Dr. Connie Rittenhouse Drexler
Connie Rittenhouse Drexler is one of the four founding members of the New England Youth Ensemble. She studied piano with her aunt, Dr. Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse, and performed as violinist, violist, and piano soloist with the orchestra for more than 10 years. Her mother and brother also played in the orchestra and they enjoyed traveling as a family with the orchestra, sometimes accompanied by her father as well. She was encouraged by The New England Piano Teacher's Association to pursue a degree in music when she won their competition in Boston as a high school senior and was awarded to play a solo piano recital for the organization. She completed a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and music education at Atlantic Union College, in South Lancaster, Massachusetts. She has always had a variety of interests and in addition, completed pre-med requirements during college. Connie went on to receive a master's degree in piano performance from Boston University before attending Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California and taking a residency in Internal Medicine. Through the years she has combined a love of medicine (working as an Internist and Hospitalist) with the love of music by performing with her brother, Jerry (a cellist), composing and arranging, conducting orchestra and choirs, playing chamber music, accompanying, teaching piano, violin, viola, and voice. In 2001 she started a second Youth Ensemble with her aunt and now is the director of the Youth Ensemble of New England. She is married to David Drexler, MD, Ph.D., with whom she shares a love of music and medicine. They have two children, Robert and Katharine, who grew up playing cello and violin in the orchestra. Robert also played trombone in the orchestra and Katharine sang as soprano soloist. Presently, Connie is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and works in the outpatient department for UMass Community Physicians. She also enjoys working with the orchestra and teaching music on her "day off'. One of her greatest joys is sharing the love of music with young people.