Peter Kolkay honored at Vanderbilt Faculty Assembly

Peter Kolkay accepts the Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award from Chancellor Diermeier and Faculty Senate Chair Andrea Capizzi.

Peter Kolkay, Blair associate professor of bassoon, was honored with the Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching at last week’s Vanderbilt Faculty Assembly. In presenting the award, Chancellor Diermeier noted that the student nominator described Kolkay as “attentive, constructive, and inspiring.” The Ingalls Award, endowed in 1965 by the Ingalls Foundation of Birmingham, Alabama, is one of two teaching awards presented annually. Final selection is made by the chancellor on the basis of nominations made by undergraduates of all schools and colleges.

“This award came as an enormous surprise and I’m humbled that my students took the time to nominate me,” said Kolkay. “I continue to believe that the students are the best thing about the Blair School—they inspire and challenge me every day.”

Peter Kolkay’s musicianship as a bassoonist has been called “stunningly virtuosic” by The New York Times and “superb” by the Washington Post. The student who nominated him for the award proclaimed him “a master teacher” and included such details as Kolkay keeping a notebook for each student that summarizes their lessons, holding special sessions for first-year students, and performing a duet with each student at the Blair Master Series recital. “I pick up so much from him with every rehearsal,” the nominator added. “His guidance is no doubt helping shape my future for the better.”