BY MARK A. KELLNER
, News Editor
irginia-Gene Rittenhouse, 88, a noted
violinist, conductor and Seventh-day Adventist musical powerhouse,
passed to her rest August 30, 2011, at the University of Massachusetts
Medical Center in Worcester.
PIONEER: Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse, a longtime Seventh-day Adventist
musical educator, passed away on August 30, 2011, at age 88.
The 40-year-old New England Youth Ensemble, which Rittenhouse founded,
counts hundreds of young Seventh-day Adventists as alumni. The group
toured much of the world, played numerous concerts at New York’s
renowned Carnegie Hall, and remains a noted representative of the
Adventist Church as a whole.
Rittenhouse founded the New England Youth Ensemble in 1969 with a group
of five students at Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster,
Massachusetts. In 1994 the ensemble became the resident orchestra of
Washington Adventist University and has since continued to enjoy
widespread critical acclaim. Under her direction, the NEYE has performed
both nationally and internationally for numerous world leaders.
According to Atlantic Union Conference president Donald G. King, and
Atlantic Union College president Norman Wendth, Rittenhouse “was a
significant part of our community for many years, contributing both
personally and musically to AUC, the Church, and the wider community.
Her high standards for sacred music had a profound and far-reaching
influence on Seventh-day Adventists everywhere, and the Church is better
because of it.”
Weymouth Spence, Washington Adventist University president, added, the
school “is deeply saddened at the passing of a true pioneer in
Seventh-day Adventist education. [Rittenhouse] was a driving, innovative
force with the orchestra and the programs she began.”Read more...