Free summer events
Exciting performances, thought-provoking lectures
The School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions invites you to continue your education in one of the most enjoyable ways possible—by attending our free summer events series! We offer concerts and lectures at no charge to encourage you to take a chance and experience something new or listen to music you may never have heard, all while visiting our gorgeous campus.
See the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday pages for a list of past events.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 7:30 pm
Soprano Karen Wonder Dumont, a featured performer in summer shows at Cornell since 2009, will present an evening of song ranging from Irish folk songs to American standards, plus musical theater favorites and excerpts from Britten, Delibes, and Verdi operas. She will be joined by pianist Bill Cowdery, harpist Anna O'Connell, and friends from Savoyards Musical Theatre.
Friday, July 1, 2016, 7:00 pm
Cornell Arts Quad
The Zydeco Trail Riders have been playing dance tunes for zydeco, Cajun, and creole music aficionados in upstate New York since 2004. The band is led by its founder, Greg Grodem, who learned to play accordion zydeco-style on trips to southwest Louisiana in the 1990s. Other band members include Jim Reidy on guitar, Ted Oberhaus on bass, Stuart Krasnoff on drums, and Sally Freund on rubboard. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Tuesday, July 5, 2016, 7:30 pm
Described by Dirty Linen magazine as having "a deep knowledge and love of the music and a palpable zest for playing," Traonach plays Irish traditional dance music at its straight-ahead best. Comprising seasoned session players from across the U.S. who now reside in Ithaca—including several who’ve been playing together for more than a quarter century—Traonach delivers a high-energy performance that has audiences at festivals and concert halls quickly on their feet.
Friday, July 8, 2016, 7:00 pm
Cornell Arts Quad
Coracree melds a transatlantic mix of traditional Celtic, old-time, European, and original music with a playful, improvisational style—featuring the lively fiddling of Jane Rothfield, the driving swing of Bill Quern on tenor banjo, mandolin, and melodeon, the inventive guitar stylings of Sarah Gowan, and the melodic and rhythmic stand-up bass playing of Allan Carr.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 7:30 pm
Soulful, lively, and lyrical, Crimson offers a melodic and rhythmic blending of Latin jazz and world music from the past and present, including classics from the Brazilian bossa nova era, folkloric gems from south of the border, and modern songs written by contemporary composers. The band features Sally Ramirez, a classically trained vocalist whose music ranges from opera to jazz to folk; Doug Robinson, who’s had a diverse career of touring and session work as a vocalist, guitarist, bassist, and producer; and violinist Eric Aceto, a busy session player and touring musician and acclaimed designer of musical instruments.
Friday, July 15, 2016, 7:00 pm
Cornell Arts Quad
Radio London captures the spirit of ‘60s AM radio with danceable classics from British Invasion bands from the Animals to the Zombies, plus Motown and Surf sounds and more. Close harmonies, a tight rhythm section, and searing solos are hallmarks of this beloved local band, which features John Simon on guitar and vocals, Ken Zeserson on guitar, sax, and vocals, Jon Hilton on bass, Mike Vitucci on guitar, and Dan Lashkoff on drums and vocals.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016, 7:30 pm
With a shared interest in historical performance, violinist Wayne Lee and fortepianist Mike Cheng-Yu Lee will present a program of works by Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven. Mike Lee holds a PhD in musicology from Cornell University, where he studied with Malcolm Bilson, and currently teaches at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University–Bloomington. An active chamber musician living in New York, Wayne Lee is a member of the acclaimed Formosa Quartet and the Manhattan Piano Trio.
Friday, July 22, 2016, 7:00 pm
El Rumbon means “big dance party”—and that’s what you get when this hot Latin band launches into a merengue, plena, bomba, cumbia, or chachacha. Led by conga player Charlie Izzo, El Rumbon keeps feet in motion with authentic and irresistible music from way south of the border, played with passion and joy on brass, strings, and percussion.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 7:30 pm
Troica is a unique chamber ensemble comprising three members of the faculty of Ithaca College’s School of Music: Kim Dunnick (trumpet), Steven Mauk (alto saxophone), and Diane Birr (piano). The trio draws on existing repertoire and has helped create a body of new works for this combination of instruments, including pieces by Dana Wilson, Marc Satterwhite, Peter Lawrence, Mikhail Bronner, Efrem Podgaits, and Dominick DiOrio.
In addition to its performances in the U.S., Troica has performed in Russia, Slovenia, Siberia, Ireland, and Australia. The trio draws its name from the Russian word troika, which denotes a three-horse sleigh or a governing body made up of three equal individuals. The latter definition was most appropriate for this musical ensemble, but with a respelling using IC to indicate the Ithaca College connection.
Friday, July 29, 2016, 7:00 pm
A longtime favorite of critics and fans, The Horse Flies blend Americana roots with indie rock, ethnic percussion, creative songwriting, and a fierce, percolating groove. With a love of both the traditional and the modern, The Flies have consistently explored the intersection of the two to create a musical world all their own. Part trance-inducing minimalism, achieved through a neo-primitive approach to fiddle music, and part folk-rock American gothic, The Flies’ music is intense, quirky, poetic, and extremely skillful. (Photo credit: Thomas Hoebbel)
Tuesday, August 2, 2016, 12:00 am
Journey West chronicles the migration of musical melodies from their countries of origin to distant lands. Led by ensemble director Max Buckholtz and featuring Dara Anissi, Mark Weinand, Chad Lieberman, and Nikolai Ruskin, this musical journey will follow tunes as they wander the globe as a result of war, imperialism, nomadic dispersions, mass emigrations, and musical crazes. This trek specifically tracks melodies and instrumentation starting in the Middle East and traveling through Europe and across the ocean to the New World.
Friday, August 5, 2016, 7:00 pm
Central New York’s premier gypsy swing band, Djug Django has been delighting dancers and jazz buffs for years. The ensemble specializes in the music of guitarist Django Reinhardt, who founded the Quintette du Hot Club in Paris in the 1930s—but they also perform jazz standards, Latin rhythms, and “N’awlins soul,” as well as originals by band member and multi-instrumentalist Dave Davies.
"I love summer in Ithaca because of the series keep it up SCE!"
"It's a wonderful community resource a great variety of events and you can't beat the price!"