The New Horizons Musical Organization of the Lakes Region has two music directors: Debbi Gibson conducts the full band and Mary Divers conducts various ensembles and plays trumpet in the band.
What is so special about the concept of the New Horizons Musical Organization of the Lakes Region? For Debbi Gibson, it’s working with “young” musicians. Helping them develop their technique and musicianship in order to bring out the passion in their playing in this ensemble setting. Debbi finds the guidance she provides is rewarding not just to the musicians, but to her and the audience members that enjoy their playing. You are never too old to start something new, and why not let it be music, the medicine of the soul.
Debbi Gibson began her musical training on clarinet following in her mother’s footsteps. It was during her first several lessons on clarinet in the 5th grade that she spoke of making music her career. In her words, “I’m going to be a clarinet person when I grow up.” Mrs. Gibson participated in all aspects of music throughout school, she followed her dream entering Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music and majored in Music Education with a Certificate in Performance. Upon graduation, she received the National Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. After graduating from college, she taught middle and high school band and chorus in Virginia for seven years, obtained her Masters in Music Education from James Madison University and with her family moved to Pennsylvania and shortly thereafter to New Hampshire. She returned to teaching and has been for the past 37 years, kindergarten through collegiate level, most recently at the Lakes Region Community College. Throughout Mrs. Gibson’s musical career, she has received many accolades. Those include; 1974 John Philip Sousa Outstanding Band Member, 1974 USMC Semper Fidelis Award, 2002 National “50 Directors Who Made a Difference”, 2005 NHMEA Distinguished Music Educator of the Year, 2011 NHBDA Outstanding Band Director Award, and guest conductor at several middle and high school festivals. Mrs. Gibson performs regularly with the Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra, the Lakes Region Woodwind Quintet, the Newmont Military Band, the Center Harbor Town Band, as well as the NHMF Festival Chorus. Along with conducting the New Horizons of the Lakes Region Band and Jazz Band, she is the conductor of the Taylor Community Chorus and the Carter Mountain Brass Band.
A resident of Sanbornton, New Hampshire, Debbi enjoys being with her children and grandchildren while still keeping active in music education and performance. She is also very involved in Music Ministry in her Parish.
Mary Divers interest in music began at a very young age with stories from her grandfather about “playing in the band”. Mary played baritone horn from 4th through 7th grades, when she began playing the Sousaphone and joined the Jr.-Sr. Band as the sole Sousaphone player. At the end of 10th grade, her family moved to Laconia. She decided to go back to playing baritone horn. While playing in High School band, she was a student director, played solos with the band, began to learn trombone, participated two years in NH All-State Band and received the Jay Hurd Memorial Outstanding Band Member Award at graduation. Mary wanted to become a music teacher from the time she was in 8th grade. At high school graduation, she was to attend college in Rhode Island but homesickness interfered. She took off a year to work and ultimately got accepted at Plymouth State for music education. She worked her way through college, graduating on “The Five-Year Plan” in May of 1974.
Beyond studies, her musical activities included: band, brass choir, jazz band, singing ensembles and membership in the PSC chapter of MENC. She worked as a counselor for the Summer Youth Music School at UNH. Upon her 1974 graduation she earned her B.S. from Plymouth State, received the “Band Member of the Year” award, and became the instrumental music teacher in Colebrook Schools, coached field hockey and softball. After losing sight in one eye, she decided to leave teaching after three years and pursued her master’s degree. She attended West Chester State, PA. and received her M.M. in December, 1978. She returned to NH to teach two more years before her eyesight deteriorated to legal blindness.
The next 10 years left Mary doing none of the things she loved. In 1992 she was asked to direct a choir for an Easter musical. After having thought there was no way to continue music, God provided and Mary directed the choir for the next twenty years. From that point, music abounded in Mary’s life. In 2007 Mary founded the NHMO and co-founded The Granite State Ringers. Both organizations continue to grow. She currently various music ensembles band and plays trumpet in the band. Mary also continues to participate in other musical activities.