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Eastman - Rochester New Horizons Music
The Birthplace of New Horizons.  Founded in 1991 by Dr. Roy Ernst, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY
Dick Cole:  Clarinet
Member Profile
I was born in Olean, NY and raised in a number of small western NY communities (Salamanca, Niagara Falls, LaSalle and Tonawanda) as my Dad was promoted and transferred from job to job with NY Telephone Company. I briefly played the clarinet and bassoon in 7th grade in Kenmore, NY when my athletic "career" was interrupted by a bout with rheumatic fever. I was fortunate to be able to continue playing baseball, football and track in high school and continued with football and track at Union College while pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After completing Naval Officer Candidate School and being commissioned as an ensign in the Civil Engineer Corps (also known as the "SeaBees"), I served as one of four officers chosen to manage the construction of a master jet base in LeMoore, California. It was an intense but rewarding experience creating a "city from 40 square miles of ancient lake bed in the San Joaquin Valley in Central California". Soon 400 A-4 Skyhawk carrier based attack fighter/bombers, their crews, support staff, trainers and their families were in residence. The job was time constrained, complicated in scope and technology and intensively interesting for a young engineer stepping into a new and challenging world dominated by architects, engineers, lawyers, military oversight, military flyers and staff and supported by (and asked to lead) a personal staff of 40 civil servants with excellent experience in building a city from scratch.
After my three year tour was up, I was encouraged to stay in the CEC to act as the Executive Officer of a Construction Battalion based in Hawaii but soon to depart for South Vietnam to build jungle based helicopter bases for the South Vietnamese government. At the same time I was pursuing the possibility of entering law school ; an interest which developed during my years of managing construction contracts with private sector lawyers whose clients were responsible for building the new base. I ultimately chose to enter Albany Law School in 1962 and graduated in 1965 and began employment with a Rochester law firm now known as "Harter, Secrest and Emery". After short stint in litigation, I moved to the corporate practice side and was able to use my engineering training and experience to deal with clients in construction, telecommunications, computer science, intellectual property law and lastly, in the emerging highly regulated health law arena.
I retired from a hjghly satisfying career in 2000 and shortly thereafter, my wife, Nancy, herself a musician, surprised me with a gift of a Bb Clarinet for Christmas. After several attempts to teach myself to play, I made a wise decision and found a very capable and entertaining teacher to move me along on a more disciplined track. It worked and I found my interest level increasing by the week and I was hooked. When we moved to the Rochester area, I looked for an opportunity to play with an ensemble and checked out the New Horizon Program. It was a wonderful fit. The instruction in the Green Band was excellent and permitted me to gain confidence to try the Concert Band and ultimately, the demanding Clarinet Choir. Each step of the way, I was led by very accomplished mentors and teachers and my progress was encouraging and rewarding.  
Playing in the New Horizons Band has enhanced my retirement years by providing me with intellectual challenges, the satisfaction of seeing improvement from week to week, the social interaction with committed, friendly people who share my interests and the joy of playing for others in the community.
My other interests include photography, hiking, biking, cross country skiing, kayaking and doing all of these things with our eleven grandchildren in the area.
Life after a busy professional career in the law has been good and, in large manner, is the result of my participation in the New Horizons Band programs.