Dec. 3

UA’s Graduate Wind Quintet back at ASA

The Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet will bring its music to the stage of the Arizona Senior Academy on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. The program will include music by Gunther Schuller, Eric Ewazen, Eugène Bozza and Beethoven.

Created in 2007 as the Arizona Graduate Winds, the ensemble is in its fourth two-year incarnation, and is the University of Arizona’s premier student chamber ensemble.

Members of the quintet are chosen by competitive auditions, and have received their undergraduate degrees from institutions across the country. They are mentored by members of the Arizona Wind Quintet, a faculty ensemble, according to music professor Daniel Katzen, a spokesman for the faculty group and student mentor.

While in residence at the UA, members of the quintet develop their careers as ensemble members and as individuals, while helping support the educational and outreach mission of the faculty ensemble. The students are pursuing master’s degrees in their individual instruments at the UA.

Current members are Kate Nichols, flute, Rachel Kamradt, oboe, Natalie Groom, clarinet, Matt Kowalczyk, bassoon, and Mike Mesner, horn.

Fred Fox was Katzen’s last teacher and a huge influence in his horn-playing career. He has been a frequent guest clinician for UA students. In recognition of his contributions as a master teacher, the School of Music named its premier student wind quintet “The Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet.”

Janet Kerans

Dec. 4

Expert to discuss advances in nanotech

UA professor of optical sciences Nasser Peyghambarian will describe the world of the very small, together with current and future applications, and the “Frontiers of Nanotechnology” at the Arizona Senior Academy on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

The current definition of nanotechnology includes anything with feature sizes of less than 100 nanometers, which is 100 billionths of a meter, or about four millionths of an inch — so small that only very sophisticated laboratory microscopes can even see these devices.

The ability to build such tiny devices allows semiconductor companies to build chips with billions of transistors on a single slice of silicon. This then enables the development and production of many of the devices that we now almost take for granted, such as cellphones.

As the ability to build ever-smaller nanotechnology continues, so does the ability to create smarter and smaller technology.

Peyghambarian received a B.S. degree in 1976 from Pahlavi University (Iran) and completed his studies at Indiana University, where he earned a master’s degree in 1979 and a Ph.D. in 1982. In addition to his UA teaching duties, he is director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Integrated Access Networks.

In his Arizona Senior Academy talk, he will discuss the current state of nanotechnology, where it is headed and the implications for electronics, optics, communication, medicine and much more.

Ivar Sanders

Dec. 5

Youth troupe stages scenes from ‘Nutcracker’

Start the holiday season with a sampling of the “The Nutcracker” ballet, performed by Dancing in the Streets Arizona. The group will be on stage at the Arizona Senior Academy in Academy Village next Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

Dancing in the Streets serves South Tucson, reaching out to at-risk youth and poor families. The troupe has 150 students, ages 3 to adult.

Co-founders and co-artistic directors Joseph Rodgers and his wife Soleste Lupo will talk about the challenges and successes of their dance company, as well as their upcoming full performance of “The Nutcracker” with the Civic Orchestra of Tucson at the Fox Tucson Theatre.

About 10 dancers will accompany them to the Arizona Senior Academy to perform.

Lupo and Rodgers met as ballet students in their teens, but went their separate ways. Rodgers went on to the San Francisco Ballet Company, until he got expelled for not following the rules. He got mixed up in the wrong crowds, and spent some years on the wrong side of the law.

He rediscovered his passion for the discipline of dance, and thereafter performed professionally for 25 years with Eliot Feld (New York), Milwaukee Ballet and Ballet Chicago, among other companies. Rodgers is the choreographer for the troupe.

Lupo has had an eclectic professional career in dance and music, having trained in ballet, jazz, viola, operatic and musical theater and choreography. In addition, she worked with the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington, D.C., where she worked on public policy and advocacy for low-income parents, children and youth.

Lupo also is the costume designer for the troupe.

The couple reconnected about 13 years ago, returned to Tucson to help care for family, and in 2008 founded Dancing in the Streets. Rodgers understands the temptations and demons faced by at-risk youth, and believes he can help them make better choices.

“We don’t just teach them to dance,” Rodgers said. “We often feed them because they have not had a good meal, provide transportation, or help with homework.”

Marcia Reinagel

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