How the violin helped a bird curator find the music in nature

Categories: Annual Fund Drive, ASC, Blog, Cultural Partners

By Bernie Petit
Communications Manager 

The earth has music for those who listen.

Amber Rosintoski of the Carolina Raptor Center is pictured with Skoshi, a 26-year-old red-tailed hawk that came to the center blind in one eye, meaning it could not find food in the wild.
Amber Rosintoski of the Carolina Raptor Center is pictured with Skoshi, a 26-year-old red-tailed hawk that came to the center blind in one eye because of a genetic defect, meaning it could not find food in the wild.

Shakespeare knew it and so does Amber Rosintoski, who oversees nearly 100 birds of prey as the curator of the Carolina Raptor Center collection.

Before she fell in love with birds, Rosintoski grew up playing the violin in Mount Pleasant, S.C. She picked up the instrument in elementary school and would stay inside during recess to practice.

“I got to play a simple song and I thought it was so wonderful,” she said.

Music eventually led her to her local school of the arts (“I don’t think I was the kind of kid that would have survived in the real high school setting,” she said) and to the College of Charleston, where she played in the orchestra and majored in biology.

And while it might sound odd, a part-time job she took at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston during her college years inspired her to pursue a more bird-oriented career. That’s because, in addition to the expected underwater creatures, the aquarium also featured several birds and Rosintoski enjoyed working with them.

“I felt passionate about birds,” she said. “They’re gorgeous, wonderful and they can fly.”

One of the cultural sector contributors featured in 2014 Arts & Science Council Annual Fund Drive campaign materials, Rosintoski joined the Carolina Raptor Center in 2007. The Raptor Center is one of more than 20 cultural organizations in Mecklenburg County that receives unrestricted operating support through ASC.

An avid bird watcher, Rosintoski is able to make a clear connection between the winged creatures she observes and the musical background that gave her the confidence to pursue her dreams.

“The reason I love birds is directly tied to my passion for music,” she said. “You don’t always see the birds – a lot of it is listening. Their music is absolutely stunning, especially during breeding season when you have these songbirds singing beautiful music.”

ASC is You & Me finding – and appreciating – the music in nature.

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