Congratulations to senior Walker Konkle, who has been named as the recipient of Penn State’s John W. Oswald Award for Creative and Performing Arts. This university-wide award is given to graduating seniors who have provided outstanding leadership and demonstrated excellence in the arts.
Walker is completing his bachelor’s degree in violin performance, and is a student of professor James Lyon. He is a member of Penn State’s Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra. He is the former principal second violinist of the Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra and former concertmaster of the Bloomsburg University Community Orchestra. He is also is an active theater musician, performing regularly with the Penn State School of Theatre. He has been featured on radio stations such as WVIA and WRAK News/Talk.
In fall 2016, Walker became president of the Performing Arts Council, a university affiliate organization designed to break down the walls between student performing arts organizations on campus and to promote collaboration across styles and mediums. The organization encompasses five different genres – theatre, dance, vocal, instrumental and spoken word – and regularly hosts performances for each genre.
“In order to provide a meaningful arts experience for every student on campus, we urge all groups to work together in some capacity, whether it be interactive performances or workshops,” Konkle said. “This opportunity has not only given me a way to express my passion for the arts in their entirety but also a way to grow as a leader within the performing arts space.”
In addition to the Performing Arts Council, Walker is also a member of the Penn State Student Leader Roundtable hosted by Damon Sims, the Center for the Performing Arts Community Advisory Council, and the Music at Penn's Woods Advisory Council.
“Because of my diverse training at Penn State, it has entirely opened my eyes to the variety within the performing arts as a whole,” Konkle said. “It has allowed me to take a step back and realize the vastness of all the styles of art being performed.”
After graduation in May, Walker will marry his fiancé, Emily Karosas (‘016 M.M.), and work as a summer intern in the College of Arts and Architecture’s Department of Development and Alumni Relations (DDAR). He plans to enter a graduate program in Arts Administration in fall 2017 in order to study both traditional and non-traditional ways to elevate the role of the arts within communities.