Interview, Relton Roland
Born in the Dominican Republic in 1946, Relton Roland moved to Rochester, New York, in 1967 in search of educational opportunities. Once in Rochester, Roland studied liberal arts at Monroe Community College. He furthered his studies by attending SUNY Brockport and the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he obtained degrees in marketing. He later earned a Masters in Social Work from Syracuse University.
In this interview, Roland describes the process by which he became associated with the Latino music scene in Rochester. He talks about how he played piano in various churches as a youth, and how his passion for music continued into adulthood. He discusses how a member of the local Latino community, Freddie Colón, encouraged him to become involved in Rochester’s music scene and how he joined the Antonetti Orchestra (Orquesta Antonetti), a renowned Latin American music group that formed in Rochester in 1970. He also notes how the local Puerto Rican community welcomed him and became his family.