Kirby Band presents annual award

Kirby Band presents annual award

Matt Smith presents the 2014 Irving and Kathryn Hall Award to Judy Kauppinen of Chemung, N.Y. at the Kirby Band’s annual dinner meeting in Apalachin. From left, is Jon Allen, Kirby Band president; Judy Kauppinen, 2014 Hall Award winner; and Matt Smith, 2013 Hall Award winner. (Provided photo)

Judy Kauppinen, of Chemung, N.Y. received this year’s Irving and Kathryn Hall Award at the Kirby Band’s annual dinner meeting held recently at Donoli’s in Apalachin. Matt Smith, recipient of the 2013 Hall Award, presented the award. In addition to the honor, a special pin designed by Candor artist Judy Kauppinen will have her name added to the Hall Award plaque.

The prestigious Irving and Kathryn Hall Award has been given annually since 1984 to the band member or support member who has contributed the most to the band during the past season. Kauppinen, who plays trumpet, has been a Kirby Band member for many years and has designed several advertising pieces for the Kirby Band. The award is named for the late Irving and Kathryn Hall of Nichols, who provided rehearsal space for many years for the Kirby Band at the Hallwares Building in Nichols. The Kirby Band, based in Nichols, N.Y., is the second oldest community band in the United States.

Smith also presented Exemplar Awards to several band members for outstanding service to the Kirby Band. Those receiving Exemplar Awards included Dave Barton, Debbie Parmalee, Helen Rouse, Amanda Smith and Nancy Bendinsky.

President Jon Allen conducted the annual business meeting. Sandra Ridley read the minutes of the 2013 annual meeting. Sherry Spencer, treasurer, gave the financial report.

Barb Henderson gave the Business Manager’s report. She stated that the band performed 11 concerts and 13 parades during the 2014 season. These events included Memorial Day parades in the Elmira area, a concert at the Hickories Park in Owego, as well as parades and concerts throughout the Twin Tiers. The band also performed in August at its Monday night concerts in Kirby Park in Nichols and participated in the Nichols Olde Home Days Labor Day celebration. Fall events included the Towanda Halloween parade and the Ithaca Veterans’ Day parade; and the band was slated to participate in the Sayre Christmas Parade, and the Waverly, Tinsel ‘n Lights event.

Band Director Don VanScoy reported that the 2014 season was one of the best concert seasons. He also mentioned that renovations to the inside of the Kirby Band Rehearsal Hall on West River Road were made possible this past year through the receipt of a grant from the Mildred Faulkner Truman Foundation and anonymous donations for the renovation of the Kirby Band Rehearsal Hall.

The following slate of officers was elected unanimously by the band members: Jon Allen, president; Janine Callear, vice-president; Sandra Ridley, secretary; Sherry Spencer, treasurer; and Barb Henderson, business manager.

In addition, the following board members at large were elected: Jim Halton, Judy Kauppinen, Matthew Smith, Amanda Smith, Carl Larson, Ron and Rita Billings, Gary Kauppinen, Nancy Bendinsky, Don VanScoy, Lisa Reed and Dave Barton.

Band member Nancy Bendinsky, accompanied by Mary Nason, performed several selections on handbells, and band member Kalei Fenn performed a dance routine for entertainment for the evening.

The Nichols-based Kirby Band is comprised of volunteer musicians from all walks of life from throughout the Twin Tiers under the direction of Don VanScoy. The Kirby Band rehearses Monday evenings at 7 p.m. at the former Asbury Church on River Road in Nichols.

The band invites area musicians to attend its Monday evening rehearsals. No auditions are required.

For directions to the Asbury Church or for further information on rehearsals, contact Jon Allen at (570) 886-0229), Janine Callear at (570) 888-6092), or Don VanScoy at (607) 687-2718.

The Kirby Band is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts’ Decentralization Program administered by the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.

For further information about the Kirby Band or to schedule a performance for the 2015 season, contact Barb Henderson at (607) 642-3477, Jon Allen at (570) 886-0229, or Janine Callear at (570) 888-6092.

For more information, you can also visit the Kirby Band online at