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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
Member Profile
Patrice Ristuccia:  Cello
I grew up in Rochester, NY listening to Italian opera while savoring home cooked Italian meals prepared by my grandmother. At Sunday dinners at my aunts’ and uncles’, I was surrounded by classical and popular music played on the piano and organ by my uncles. Although I never had an opportunity to study music or play an instrument, my early experiences led me to a life long love of music, especially jazz and classical. I  had the good fortune to meet and talk with Duke Ellington when I was a counselor for city kids in a summer enrichment program. Through friends I got to have dinner twice with Harry Belafonte, and during a snow storm in the late 70’s I, ironically, learned to play chess from Garth Fagan.

After completing undergraduate work from SUNY College at Brockport I taught elementary school in the Rochester City School District. I returned to Brockport for my graduate degree in counselor education and worked as school counselor in Newark, Greece, and Brighton. While working as a counselor at Brighton High School for 24 years I was also the faculty advisor to Black Student Union, Natural Helpers Club, a peer counseling program, and chaperoned school exchange trips to France and Germany. After my son left for college, I had extra time so I started my own private mental health counseling practice in Greece, NY. I continue working in my private  practice now in retirement.  

I retired in August 2009 from Brighton and decided after years of predominately using the right side of my brain it was time to develop the left. Joining New Horizons was the perfect solution. Having never played an instrument or read music I joined Green Strings where I was introduced to the cello and began my journey into playing with an orchestra. It has been an exciting experience to play music with others in front of an audience. I went to camp for the first time in my life when attending the New Horizons program at Chautauqua. Truly, it was an amazing experience. Love of the cello has 
spread throughout my household; both my ten year old and four year old grandsons are 
now studying cello. I enjoy telling people about the multigenerational impact New Horizons has had on my family and encourage them to participate in this outstanding program.