In 1968, with wife Harriet and son Erik, Rosendo moved to Mountaintop, PA, after joining the faculty of the Wilkes College Music Department. Soon afterwards would follow the birth of 2nd son, Nathan in 1970. The family then purchased their home in Swoyersville, PA. Next was the celebration of 3rd son, Jason in 1972. A few weeks later, Hurricane Agnes would arrive to Northeast PA leaving widespread destruction as a result of the flooding of the Susquehanna River.
The fledgling Music Department appearing in the 1973 Yearbook included:
Row 1: H.Cutler Fall, Anne Vanko Liva, William Gasbarro, Chairman; William J. Weber, Theodore M. Veremeychick, Richard B. Chapline;
Row 2: Michael Haberkorn, Herbert Garber, Raymond J. Nutaitis, Richard Probert, Rosendo E. Santos
Missing from pic: Clifford E. Balshaw
His teaching areas included elementary and advanced theory, counterpoint, Music 101, ear-training (solfeggio). Among the ensembles he led, most prominent was the Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble. He would be ever-dedicated to his students, accompanying them in performances, composing concerti for recitals, and even hosting them at the house for social engagements where he would frequently serve his famous lumpia, chicken adobo, or pansit! His students would affectionately call him “Chief”.
In 1978, this article penned by Alan Tepper appeared in the local newspaper as a feature on his career:
This is the premiere performance of his Piano Concerto #3, composed for pianist Mark Mrozinski and conducted by Jerome Campbell:
This is the premiere performance (on the same concert as the Piano Concerto #3) of his Schlagwark March. He was spontaneously invited to join the ensemble on crash cymbals! His many composed marches prompted the moniker: “The March King of Swoyersville”.
Rosendo never limited his compositional range of genre. The concert on Dec. 7, 1989 given by the Wilkes College Jazz Ensemble (under the direction of Tom Heinze) featured his “Rose Blossom.” This concert also featured his second son, Nathan, who was in his second year as a student at Wilkes.
At his retirement, he was conferred as Professor Emeritus by President Christopher Breiseth. He continued to teach Music 101 until the last year before his death.
Below is the announcement in the Hazleton Standard-Speaker of the Wilkes University 1992 Commencement. This would prove to be a special ceremony as jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993) was to accept an Honorary doctor of Human Letter degree, with his friend and colleague drummer Max Roach (1924-2007) attending on his behalf. This event acknowledged Rosendo’s conferred status as Professor Emeritus. To celebrate Gillespie’s special honor, the Wilkes University Jazz Ensemble provided the music with son Nathan playing bass in his cap and gown as he was a member of this graduating class of 1992. And to conclude the ceremony, wife Rev. Harriet L Santos then serving as pastor at Shavertown United Methodist Church gave the benediction.