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Archive for the ‘Around the Tower’ Category

Walker and Simkin Open the 2015-16 Spotlight Series

Keuka College’s 2015-16 Spotlight Series will begin Saturday, Sept. 26 with a concert by Nicholas Walker and Elizabeth Simkin.

The performance, free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in Norton Chapel.

The concert will feature original music by Walker, which the duo has work-shopped into an hour-long, programmatic set. Their collaborative music partnership spans a decade, and includes duo recitals, chamber music, early music, contemporary music, and orchestral music.

Walker, double bassist and composer, and Simkin, who plays cello, both serve as associate professors of performance studies at Ithaca College.

Simkin earned a doctorate at Indiana University Bloomington, and prior to her position at Ithaca College, served on the faculty at such institutions as Earlham College and the Eastman School of Music. She has also served as a teaching assistant to Janos Starker, with whom she studies.

She has played with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and the Buffalo Chamber Orchestra, among others. A fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, Simkin serves as a U.S. artistic ambassador at international recitals.

Walker earned a doctoral degree at Stony Brook University, has toured with swing era saxophone legend Illinois Jacquet, played with jazz master Wynton Marsalis, and has worked closely with François Rabbath.

He has given solo bass recitals on four continents, and has performed at music festivals worldwide. An active chamber musician, he is a member of the multi-media ensemble Ardesco, and, along with Simkin, Ensemble X. Walker has performed with the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, and the National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada.

In 2013, the International Society of Bassists (ISB) commissioned his composition, Chorale, for its international solo competition. Walker has performed with the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, the Berlin Double Bass Festival, the Kaleidoskop Double Bass Festival in Germany, and the International Double Bass Festival in Beijing, China.

Prior to teaching at Ithaca College, Walker served on the faculty of the Stony Brook Pre-College Program, the Music Conservatory of Westchester, and Mansfield University.

Lightner Library Book Sale Set for Sept. 18-20

Mysteries, cookbooks, poetry, biographies, music, and more will be offered at Keuka College’s Lightner Library annual book sale Friday, Sept. 18-Sunday, Sept. 20.

This year’s book sale runs from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; and from noon-6 p.m. Sunday in Lightner Library. Paperbacks will be priced at 75 cents (children’s paperbacks, 25 cents), with hardbacks selling for $1.25. Shoppers will also be able to purchase videos, audiotapes, and records for $1.

Proceeds from the book sale, sponsored by the Friends of Lightner Library, will benefit the library’s collections and services.

Donations for Lightner Library’s book sale may be made through Friday, Sept. 11 at Five Star Bank, Lyons National Bank, and Community Bank branches in Penn Yan; as well as the Keuka Park Post Office.

Keuka College to Unveil New Turf Field

When Keuka College’s student-athletes arrive for practice, they will lace up their cleats and step on to a bright green field, marked with crisp white, gold, and black lines.

The teams will be among the first to play on the College’s brand new synthetic turf field. Construction on the new facility began in May, and has an anticipated completion date of Aug. 20, just in time for the Fall 2015 sports season. The field, part of the Jephson Community Athletic Complex, features a grey border to outline the playing surface and the signature Keuka College ‘KC’ inlaid at midfield.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Friday, Sept. 4 to mark the grand opening of the turf field. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Following the ceremony, the men’s soccer team take on the Pitt-Bradford Panthers in the Wolfpack’s first game of the 2015-16 season. In addition to the men’s soccer team, the turf field will be used by the College’s women’s soccer squad, men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, and the new field hockey team, whose first home game is Sunday, Sept. 6 at 1 p.m. vs. Ramapo (N.J.) College.

The addition of the turf field is just one part of the College’s on-going long-range strategic plan (LRSP), and will enhance the experience of the College’s student-athletes while helping with enrollment and retention. It also will attract more students to campus by increasing the number of sports offered. The debut of the field hockey team this fall, the 19th sport offered at Keuka, would not be possible without a turf field, said Director of Athletics Dave Sweet.

“Varsity athletics and intramurals plays such a big role in our students’ out-of-classroom experience that it has been recognized by the president and our Board of Trustees, so much so that it became part of our strategic plan,” he said.

According to College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, the turf field will help strengthen the caliber of student-athletes we are able to attract to Keuka College.

“The new turf field will also help retain existing student-athletes as we strive to provide them with the best on-campus experience,” he added.

Sweet said that unlike some turf fields, the new Keuka College turf field can be plowed during the winter for snow removal, a feature that will grant student-athletes earlier access to outdoor practice facilities leading up to the start of the spring sports season.

The field will also boast an enhanced sound system, elevated spectator seating, a full-perimeter fence, a shot clock for lacrosse games, and a paved walkway for access to the field.

Additionally, the College’s intramurals program will make use of the turf field, and Sweet said there is the possibility that Penn Yan Academy—which allowed Keuka to use its turf field over the years—will have access to the new field as well.

For photos of the construction, visit

Bill Turner Receives Stork Award

Posing with Keuka College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera (l) Bill Turner, the 2015 Stork Award recipient, accepts a clock from Corinne Stork

The 2015 Donald and Corinne Stork Award for Community Service was presented to Penn Yan resident Bill Turner at a noon luncheon on August 11.

Keuka College established the award to recognize those individuals who exemplify its historic commitment to the value and benefit of using individual initiative for the common good.

The award was named after the first recipients of the award, Penn Yan residents Corinne Stork and the late Donald Stork, in 1991.

Turner also received a proclamation written by New York State Senator Tom O’Mara and New York State Assemblyman Philip Palmesano, and presented by Yates County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mike Linehan. On behalf of the New York State Legislature, the proclamation acknowledged Turner’s service to his community.

Among the Yates County organizations that have benefitted from Turner’s time and talents are the Presbyterian Church, Penn Yan Racquet Club, Lions Club, Christmas for the Needy, Keuka Care Comfort Home, the Once Again Shoppe, Penn Yan Area Council of Churches Community Action Program, the Back to School Program, and the Elks Club.

Click for more photos from the luncheon.

Bill Turner to Receive 2015 Stork Award

On the surface, the Presbyterian Church, Penn Yan Racquet Club, Lions Club, Christmas for the Needy, and Keuka Care Comfort Home might not seem like they have much in common.

Nor might the Once Again Shoppe, Penn Yan Area Council of Churches Community Action Program, the Back to School Program, and the Elks Club.

But there is one common—and constant—bond that connects each organization to the others. His name is Bill Turner, a lifelong resident of Penn Yan and the 2015 recipient of the Donald and Corinne Stork Award for Community Service. The award will be presented Tuesday, Aug. 11 at a noon luncheon in the Geiser Dining Hall in Dahlstrom Student Center at Keuka College.

The Stork Award was established in 1991 by Keuka College to recognize outstanding individuals who exemplify the College’s commitment of valuing individual initiative for the common good. The award was named after its first recipients, Penn Yan residents Corinne Stork and the late Donald Stork.

Those who know Turner say he’s a person who believes that individuals can change communities for the better. This is just one lesson Turner’s parents instilled in him as a child—a love of his community and a commitment to helping others.

Take the Presbyterian Church, where the young Turner helped his father stoke the furnace. Since then, he has continued to dedicate himself to his church through a variety of roles. He continues his work as a trustee, has served as an elder and a deacon, and sits on the Building and Grounds Committee. He has also been active with the Penn Yan Area Council of Churches Community Action Program Inc., where he has served on its Board of Directors.

For the Christmas for the Needy program, Turner has organized the transportation of toys and food, and makes certain that those unable to get to the distribution site still receive Christmas packages. At the Once Again Shoppe, Turner can be counted on to move and sort donated items or find the right piece of furniture for someone in need, among other projects. He chairs the Building Maintenance and Repair committee there, too.

In addition, Turner has assisted with the efforts of the Back to School program by helping shop, package, and deliver school supplies to ensure students are ready to begin the school year. He is a founding member of the Penn Yan Racquet Club, and a longtime member of the Elks Lodge and the Lion’s Club, where he received an Award of Merit in 2002. Turner has also served as a Town of Milo councilman, been a member of the United States Junior Chamber (more commonly called Jaycees), and has supported efforts to raise money for Keuka Comfort Care Home.

Tickets for the luncheon are $13. Seating is limited, so advanced reservations are advised. Make checks payable to Keuka College and mail to: Office of Alumni and Family Relations, Keuka College, Keuka Park, N.Y. 14478, or reservations may be made online at The reservation deadline is Wednesday, Aug 5.

For more information call (315) 279-5238 or e-mail