Tradition &

Celebrating the Life of George V. Rose

On Saturday, March 26th, four generations of alumni, alumni parents, current and former employees, friends, and family gathered to pay tribute to the late Faculty Chair and Music Director, George V. Rose. The beautiful harmonies of William Charles Fry and Gilbert & Sullivan filled the halls between anecdotes about Mr. Rose’s impact on so many community members over his 35 years with The Waldorf School of Garden City.

Alumni met early in Bonner Hall to warm up and run through music some had not sung in 40 years. There was nervous chatter about being out of practice, but everything came back to them when the piano began to play, like so often happens with activities that shaped our childhoods. Some Alumni were moved to tears by nostalgia. Once all guests were gathered in the gym, current High School Chair Roland Rothenbucher shared his memories of Mr. Rose. “He had the heart of service. He served the music he presented to us and served the School… I thought the world of George. He could walk into a space like this and command the room.”

After a few Waldorf musical favorites, Former Trustee and Alum Jeff Stark ’62 spoke of Mr. Rose’s character, referring to him playfully as Saint George, “George was a highly trained and extremely gifted musician, but unlike me who ran away from young amateurs as from a fire, George rushed in with all his soul and all his confidence. Not only rushed in, but he stayed his entire career.” 

At the event, Mr. Rose’s children and grandchildren not only sang with the community but also made up the string quartette. Jeannette Resnick, a longtime friend and colleague, played the piano, Penelope Herdt Grover ’71 and Jeanette Rodriguez ’78 conducted, and harpist Rita Turst Costanzi performed solos and rounded out the accompaniment. Alumni, family and friends honored the late Mr. Rose with their many talents. Jeanette Rodriguez ’78, Rebecca Rose ’73, and Elizabeth Rose ’76 performed a musical offering. Howard Lem ’68 performed a moving solo performance of “When All Night Long,” and Leonore Russell graced the community with a Eurythmy offering, “Hallelujah.”

George V. Rose was described by more than a few as the face and heart of The Waldorf School of Garden City. According to one Alum, “He saved the school.” We are grateful to have had the opportunity to host such a lovely event and reunite many in his honor. 

Mr. Rose joined the School as the Head of the Music Department in 1962. In 1979 he became the High School Chair and served in that capacity until 1981, at which time he assumed the position of Faculty Chair, a position he held for over a decade.

As the namesake of The George V. Rose Music Scholarship Fund, a scholarship awarded to student-musicians based on recommendations and auditions, his legacy lives on in the students and music at The Waldorf School of Garden City. To donate, go to: www.waldorfgarden.org/donate. 

“George Rose’s leadership in our School defined an era. The years with George at the helm were marked by George’s big heart and generous soul. He genuinely delighted in his students’ achievements in the classroom, on stage, and on the playing fields. Through his magical personal qualities, the School became a beehive of cultural activities in the Garden City Community.” ~ Roland Rothenbucher, High School Chair. 

To view the live stream of the event push play on the video below.


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