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build and make something great takes a lot of effort, dedication and a long
time. Such is the approach that loving, dedicated parents take to the
upbringing and character development of their children–even through paying for
the art or music lessons throughout childhood at Thayer.
the kind of talent that come out of Thayer it takes more than the loving,
dedication and financial support of parents for their children's lessons.
It takes more than dedicated and committed instructors. It takes an
individuals like Dr, VG and Connie, the directors of the Youth Ensemble of New
England and its parent organization–The New England Youth Ensemble. These
directors were the late Dr. Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse and now her niece, Dr.
Connie Rittenhouse Drexler. Any director of a long-time successful youth
group needs a lot of support from many people.
For over 40
years youth wrote expressions of appreciation to Dr. Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse
for granting them the opportunity to join and perform with The New England
Rittenhouse began a small chamber group in her home, at 96 Kendall Hill Rd,
Sterling, MA. In the early 1970-2, this group grew and became the New
England Youth Ensemble based at the Thayer Mansion and dedicated to be an
ambassador group for Christ through music. Through the years, as the
musicians grew up, got married and left while new youngsters came to take their
place. Their parents who once were members of the orchestra encouraged
many of these new members. While the New England Youth Ensemble is now
based in Washington Adventist University, its child–The Youth Ensemble of New
England, arouse and continues at Thayer Performance Arts Center.
members of The Youth Ensemble of New England can be found practicing,
playing, chatting away, eating or even running up the grand old staircase at
Thayer. This summer they visited Iceland on a music tour. To see
them in pictures, follow their activities on Facebook through
Friends of Thayer/Youth Ensemble Of New England
can also be followed on their Facebook page:
them perform on Youtube: