June 18

Folk singer's concert features 'sung stories'

Folk music historian and artist Pamela Reinagel will present a concert of "sung stories" at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy. The performance will highlight the traditional art of ballad singing.

Inspired by American folk music legend Doc Watson and the haunting melodies of ballads he recorded, Reinagel began exploring songs and stories by other traditional folk singers and discovered a rich litany of music leading back to earlier ballads of England, Ireland and Scotland.

Listening to recordings of traditional ballad singers brought Reinagel to new interpretations of more familiar, recently written songs from both sides of the Atlantic.

Reinagel will perform "songs that tell interesting and often touching stories - whether tragic or triumphant, intimate or epic, familiar or obscure."

Earlier this year, Reinagel's singing was featured at the Adams Avenue Roots Festival in San Diego, where she lives with her two children. She is a professor of biology at the University of California-San Diego.

Her father, Fred Reinagel, is founder and artistic director of the Vail Chorale, a community chorus sponsored by the Arizona Senior Academy and the Vail School District.

June 20

Can music really make us smarter?

Do theories such as the "Mozart effect," asserting that music rewires the brain, have any validity? Can adding music to a third-grade curriculum have a dramatic effect on math and language scores? Why were the ancients concerned about the power of music?

The provocative power of music has been acknowledged since antiquity. Modern scientists who study our complex relationship with music are beginning to find some of the reasons why.

Janice Jarrett, a writer, educator and musician, will address the most recent studies and continuing controversies surrounding music and the brain.

Sponsored by the Arizona Humanities Council, Jarrett's talk is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. next Thursday at the Arizona Senior Academy.

The talk will consider what happens in our brains when we make music or when we just listen to it. Jarrett says she hopes the audience "will take away a better understanding of music's value as well as some fascinating facts about its effect on us."

Jarrett has a B.A. in voice and composition from Antioch College and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University. As a college professor, she developed curricula and produced concerts and festivals. She moved to Los Angeles, where she founded Borrowed Time, a five-voice jazz group. After coming to Tucson, she continued to perform and teach. She also has written profiles and reviews for the Arizona Daily Star and other newspapers.

About Academy Village

• Events are held in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center, 13715 E. Langtry Lane.

• Nonresidents who want to ensure priority seating can make reservations by emailing info@arizonasenioracademy.org or calling 647-0980.

• To learn more about the academy, go to www.asa-tucson.org online.

• Visitors can buy lunch at the Academy Cafe across the courtyard from the Arizona Senior Academy Building. The cafe is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Prices range from $4.50 to $9.50. For more information, call the cafe at 647-0903.

• Academy Village is an active-adult community off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East.

Valerie Anderson Priscilla Moore