Patricia Houf Wheelhouse '92
What Being an Alumna Means to Me...
When I entered Manhattanville as an adult student in 1984, I was a young mother who had married after only a semester of college ten years earlier. I wanted to continue my education while raising two small children. Manhattanville "rolled out the red carpet" for me. I attended a weekly brown bag lunch group of women in similar circumstances who also had delayed achieving their undergraduate degree for a variety of reasons. We became a close group of friends through our weekly conversations, and thus didn't feel isolated or alone as we made our way toward matriculation and eventual graduation in our chosen fields. Manhattanville's support was marvelous. It took me seven years of part-time study to complete my Bachelor of Music Education degree and I haven't stopped since. Thank you, Manhattanville, for being so accommodating. I was able to graduate Summa Cum Laude with departmental honors, and soon found an interim teaching position followed by a part-time position, and at last a full-time choral position. The music education program with the certification program was ideal for me. In addition to the formal educational experiences I had at Manhattanville, I was able to take part in musical theatre productions, I debuted an original choral/orchestral setting of The Magnificat on one of the Christmas choral concerts in the chapel, and I conducted the Manhattanville Community Orchestra as a student conductor. These are unique experiences that helped shape me as a musician and a composer.
Patricia Houf Wheelhouse, Director of Music and Fine Arts, oversees all music and art teachers in the Churchville-Chili Central School District (k-12). She graduated with a doctorate (PhD in Music Education, May '09) at the Eastman School of Music, and holds an MFA in Music Composition from Purchase College ('95) and a Bachelor of Music Education from Manhattanville College ('92). She holds administrative certification from the Warner Graduate School of Education of the University of Rochester.
Dr. Wheelhouse is founder and past-president of the Westchester County Arts Leadership Association (WCALA), and is the president of the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education (NYSCAME). She is a member of the New York State Art Teachers Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the New York State School Music Association, the Rochester Area Council of Administrators of Music Education, the New York Women Composers, and the American Choral Directors Association. Her administrative affiliations include the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the American Association of University Women. Prior to her current position, she served as Director of Visual and Performing Arts for the Bedford Central School District in Westchester County, NY. Prior to her administrative career she taught choral music at Mamaroneck High School, Valhalla Junior-Senior High School, and Westlake Middle School. Dr. Wheelhouse has served as an adjunct lecturer/instructor for the Eastman School of Music and Manhattanville College.