At the Academy: Four free events in the coming week

2014-02-06T00:00:00Z At the Academy: Four free events in the coming weekSubmitted by Mike Maharry Academy Village Volunteer Arizona Daily Star
Feb. 11

Pianist to play concert

on a Gershwin theme

A virtuosic twist on Gershwin tunes will highlight a concert by pianist Paul Joseph Kohler at the Arizona Senior Academy at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The program will feature the “Seven Virtuoso Etudes on Themes of Gershwin” by Earl Wild, selections by contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Paert, as well as some of Kohler’s own works including improvisation.

Kohler is a student of Paula Fan’s, a regents professor of music, and is working toward a master’s degree in music at the University of Arizona. He completed his undergraduate degree in music and philosophy at Utah Valley University in 2010.

Beginning music studies at the age of 12, Kohler showed a gift for the piano, organ and composition. During his teen years he composed several works for piano and also for organ, cello and unaccompanied choir.

He went to school off and on during his 20s while continuing to compose, improvise and play the piano. He studied piano mostly on his own, though he did have opportunities to study with Michael Lobberegt of the Mozarteum and Sofia Rosoff (protégé of Abby Whiteside), among others.

He compares his path to that of past musicians whose families encouraged them to pursue more practical means of employment, but the call of music was too strong to be ignored. Finally choosing to complete a music degree, he recognized that he’d really been a musician all along, but it took a while to accept that and what it meant for his life. He now regards music as a calling.

— Leslie Nitzberg

Feb. 12

Video: Where we live, work affects happiness

Dr. Esther Sternberg, an internationally recognized physician and research scientist, believes where we live and work have a lot to do with how happy we are.

Her lecture, “How Our Surroundings Influence Happiness & Health,” was part of last fall’s Downtown Lecture Series on Happiness. And on Wednesday the Arizona Senior Academy will present a video recording of her talk on the Academy’s big screen beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Her discoveries of the role of the central nervous system and the brain’s stress response in susceptibility to arthritis and other diseases, including depression, were among the first to provide a scientific basis for the importance of the mind-body connection in health and disease.

Sternberg joined the UA in 2012 as professor of medicine and research director at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, with joint appointments in the UA Institute of the Environment and the UA College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.

She is recognized by the National Library of Medicine as one of 300 women physicians who changed the face of medicine. Her books include “Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being” and “The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions.”

Sternberg’s talk is the second of five encore lectures the Arizona Senior Academy is presenting to give east-side residents a chance to see and hear the speakers featured in last fall’s Downtown Lecture Series.

On Feb. 20 Charles Raison will speak live on “Compassion Training as a Path to Genuine Happiness.” On Feb. 26, David Raichlen will speak live on “The Evolutionary Links Between Exercise and Happiness” and on March 6 the academy will present a video recording of Daniel C. Russell’s talk, “Happiness — A Feeling or a Future?”

— Mike Maharry

Feb. 13

Can George Washington be called a superstar?

George Washington was one of our greatest military and political leaders. But can we also say he was a superstar?

Charles Tampio, in a talk at the Arizona Senior Academy next Thursday at 3:30 p.m., will defend this point of view in a presentation on how Washington’s image has been treated from colonial days to the present. There are images depicting his ascent into heaven and selling cranberries in Maine.

“George Washington, Superstar” examines America’s unremitting interest in Washington’s character, accomplishments and legends. We learn why he still is “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

Tampio is familiar to Academy Village from earlier talks about our national monuments. He spent decades in Washington, D.C., first as an anchorman for CSPAN television, then working for various civic, education and environmental organizations, as an occasional speechwriter for public officials and doing research on educational materials about national monuments and memorials.

All this was after his graduate work at Syracuse University and his service in the Peace Corps.

Tampio is the only active docent working at both Tucson Museum of Art and the UA Museum of Art. Besides docent duties, his retirement includes working at his horse ranch on the east side, occasionally leading excursions into the desert on horseback and in 4-wheel drives for Trail Dust Adventure Tours, and giving talks about U.S. history.

— Brack Brown

Feb. 14

UA expert to discuss joint-pain research

Relief for those suffering from the pain of arthritis or fibromyalgia will be addressed in “Keeping Joint Pain at Bay,” a free presentation at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy.

Dr. Jeffrey Lisse will discuss pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches to reducing pain and inflammation caused by arthritis or fibromyalgia.

Current research suggests that effective communication between health-care providers and patients reduces anxiety and the perception of discomfort. A whole-body approach to treating arthritis pain — medication, exercise and stress-reduction techniques — is becoming standard.

In his talk, Lisse will discuss the risks and benefits of current therapies and explain current research into pain management.

Lisse is professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine at the UA College of Medicine. He holds the Ethel McChesney Bilby Endowed Chair for Osteoporosis and is medical director of the Osteoporosis Program at the University of Arizona Arthritis Center.

Lisse has published several articles on therapies for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and on the epidemiology of rheumatic diseases. He is vice-president of the Arizona Osteoporosis Coalition and president of the Tucson Rheumatism Society.

— Janet Kerans

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