Rick Rowley, Retired 2021


Rick Rowley has played viola in the Glens Falls Symphony since 2000. He believes the quality of the orchestra keeps improving as the orchestra takes on new challenges and continually raises their standards under Maestro Peltz.

His musical background, which he learned in the Guilderland schools, includes a mix of violin, mandolin, piano, song writing pursuits, and singing in the Wagner College Choir. His parents were academic teachers and always exposed him to great music and encouraged him to take lessons.

For three glorious years he worked at the Philharmonic Hall in New York and was able to watch Leonard Bernstein and other superstars perform live in well over one hundred concerts. But it was another ten years before he pursued viola seriously. During the summers he would bike to Tanglewood and back, just to hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s dress rehearsals. Inevitably, classical music and viola playing became a passion.

He has lived in Schenectady for nearly 40 years with his wife Helen, and they are blessed with a wonderful daughter, Rachel, whom they adopted from Korea in 1987. He made a living mostly in the piano business, which sadly, has now all but disappeared. For the past few years he has worked half time as a custodian at Zion Lutheran Church where he also gets to play music with Scott Trexler, a superb organist. Additionally, he plays in other groups and attends chamber music workshops, but he believes the GFSO is definitely very special and he is proud to belong there and play his part.