and striving for new goals attaches us to the future.”

Pete Metzger – New Horizons Band of Cincinnati – Director Emeritus

Members hail from Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Indiana. Many retired from careers ranging the occupational spectrum, from white collar to blue. Interests and life styles may vary, but all enjoy playing music and performing together. Research has demonstrated that active participation in music can help adults remain physically healthy and mentally alert. Members find a band fulfills several needs: the need for challenging intellectual activity, the need to have exciting events to look forward to and the need to be a contributing member of a group. Participants quickly become an important part of the group and establish new friendships.

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Jim at 95

See us play in concert!

Our Talented and Diverse Band Members

Rowena Dowden

Rowena grew up in Bedford, Indiana but moved to Indianapolis to attend nursing school at the Indiana University School of Nursing.  After graduation in August 1957, shRowenae married and began a nursing career at Long Hospital, working in the surgical recovery room until her children were born. When her youngest child was 5, she began a wonderful adventure acquiring a degree in secondary education, a master’s degree in adult education, and her critical care nursing certification—all this time working in critical care. Always having an interest in music, just before retirement, Rowena joined the newly formed Indianapolis New Horizons Band and learned to play the sax. She then switched to clarinet, and has been enjoying it since. In 2011 she moved to Maineville, Ohio and is now a member of the New Horizons Band of Cincinnati. She writes, “Since retirement, I have been busy with child care, music lessons, and trying desperately to become more proficient on the clarinet.”

Don Monaco

Don MonacoSaxophonist Don Monaco joined the NHB of Cincinnati in September, 2017. Don is a longtime New Yorker while his wife Else grew up in Cincinnati and graduated from Christ Hospital School of Nursing. The couple have two grown children and four granddaughters. Don plays sax in the New Horizons Concert and Dixieland Bands, the Dixieland Domes and the Jump ‘n Jive Swing Band. He also played clarinet in the Sycamore Community Band. In New York, his musical career included clarinet performance in the Long Island Symphony, the New York Borough Community College Concert Band, Nassau College and Queensboro College concert bands. Previously, Don worked as a psychological consultant and counselor, management and executive coach, and rehabilitation specialist.

Nancy Peppercorn

Nancy began her musical career at age six with piano lessons adding the alto saxophone and oboe in late elementary school. As a music major at Ohio State University, NancNancy Peppercorny studied with William Baker, former principal oboist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. She has performed in the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra and while at Ohio State University was inducted into National Music Honor Society Pi Kappa Lambda.  She earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree at the Ohio State University and spent the next twelve years teaching elementary general and instrumental music in the Ohio public schools.  In 1990 Nancy completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Tennessee Technological University. After working as a registered nurse Nancy expanded her horizons and spent nineteen years with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) as a Clinical Research Associate monitoring pharmaceutical trials. Nancy reconnected with her musical past in 2009 playing oboe with the Tri-State Chamber Players until 2013. Nancy has recently retired from BMS and now enjoys swimming with the Anderson Barracudas Swim Team and playing oboe with the West Chester Symphony Orchestra and the New Horizons Band.

Don Bedwell

Don Bedwell, a veteran of the First Marine Division Band, now plays trumpet for bothDon Bedwell the NHB concert and Dixieland bands. Don and his wife Elaine retired to Madeira, Ohio in  1998 from Texas to be closer to a daughter and two granddaughters.  Don and Elaine moved from Dallas/Fort Worth, where Don published American Airlines’ newspaper. After moving here he wrote a 300-page pictorial history of the world’s largest airline, “Silverbird: The American Airlines Story.”   That project completed, he joined the Greater Cincinnati Chamber to handle its publications. With a background including 20 years writing and editing for the Miami (Fla.) Herald and Charlotte (NC) Observer, he still contributes to aviation, history and Marine Corps publications.

We Have Three ConductorsDirector Cartoon



Schirmer, of Fairfield has more than 30 years experience in public schools, including 27 years in the Lakota district. Her career includes teaching  elementary through high school students. She has played clarinet with the Southwest Ohio Symphonic Band, Seven Hills Sinfonietta and  Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra. A founder of the West Chester Symphony  20 years ago, she has been its conductor ever since. She has   conducted both student and faculty musicals at Lakota High, as well as musicals for other groups and churches.

Jack C.

Conway, of Colerain Twp,. has been professionally involved in music education for 33 years, having served as band director at Moeller High School in Cincinnati and Badin High in Hamilton.  He retired from the Lakota School District, where he served as a sixth grade band teacher and taught jazz band, choir and other music courses.

Bruce K.

Knapp, of North Bend, counts more than 40 years as music educator at secondary schools, colleges and military bands. He is a graduate of UC’s College-Conservatory of Music and the U.S. Army’s advanced courses. He led the UC summer band for three years and annually conducts the Cincinnati Tuba Christmas program. He plays tuba with the 275 Brass and is principal tubist with the Cincinnati Community Orchestra.