Joined Hochstein Faculty in: 2001
Rita George Simmons holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Boston Conservatory and a Master of Music degree from Ithaca College, both with emphasis on Flute Performance. Rita completed training in teaching the Suzuki Flute method and is now offering Suzuki Flute instruction at Hochstein.
An active chamber musician, in 2012 Rita founded the Telos Trio with Hochstein faculty colleagues, clarinetist Debbie Grohman and pianist Willie La Favor (www.telostrio.com). Rita is also flutist with the chamber music trio Gossamer Edge with mezzo-soprano Allyn Van Dusen and pianist Paula Bobb, founded in 2013.
An experienced performer on piccolo, Rita performed for 21 years with the Greater Rochester Music Educators' Wind Band. She has performed at the National Flute Association Conventions and on Hochstein's “Spotlight on Faculty” and “Live from Hochstein” series.
A dedicated and enthusiastic educator, Rita has also served on the faculty of the Rochester Flute Association Summer Flute Camp and the Webster High School Marching Band. Her students have won coveted chairs in the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra, Hochstein Philharmonia, and All-County and Area All-State ensembles. During her tenure, she has assisted many of her graduating students with moving on to prestigious music programs at SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Potsdam/Crane School of Music, Nazareth College, and Ithaca College.
Active with the Rochester Flute Association, Rita is a member of NAfME and a certified NYSSMA Adjudicator. She sponsors the Frank and Mary Louise George Memorial Scholarship for Principal Flute in the Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra. www.ritageorgesimmons.com.
More About Rita George Simmons
Hometown: Fairport, NY
What inspires me: Someone who sets a goal and is dedicated to achieving it with total success.
Why the Arts matter: The Arts bring beauty, peace, an outlet for people who are struggling emotionally. If you are with someone who speaks a different language, you can still play music together. Truly the Arts are the universal language.
Favorite thing to do in Rochester area: Take our Golden Retriever to B. Forman Park in Pultneyville. The park is always quiet and the vista of Lake Ontario is spectacular!
When I am not at Hochstein, you can find me: Generally at home working in the garden in the summer and doing some interior home decorating project in the winter. Oh…and practicing my flute, of course!
My favorite local restaurant is: Castaways or Hedges, both on the lake in Webster.
Favorite place(s) to travel: Anywhere warm with sun, sand, and surf! I especially enjoy being on large cruise ships going to the Caribbean!
Favorite movie: The Hunt for Red October (the original book of the same title by late author Tom Clancy).
What people would be surprised to know about me: I love, LOVE thunderstorms! I also put up seven full size Christmas trees and multiple smaller Christmas trees. Two at 9 feet and 5 at 7.5 feet, all decorated differently. Sometimes I start decorating on Halloween night while handing out candy so I can get them all up before our big “Kick Off to the Holidays” party on Thanksgiving weekend. It takes me the entire month of November to get it all completed but I consider it a labor of love for the Holiday Season.