July 15

Flutist Acosta performs solo and with bassoonist Arévalo

On Tuesday, virtuoso flutist Mindi Acosta comes to Academy Village to offer a varied program. The concert begins at 11:30 a.m.

In addition to Acosta’s solo performances, bassoonist Juan José Arévalo will collaborate with her in Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6” and as a contrabassoonist in Bertoni’s “Dialogue Between the Bear and the Nightingale,” for which Acosta will switch to piccolo.

A Tucson native, Acosta served as principal flute with the former Tucson Chamber Orchestra and was a member of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra. At the University of Arizona, she studied flute performance with Jean-Louis Kashy. She has performed and given master classes throughout the U.S., Mexico and Europe, including the 2001 WASBE festival in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Acosta has served on the board of the Tucson Flute Club and has worked as the librarian for the National Flute Association. She has performed and competed with several chamber groups and was a two-time finalist in the prestigious Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.

She gave the world premiere of David Finko’s Concerto for Piccolo in 2007 with the Tucson Chamber Orchestra and currently performs with the Tucson Repertory Orchestra and Duo con Brio, a flute and guitar duo. She is the flute teacher for the Tucson Symphony Women’s Association and maintains a private studio in Tucson, where she lives with her daughter.

Arévalo, a native of Donna, Texas, began studying the bassoon at age 14 with Ron Dunmore as primary instructor, on occasion with Martin Garcia, and UA School of Music alumna Gretchen Hausfeld. During that time he was selected to the Texas All-State Band and Orchestra. His initial collegiate studies began at Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

At the UA, he is principal bassoonist with the UA Philharmonic Orchestra, and third/contrabassonist with the UA Wind Ensemble. He mentors undergraduate students through the Arizona Assurance Mentor Program. Arévalo is also a member of the Tucson Repertory Orchestra and most recently made his international debut with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Sonora.

Fritz Reinagel

July 16

Investigator to offer tips

on home fire safety

A house fire at Academy Village earlier this year underscored the need for homeowners to be well- informed about residential fire safety. To help meet that need, the Arizona Senior Academy is presenting a lecture on fire safety and the fundamentals of how experts determine the origin and cause of fires and explosions.

Steve Lyons, who was called in by the insurance company to investigate the cause of that Academy Village fire, will give a presentation at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Great Room of the Senior Academy Building.

Lyons said his talk will illustrate the difference between the “Hollywood” portrayal of a residential fire and the reality of an uncontrolled house fire. He will also discuss the common causes for residential fires and safety practices to survive such fires.

He will also discuss how and why fires are investigated and explain the qualifications to be a fire investigator.

Lyons has 18 years’ experience in conducting investigations — 10 years as a patrol officer/detective with the Anchorage (Alaska) Police Department, three years as a public sector fire investigator with the Anchorage Fire Department and five years as a private sector fire investigator with Lyons Investigations & Consulting in Tucson.

He is a certified fire investigator with the International Association of Arson Investigators and a certified fire and explosion investigator and certified fire investigation instructor with the National Association of Fire Investigators.

Mike Maharry

July 18

Vet in training finds poverty in rural Russia striking

As a Russian major at Bryn Mawr College, Kristina Kronauer spent the summer of 2011 in St. Petersburg. Now, having just returned from a year in rural Russia, she says her earlier impressions of Russia were wrong.

“The face Russia shows us is not what Russia really is,” she said. “St. Petersburg and Moscow are Western cities in a giant country where life has stood still, sometimes since czarist times, and definitely in most areas since the Soviet era.”

She will describe her experiences in a talk titled “A Year in Rural Russia,” at 3:30 p.m. July 18.

Kronauer wanted to attend veterinary school, so when her undergraduate studies were completed she accepted a job on a 3,000-head dairy farm near Penza, Russia.

“This was not a random gap-year between undergrad and vet school,” she said. “It is directly related to the type of work I intend on doing later in life, and other American vets highly encouraged me to take the offer not so much as a résumé builder to get into school but as a career jump into the field.”

The plan seems to have worked.

“I was thrown head-first into animal care and veterinary medicine, from basic vaccine schemes to treating injury and illness, doing surgery and pulling breached calves — all in Russian.”

Starting in August, she’ll begin a four-year course of study at the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine.

The biggest way in which her perception of Russia changed was “the backwardness and poverty that I hadn’t seen in St. Petersburg. Twenty-two percent of the country is still without running water in their homes, compared to 0.6 percent in the U.S. Water shortages are common even in towns that do have running water, and electricity often goes out. Roads I used in the villages shouldn’t even count as roads.”

But she also came home with a renewed respect and admiration for the people “who opened their homes to me and taught me how one can be content with so little, as long as we have the love of our families.”

Mike Maharry

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