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Archive for the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ Category

Keuka College’s 125th Anniversary Concert Series Continues Feb. 14 with i3°

As Keuka College continues to celebrate its 125th year, it will host a series of concerts through April.

Sponsored by Lyons National Bank, the Keuka College 125th Anniversary Concert Series continues with a performance by i3° Sunday, Feb. 14 at 3 p.m. in Norton Chapel. Selections of known music—including popular, jazz, and standards—will be chosen spontaneously from the stage.

Pronounced 13 degrees, the trio is comprised of Ithaca College faculty members Nicholas Walker, associate professor of performance studies (double bass); Greg Evans, lecturer of performance studies (drums); and Nick Weiser, lecturer of performance studies (piano).

The group believes that music elevates the human condition, and that access to music is a basic human need. They also believe that music ignites the empathy sectors in the brain, which builds intimacy, and leads us all to compassion, morality, and love.

Walker makes a return appearance to Keuka College, as he helped open the College’s 2015-16 Spotlight Series. He earned a doctoral degree at Stony Brook University, and has been named president-elect of the International Society of Bassists (ISB). Walker will also serve as the artistic director/convention chair for the 50th Anniversary ISB convention to be held in Ithaca next year.

In addition to teaching, Walker is a composer who has presented performances and master classes in more than a dozen countries, including guest residencies at leading conservatories in Korea, Russia, China, Netherlands, and Norway.

A Fulbright Scholar, Walker 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 Ensemble X. Walker has performed with the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, the National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada, and the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic.

Frequently heard on NPR’s Performance Today, Walker has also 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.

Weiser earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas where he studied piano with the late jazz pianist, composer, and arranger Frank Mantooth and earned the prestigious Dick Wright Jazz Award.

He has performed at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, and Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival, as well as with Peter Erskine, Ingrid Jensen, Rich Perry, John Abercrombie, and Gary Foster, among others.

After graduating from the University of Kansas, Evans attended the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with artists Harold Danko and Bill Dobbins, and was a member of Downbeat, the award-winning Eastman New Jazz Ensemble. The group performed with renowned trombonist, composer, and arranger Bob Brookmeyer and garnered international acclaim.

In addition to teaching at Ithaca College, Weiser serves on the faculty at Cornell University, and has given lectures and master classes at universities and institutions nationwide. He also teaches privately and maintains an extensive jazz and classical performance schedule throughout the Northeast.

Evans earned a bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a master’s degree from Ithaca College. Evans has appeared with many artists including the Count Basie Orchestra, Chick Corea, Branford Marsalis, and Hank Roberts, among others. Evans has performed in multiple national tours, including ISM, Remington, and Turkuaz. He has also recorded with the Danny Rivera Orchestra, the Mike Titlebaum Jazz Band, Hank Roberts’ Phonetix, Aaron Tindall’s award-winning album This is My House…, and the Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble.

In addition to teaching at Ithaca College, Evans serves on the faculty at Cornell University, where he has developed growing drum set studios. At Ithaca College, Evans conducts the Ithaca College Jazz Repertory Ensemble, and coaches various combos.

Other dates in the Keuka College 125th Anniversary Concert Series include a baroque-style concert featuring Publick Musick on March 20, and a series finale on April 17.

All concerts are free and open to the public, and are held on Sundays at 3 p.m. at Keuka College’s Norton Chapel.

Suicide Terrorism and Power Politics Focus of Community Luncheon

Keuka College’s Community Luncheon Series will continue Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 with a talk by Dr. David Pak Leon, assistant professor of political science at the College.

Dr. Leon will discuss “Suicide Terrorism and Power Politics: A Global Perspective” at noon in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.

“In the past 15 years, the world has seen a drastic rise in terrorist attacks, especially suicide terrorist attacks, which tend to be more lethal and harder to deter,” said Dr. Pak Leon, who began teaching at Keuka College in 2013. “This presentation goes beyond the daily headlines and looks at suicide terrorism’s causes, effects, and trends around the world over the past 20 years. I will also discuss its relationship to oil, security policies, and power politics.”

Dr. Pak Leon’s teaching interests and research projects focus on international security and economic relations, globalization, U.S. foreign policy, China and the Asia-Pacific, international relations theory, and the philosophy of social science. Prior to joining Keuka College, he taught at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Minnesota, where he received both a master’s degree and a doctoral degree. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government and politics and a minor in economics from the University of Maryland.

Tickets for the luncheon are $13, a portion of which goes to the Penn Yan Keuka Club Scholarship Fund. The fund provides an annual scholarship to a local student attending Keuka College. Seating is limited, so 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. Reservations may be made online at

For more information call (315) 279-5238 or e-mail [email protected].

Keuka College’s 125th Anniversary Concert Series Continues Nov. 22 with Nine to Five




As Keuka College continues to celebrate its 125th year, it will host a series of concerts through April 2016.

Sponsored by Lyons National Bank, the Keuka College 125th Anniversary Concert Series continues with a performance Nov. 22 by the ensemble Nine to Five. Led by award-winning Eastman School of Music student Dominic Giardino, the concert begins at 3 p.m. in Norton Chapel.

Giardino (clarinet) is joined by Dorothy (Dolly) Canevari (bassoon), David Belkovski (piano), and Noah Kay (oboe). All are students at the Eastman School of Music.

Giardino, is a senior at the Eastman School of Music studying with Jon Manasse. He has played with the Eastman Philharmonia Opera Orchestra, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Eastman Harmonie, and the student group Ossia New Music Ensemble. Currently serving as principal clarinetist with Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band, Giardino’s passion for historical performance has lead him to explore early music at Brandeis University’s Early Clarinet Workshop, and to Ochsenhausen, Germany where he worked with the acclaimed period music orchestra Concerto Köln.

Canevari is a junior at the Eastman School of Music studying for a degree in bassoon performance from the studio of John Hunt. In addition, she is pursuing a degree in cultural anthropology at the University of Rochester. Canevari enjoys chamber music and has played in bassoon quartets, woodwind quintets and wind sextets.

Belkovski, a senior at the Eastman School of Music, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in piano performance under the instruction of Natalya Antonova. Born in Skopje, Macedonia into an exceptionally musical family, he has performed in master classes for esteemed pianists such as Boris Slutsky, Alexander Gavrylyuk, Christopher Taylor, and Frederic Chiu. Belkovski has performed at the Young Artist World Piano Competition in Cincinnati as well as Carnegie’s Weill Hall. He was most recently featured playing Mozart’s 17th Piano Concerto in collaboration with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra. Along with his solo piano endeavors, Belkovski has worked extensively with piano trios.

Kay, a junior at the Eastman School of Music, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree under Richard Killmer. He began his studies on the oboe at the age of 15, and is involved in a variety of ensemble, including the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Eastman Philharmonia, and Eastman Harmonie Octet, an auditioned ensemble specializing primarily in 18th century wind music. Over the summer, Kay was a featured musician in the Cape May Music Festival with his dad, Alan Kay, and members of the New York Chamber Ensemble. He has also attended Le Domaine Forget in Québec, Canada.

The Keuka College 125th Anniversary Concert Series continues in 2016 with a jazz trio from Ithaca College for a Valentine’s Day concert Feb. 14, a baroque-style concert featuring Publick Musick will perform March 20, and a series finale on April 17, 2016.

All concerts are free and open to the public, and held on Sundays at 3 p.m. at Keuka College’s Norton Chapel.

Rochester Native Matt Griffo will Perform Nov. 19 at Keuka College

Comedian Matt Griffo will perform Nov. 19 at Keuka College.

Free and open to the public, the show begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Red Barn Theater.

Griffo, a ukulele player who grew up in Rochester, plays original comedic songs on piano and ukulele. Now living in Chicago, Griffo is also an actor and comedian who writes songs about such topics as the environment, love, and zombies. He performs at festivals across the country, has opened for Reggie Watts, and is the composer for the Chicago smash hit Jersey Shore The Musical.

In creating his songs, Griffo says that sometimes it starts with an idea, or a melody, or “sometimes it starts with serious song lyrics that I think sound too serious, and then it becomes a comedy song.”

Griffo picked up the ukulele as a child, when he thought his hands were not big enough for a guitar.

“My dad is a drummer and guitar player, and I wanted to play guitar,” said Griffo. “I tried when he wasn’t looking and thought my hands were so small I’d never be able to playing guitar. I clearly did not realize they would grow. I looked up ‘small guitar’ online and ‘ukulele’ came up in the results,” and he’s been playing it since then.

Griffo taught himself to play the piano when he was 12 using a how-to-play-piano songbook.

“I wasn’t very good, but I practiced a lot,” said Griffo. “Years later when I was in Chicago, I was playing piano in between classes and Mike Descoteaux [head of the music program for Second City Training Center and resident music director of the ETC Stage] asked if I’d like to learn how to become an improv music director. I freaked out, and said ‘yes.’ I then practiced a lot and got by on my ear for the majority of my playing ability.”

Griffo now trains at the ACM School of Music in Chicago.

Among his favorite performers are Tom Lehrer, Tim Minchin, Flight of The Conchords, and Stephen Lynch, as well as Chicago-based comedians Boaz Reisman and Crassus.

For videos, and more information about Griffo, click here.

Putting Some Soul Into Design

Self-portrait of the artist (Sandra Devaux)

Sandra Devaux believes art should contain something of the soul. A lifelong aficionado of art and design, Devaux also enjoys finding words that convey her aesthetic beliefs.

One of those words, “meraki,” means “to do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work,” and given the term reflects her relationship with the world of art, Devaux chose it as the title of her exhibit. “Meraki,” which runs through Dec. 11 in Lightner Gallery at Lightner Library, features many branded creations Devaux has created for Keuka College, as well as photography and select drawings. An artist reception with light refreshments will be held Thursday, Nov. 12 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. and Devaux hopes guests who attend will see beyond words and graphics to the creative passion beneath them.

Drawings by Devaux

“I like to incorporate more artistic sensibilities into the design process. A lot of people think of graphic design as functional and practical, but I want people to see it as an art as well,” Devaux said.

Indeed, Devaux’s work has taken her to New York City, before a return home to Penn Yan, where, after a two-year transition freelancing for the New York Yankees and designing ads for a weekly newspaper, she joined the College in December 2012. Since then, Devaux has made her mark, so to speak, revamping a number of print and digital materials across the College before being tasked with a lead role in transforming the visual identity, including the school’s logo and its athletics mascot, in 2014. In recognition for that work, she received the school’s highest employee award, the Presidential Award for Sustained Outstanding Achievement, in August 2014.

A fresh perspective on color palettes by Sandra Devaux

According to Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art and curator of Lightner Gallery, it was important to showcase the work of a graphic designer at the gallery. The College offers a major in Art and Design, and a minor in digital design has just been added to the curriculum as well.

“Sandra’s work has impacted the College aesthetically in so many ways.  She is so talented, and has learned from some of the best, including Milton Glaser In New York City,” Newcomb added, referring to the man artists consider the “Father of Design.”

When Devaux first moved to the Big Apple in July 2005 she applied for an internship at Milton Glaser, Inc. and spent a few months under the tutelage of Glaser and his design team. Glaser is known for the state’s famous “I (Heart) NY” icon and the popular silhouette of Bob Dylan with multicolor hair.

College of design materials for the NY Yankees

“What really excited me about working there was the passion and dedication everyone had, a drive to communicate a message in a way that made it appealing and as clear as possible. That was really the first experience for me in the real world and it was very encouraging to work with people so dedicated to what they do. It was an amazing start in the right direction,” Devaux said.

From there, Devaux freelanced a short time for mNovack Design in New York, designing materials for hospitals and city colleges. The transition from internship to freelance work was fortuitous, she said, as she ultimately landed a job at the Catch 24 Advertising and Design Agency in Manhattan. There, she was assigned to national accounts including DirectTV, Lufthansa Airlines, American Express and the Yankees. She worked in New York City almost seven years before returning home to Penn Yan.

Devaux uses unique angles to showcase a collage of College designs.

A few select works from Devaux’s big-city career appear in her show; most, however, are more recent designs created for the College. But while Devaux hopes guests enjoy seeing some original prints, feeling textured paper and flipping pages, she didn’t merely frame her works. Many print pieces on the gallery walls are presented from a new perspective, one created when Devaux photographed them, often by spreading the works across a surface and shooting at an angle or adding filter effects.

“It’s amazing how typography and imagery can take on an entirely different personality depending how you look at it,” she said. “Including photographs that show design in a more abstract way helps convey that sense of art as well, and I want them to see design as I see it.”