‘Two Christines’ return for flute-harp recital
The “Two Christines” bring their flute-harp duo to the Arizona Senior Academy on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m., performing works by Ravel, Debussy and Piazzolla, along with lesser-known composers Vittorio Monti, Joachim Andersen, Jacques Casterede and Benjamin Godard.
Flutist Christine Harper and harpist Christine Vivona have delighted Tucson audiences with their sound, playing pieces originally written for flute and harp, as well as transcriptions of works written for other instruments. Their repertoire is drawn from classical, jazz, Broadway, Celtic and contemporary selections.
Vivona received a master of music from the prestigious Juilliard School and a doctorate in harp performance from the University of Arizona. She is principal harp for the Tucson Chamber Artists and harp II with the Tucson Symphony.
She is in demand as a recording artist both as soloist and accompanist. Her own CDs, “Radiance” and “Red Hot and Blue,” receive international airtime on classical and jazz radio.
Harper has served as principal flute with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra since 1999. She studied piano and flute as a child and later earned a bachelor’s degree in both instruments from Indiana University in Bloomington. She holds a master of music degree from the University of Arizona, where she was principal flutist with the Arizona Symphony.
Harper received acclaim for her concerto performances with the Southern Arizona Symphony in 2005, 2007 and 2009, and has appeared at several National Flute Association Conventions, both as performer and lecturer.
Harper and Vivona both maintain private teaching studios in Tucson and perform at a variety of venues around town.
Author discredits stereotype of helpless Afghan women
Twelve years ago in Austin, Texas, Peggy Kelsey, a professional photographer with degrees in social work and education, met a delegation of 14 Afghan women. Their strength, humor and resiliency, so contrary to the media image of Afghan women’s helplessness at the time, inspired Kelsey to create the Afghan Women’s Project.
The project took her to Afghanistan in 2003 for six weeks. She returned with portraits and stories of 40 Afghan women. Since then, Kelsey has traveled America with her exhibit and slide presentations, sharing their stories.
In 2007, she traveled to Jordan to chronicle the experiences of Iraqi refugee women, and in 2010 she returned to Afghanistan for 10 weeks.
In 2012, her book “Gathering Strength: Conversations With Afghan Women” was published. In the words of Khaled Hosseini, author of “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” Kelsey’s book “gives voice to the struggles, sacrifices and hopes of a remarkable cast of Afghan women. This illuminating and moving collection of interviews is a testament to the courage and resilience of women who collectively yearn to rebuild their war-torn nation and for the freedom to choose the course of their own lives.”
On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., Kelsey will bring her story — and the stories of the Afghan women she has met and photographed — to the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy.
Kelsey will present “Afghanistan: A View From the Ground,” which opens with some surprising things she has found, including a children’s circus, women drivers, women studying tae kwon do and basketball with male instructors, and more.
Her presentation will include many stories of the women she has interviewed, and maps and aerial shots to give a sense of place and geography. Kelsey’s presentation is intended to be an eye-opening and stereotype-breaking introduction to the current situation in Afghanistan in general and the status of Afghan women in particular.