Percussion concert to feature keyboard-style instruments

Norman Weinberg, a University of Arizona professor of music and director of percussion studies, will accompany members of the student Percussion Studio to the Arizona Senior Academy at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in a program titled “Percussion Potpourri.”

The group often divides into smaller ensembles for specific occasions. Studio members have performed at the Arizona Senior Academy several times and are expected again in April in the form of a steel band.

Tuesday’s concert will feature a variety of music primarily performed on keyboard-style percussion instruments. Trevor Barroero, winner of both the UA School of Music and Tucson Symphony Concerto competitions, will play a marimba piece by French composer Emmanuel Séjourné, while Eric and Scott Jackson will perform the jazzy vibraphone pieces “Blues for Gilbert” and “Bee et Lila.”

Danny Barsetti-Nerland will perform the contemplative marimba work “Momento.” Chris Billings will be demonstrating some of the more contemporary sounds that can be produced with the snare drum while explaining the differences between the current American style of performance and the new French literature for this simple yet expressive instrument.

Pushing the envelope will be Liz Soflin performing “The Authors” by Stuart Saunder Smith.

Weinberg has held several positions as timpanist and plays percussion with both the Tucson Symphony and Arizona Opera. He is widely published and a highly regarded composer and performer. He recently published a new album, “Quilt,” featuring electronic works composed by Weinberg and others.

Wayne Magee


Museum of Art to mark

90 years of collecting

Fostering an awareness of fine art wasn’t a priority in the University of Arizona’s formative years. But in 1924 that began to change when Katherine Kitt, founder of what is now known as the School of Art, mounted the university’s first exhibition.

Ninety years and many art shows later, the UA Museum of Art is celebrating that landmark with “An Unfolding Legacy,” a series of exhibits featuring selections from notable collections.

Some of it has never been shown before, which isn’t surprising: With some 6,000 works of art in the museum vaults, only about 3 percent of the holdings can be displayed at one time.

Johanna Stein, a docent for the UAMA for more than a decade, will be at Academy Village to present a lecture, “The Art of Collecting,” at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

She will talk about the museum’s early years and its first major donor, C. Leonard Pfeiffer, who sold his stamp collection in order to buy American art. During the Great Depression, the fledgling art gallery, which had carved out space in the campus library, began to grow when it acquired several hundred paintings, prints and sculptures by Works Progress Administration artists.

The 1940s brought the vision and generosity of Pfeiffer. A UA alumnus, Pfeiffer believed that every student at his alma mater should have the chance to see fine art.

An astute collector, he sought American art from the 1920s through the 1940s, a period in which a unique American style emerged and produced artists such as Edward Hopper, Walt Kuhn and Isabel Bishop.

In 1944, he promised more than 100 paintings to the university with the proviso that it build a stand-alone museum. In 1955, ground was broken for the UAMA.

“American Visions: Selections from the C. Leonard Pfeiffer Collection” will be on display at the UAMA until March 23.

Caroline Bates

March 6

Professor says happiness

is more than a feeling

We all agree that happiness is something we want, even if there has never been much agreement about what makes us happy. But as Daniel C. Russell will explain in a podcast at 3:30 p.m. next Thursday at the Arizona Senior Academy, there has also been an important shift in why we talk about happiness in the first place.

His talk is the last 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 at the Fox Tucson Theatre, hosted and organized by the UA’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

When “happiness” comes up in discussion today, it’s usually because the discussion is about a feeling. In ancient Greek philosophy, however, “happiness” came up when the discussion was about a future — a practical discussion about what kind of life to give oneself and what kinds of things to live for.

Russell, a philosophy professor in the UA’s Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, believes that discussion is as important today as it has ever been. His research focuses on ancient and contemporary thinking about good people and good lives, and he explores this ancient tradition in search of new ways to think about the good lives we want for ourselves and for others.

“So, it’s worth taking a moment to think about happiness not just as how you want to feel but as what you ultimately want your life to be,” he said. “That sort of happiness means finding things to live for. One way to know when you’ve found things to live for, though, is when you have something to lose.

“That’s the catch for us. As important as feeling good is, we actually risk a lot of sorrow, frustration and disappointment for the sake of happiness; we realize that no-risk happiness isn’t really happiness.”

Mike Maharry

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