Bill Eckfeld, conductor
William Eckfeld was the orchestra director at White Plains High School from 1987-2013. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with the renowned bassist Oscar Zimmerman, he was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra before beginning his career in music education. He has also studied conducting and composition at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria and has earned a Masters Degree in teaching from Lehman College, where he studied composition with John Corigliano. As a composer, he has written numerous works for chamber groups, soloists, and orchestras. He has served as president of the Greater Westchester Youth Orchestra Association and the Westchester County School Music Association, and has been a guest conductor of festival orchestras in Westchester and Rockland counties. He serves as organist for the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New Rochelle and is principal bass and assistant conductor of the St. Thomas Orchestra.
BARBARA ROSENTHAL, FOUNDER & PResident
Westchester resident Rosenthal is an amateur violinist who has played in community orchestras and helped jump-start the Irvington schools' orchestra program several years ago. A friend told her about the Really Terrible Orchestra Of Scotland which was created by best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith in 1995 as a way for adults with some youthful musical experience to play music together. Rosenthal contacted The RTO Of Scotland and got its blessing to start a group here. In addition to the Westchester version which started with five people in March 2009 with Rosenthal as the conductor, there are versions in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, and a Really Terrible String Orchestra in San Francisco. "Part of the vision is to have fun, to practice, to play and to perform," she said. Members "find a place where they can play without having to audition, without being perfect, without being nervous they won't do well enough. The name brings people in. It brings in absolutely the people that we want."
LES KRASNOGOR, CHAIRMAN
Les Krasnogor was about to retire from a 42-year medical practice and was looking forward to playing his clarinet again. He hadn’t played in slightly over 50 years. Fortunately he came upon the Really Terrible Orchestra of Westchester and was one of the first six musicians to join the group at its 3rd rehearsal back in the Spring of 2009. The experience of playing in the Orchestra which has now grown to over 35 members has been wonderful. A few years ago, Les was elected Chairman of the Board of the RTOW. He continues to enjoy playing with this wonderful group.
Board of Directors
The Really Terrible Orchestra of Westchester has an all-volunteer board focused on making every rehearsal as relaxed and fun as possible as well as making sure we have places to drag our friends and families to hear us play. We are always looking for help on one of our committees. If you have the time and the desire, join us. Any questions or suggestions, please reach out to us.
Barbara Rosenthal: President
Jules Becker (percussion): Treasurer
Don Barbour (violin): Secretary
Ferdie Flick (bass)
Anne Goldfield (cello)
Stephanie Plaut (flute)
Norman Weiss (banjo)
Robert Schwartz (violin)
Jay Militshure (bass)
Les Krasnogor (clarinet): Past President