Nomadic Horizon came together as a result of Eric Gulbransen and Tom Heslin’s desire to create some music inspired by their mutual love of classic progressive rock, along with other styles that exhibit texture, dynamics, free-form creativity, and originality.
It was decided early on to forego having a full-time keyboardist, but another texture was needed to keep things interesting. Word of mouth led to Chuck Bontrager and his 7-string violin. Classically trained, and with hundreds of theater gigs under his belt, including his 3-year run as concert master for “Hamilton”, Chuck can go from beautiful violin melodies, to over-driven power chords through his half stack.
In their first year, they released a four song EP simply titled 4. The EP release coincided with the band’s debut live show and it was immediately apparent that they were able to engage an enthusiastic audience, even through some of the more intricate moments. The shows have only gotten stronger, with the band having shared the stage with many of their local contemporaries, and people are paying attention.
In mid-2017, Greg Rapp was brought on board as the band’s new drummer. Greg is a fixture of the Chicago music scene, and a beast behind the kit. He’s a busy jobber and also studies piano and bass guitar as time permits. His compositional approach to creating drum parts is the perfect addition to the music, as is his precision and timekeeping.
Tom has been a respected bassist on the Chicago music scene since the 80s and has spent years multi-tasking on keyboards, bass pedals, vocals, and guitar. Early in the band’s development, he took on the role of lead vocalist and is the band’s lyricist. His grinding bass tone, while locked in with Greg’s drums, lay a massive foundation for the rest of the band’s textures.
In the spring of 2021, the band parted ways with founding guitarist and writer Eric Gulbransen. New to the band is guitarist Dave Saenger. The band has known Dave for years and, along with his outstanding playing skills, he’s an all-around great guy with a positive attitude and lots of great ideas. Like Chuck, he has done and continues to do extensive theater work. He is dying to hit the stage and play some original rock, as they all are!