St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts welcomes Jerry Rittenhouse and family in concert

BERLIN — Jerry Rittenhouse, his wife Lauren his daughter, Julie and his son, David, all cellists, along with his sister, Connie, pianist, will present a benefit concert at St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts on Sunday, July 16, at 2 p.m.

Jerry Rittenhouse grew up in Massachusetts and studied cello with Mark Churchill and Raya Garbousova at Hartt College of Music. He was the principal cellist and cello soloist of the New England Youth Ensemble, directed by Dr. Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse. Over the years, the ensemble performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and the Soviet Union. Later, he played with Symphony Pro Musica in Central Massachusetts as one of the principal cellists. Currently, he is a practicing urologist with the Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, and the Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook.

Jerry's sister, Connie Rittenhouse Drexler, started playing piano at the age of six and later studied piano with her aunt, Dr. Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse. She played violin and viola with the New England Youth Ensemble and was frequently the piano soloist with the orchestra. She graduated from Boston University with a master's degree in piano performance. Connie is currently the director of the Youth Ensemble of New England and teaches piano part-time at the Thayer Performing Arts Center in South Lancaster, Mass. She practices internal medicine in Northborough, Mass.

Lauren Aastrup Rittenhouse studied cello with Mark Churchill and Raya Garbousova. She and husband Jerry met in the New England Youth Ensemble where they shared a stand for many years. She currently teaches cello at Thayer Performing Arts Center in South Lancaster, Massachusetts and at her private home studio in Lancaster.

Julie Escarza Rittenhouse started studying cello at the age of 4. Her teachers include Nancy Hair and Mark Churchill. She just completed her residency in family medicine in June and will be working as a hospitalist at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Fontana, Calif.

David Rittenhouse started cello at the age of 8. He studied cello with Nancy Hair, of Newton, Mass. David recently graduated college with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and will be starting Dental School this coming August in Loma Linda, Calif. According to a press release submitted by the art center, he has enjoyed being a member of the Rittenhouse Cello Quartet.

Together, this musical family will be presenting pieces for solo piano, piano with cello and cello quartet. This event is free and open to the pubic, because of the sponsorship by the N.H. State Council on the Arts.

For more information about this event, to get tickets, a membership or to make a donation to the annual or capital improvement funds, contact the Arts Center at (603) 752-1028; visit the website, www.stkieranarts.org or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/stkieranarts.

2017.07.16 Jerry Rittenhouse photoJerry Rittenhouse. (COURTESY PHOTO)