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Archive for the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ Category

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.”

Keuka College President Jorge Díaz-Herrera To Perform Recital Nov. 1

Keuka College President Dr. Jorge Díaz-Herrera will share part of his musical heritage as he performs a recital on the Arpa Llanera Venezolana (South American Harp) Sunday, Nov. 1.

The concert begins at 2 p.m. at Rochester’s historic Chapel Hill, formerly the chapel at Sacred Heart Academy. It will be a benefit to support the Arts & Cultural Council of Rochester.

A native of Venezuela, Dr. Díaz-Herrera began playing harp, Venezuelan cuatro, and guitar as a young teenager. Since then, music has been a large part of his life. During his performance, Dr. Díaz-Herrera will demonstrate the rich melodies of Latin American music and different playing techniques of the harp.

Dr. Díaz-Herrera has performed at a variety of venues including at a harp conference at Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music and at the Eastman School of Music’s Summer Music Camp.

Tickets are $20 for Arts & Cultural Council members and $25 for nonmembers, and are available online, at, or make your check payable to Arts & Cultural Council (with ‘concert’ in the memo line) and mail to: Arts & Cultural Council, 31 Prince Street, Rochester 14607. Seating is limited.

Cordanica Chamber Ensemble Concert at Keuka College

Dr. David Harman

Cordanica, a Rochester-based chamber music ensemble, will present a concert Sunday, Nov. 8 at Keuka College.

The concert, titled “Music of Water,” begins at 3 p.m. in Norton Chapel and is open to the public. While the concert is free, donations will be accepted.

Featuring conductor Dr. David Harman, Cordanica will perform the music of George Butterworth, Frank Bridge, Virgil Thomson, and Arnold Bax.

Formed in 2009 by violinist Pia Liptak and oboist Kathleen Suher, Cordancia’s programs blend eclectic, vibrant music with a traditional classic repertoire. Its array of performance groups span from small chamber ensembles to full chamber orchestra, and includes chamber orchestra concerts, chamber music performances, and school presentations in collaborations with schools in the Rochester area.

Suher and Liptak are both members of the University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra; Suher serves as the principal oboist while Liptak is the concertmaster, a position she has held for more than 13 years.

Kathleen Suher and Pia Liptak

Celebrating her 18th season with the orchestra, Suher participates in various chamber music ensembles in Rochester. Originally from central Pennsylvania, she studied oboe at Dickinson College with Anita Brandon. While attending the University of Rochester, she took lessons with the Eastman School’s oboe professor, Richard Killmer.

A graduate of Syracuse University College of Law, Suher is an attorney and works as in house counsel for Home Properties, a real estate investment company based in Rochester.

A native of Odense, Denmark, Liptak is on the faculty of the Hochstein School of Music and Dance and performs as a soloist and chamber musician in Europe and the United States.

Ensemble collaborations include Liptak-Beaudette Duo and Legno Duo, and she has recorded three CDs with Japanese koto-player Ryuko Mizutani.

Liptak holds diplomas in piano and violin from the Carl Nielsen Academy and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music. Prior to moving to the U.S., she served as the concertmaster for Den Fynske Sinfonietta and was a member of the Odense Symphony Orchestra.

David Harman earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from California State University at Sacramento, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music. He has also studied at the Aspen Music School, and in Paris as a French Government Scholar.

In addition to his position as professor of music and director of orchestral activities at the University of Rochester, Harman also serves as music director of the Penfield Symphony Orchestra and music director emeritus of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

He received the Richard H. Snook Award from the Monroe County School Music Association in recognition of his contributions to music education in 2005 and in 2008, the Rochester Chapter of the professional music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon selected him as Musician of the Year.