Rita George Simmons, Flute

About the Artist

Rita George Simmons

Rita George Simmons is a performer, educator and lecturer based in Rochester, New York. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Boston Conservatory and a Master of Music Degree from Ithaca College, both with emphasis on Flute Performance.

An active chamber musician, in 2012 Rita founded the Telos Trio with Hochstein faculty colleagues, clarinetist Debbie Grohman and pianist Willie La Favor (www.telostrio.com). She has toured and performed with the Telos Trio in western and central New York, Ohio, Indiana, San Diego and Virginia. (Please visit www.telostrio.com for future concert dates.) Rita is also flutist with the chamber music trio Gossamer Edge with mezzo-soprano Allyn Vandusen and pianist Paula Bobb founded in 2013. An experienced performer on piccolo, Rita performed for 21 years with the Greater Rochester Music Educators' Wind Band and was featured as soloist on multiple occasions on both flute and piccolo. She has performed at the National Flute Association Conventions in Columbus, OH, Pittsburgh, PA and most recently with the Telos Trio in San Diego in 2016. Rita has also performed on Hochstein's "Spotlight on Faculty" series in addition to "Live from Hochstein" series broadcast on WXXI 91.5 FM Classical Radio with chamber groups Telos Trio and Gossamer Edge. Her performances with Telos Trio can also be heard on WCNY Classical Radio in Syracuse and central New York. Other performance venues for Rita include Downtown United Presbyterian Church Arts and Lunch Concert Series, SUNY Brockport Arts Series and Hochstein Faculty Solo Recital at Granger Homestead in Canandaigua, NY.

 A dedicated and enthusiastic educator, Rita has been on the faculty of the Hochstein School of Music and Dance since 2001. She has also served on the faculty of the Rochester Flute Association Summer Flute Camp and the Webster High School Marching Band. Her students have won coveted chairs in the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Hochstein Youth Symphony, Hochstein Philharmonia, All-County and Area All-State ensembles. Her students have also been recipients of Merit Scholarship awards at Hochstein in addition to being accepted into, and graduating from, the Hochstein Honors Program. During her tenure, she has assisted many of her graduating students with moving on to prestigious music programs at SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Potsdam/Crane School of Music, Nazareth College and Ithaca College. A former student of her Hochstein studio and graduate of the Hochstein Honors Program will be attending Manhatten School of Music in autumn, 2019 as a Master of Music Degree candidate. 

Rita has also given clinics for Midlakes Middle School and Canandaigua elementary and middle school students in NY. In addition to participating in a Hochstein symposium for area music educators, she has given lecture performances for the Rochester (NY) Flute Association, the Florida Flute Convention in Orlando, Ithaca College and Nazareth College.

Rita has served as Program Chair for the Rochester Flute Association and also as Flute Fair Chair in addition to serving as Artistic Director of the Rochester Flute Association Flute Choir. She is sole sponsor of the biennial "Frank and Mary Louise George Memorial Piccolo Competition", and a member of NAfME. She is also a certified NYSSMA Adjudicator and has adjudicated at festivals throughout western and central New York State. Rita is also a member of the National Flute Association and American Federation of Musicians, Local 66 in Rochester, NY.