The Kingfisher String Quartet to perform

The Kingfisher String Quartet, a chamber ensemble established in 2008, will perform a lunchtime concert at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy.

The quartet is composed of Benjamin Nisbet, violin; Ellen Chamberlain, violin; Emma Votapek, viola; and Anne Gratz, cello.

All are members of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and are recognized as some of the most active and accomplished musicians in Southern Arizona. Each is a dedicated music educator as well.

Co-founder Nisbet says Kingfisher is one of the few professional string quartets in the Tucson area. The group is committed to performing a standard repertoire of quartet music as well as collaborating with other arts organizations in creating new musical experiences.

One of their collaborative efforts is with the Tucson-based Artifact Dance Project, which focuses on choreography and new music, including dance, film and visual arts. Nisbet serves as the project's musical co-director.

The material for the Academy Village concert will be taken from an Artifact Dance Project program titled "I Wonder If My Name Is Alice." Information on the program is available at www.artifactdanceproject.com online.

Tuesday's concert at the Arizona Senior Academy highlights works by Dmitri Shostakovich and Maurice Ravel.

This is Nisbet's third visit to Academy Village, and the first for the Kingfisher Quartet.


Earth to universe:

Is anybody out there?

Are we the only intelligent life forms in the universe? People have long pondered this question with feelings ranging from curiosity to terror at thoughts of what other advanced civilizations might lie beyond in the cosmos. Can our knowledge of astronomy help us understand the likelihood of the existence of alien life?

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence and understanding the likelihood of the existence of alien life will be the subject of Desika Narayanan's presentation at the Arizona Senior Academy at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

How many other civilizations could exist in the universe? As a basis of his talk, Narayanan will describe the Drake Equation and the individual components of this equation. The equation was developed to estimate the number of potential civilizations in the galaxy, and draws on a number of interesting aspects of astrophysics, including star formation, planet formation and astrobiology.

Narayanan will also include a discussion about some ongoing efforts at the University of Arizona to understand the physics of planet formation.

Narayanan, the Bart J. Bok Fellow at the University of Arizona, has long been interested in astronomy. He describes himself as a theorist interested in a broad range of problems related to star formation, galaxy formation and evolution, as well as interstellar material physics.

April 4

Tucson and Phoenix:

A Tale of Two Cities


Why are Tucson and Phoenix - two cities that apparently share so much of the same Southwestern desert environment - so different from each other? Almost any resident of either community would agree that they are very different and would likely argue for the superiority of one over another. But what caused the Valley of the Sun to be so unlike the Old Pueblo?

A few years ago, Michael T. Logan, head of the history department at Oklahoma State University, decided to address that question in a book titled "Desert Cities: The Environmental History of Phoenix and Tucson."

On April 4 at 3:30 p.m., Charles T. Prewitt, a distinguished geologist, 12-year director of the Geophysical Laboratory at Carnegie Institution of Washington D.C., and Academy Village resident, will review Logan's book and examine its conclusions.

In addition, Prewitt, who has lived in both cities, will share data and maps featuring the two metropolitan areas that are not available in Logan's book.

Logan, a native of Tucson with a Ph.D. from the UA, approached the differences between the two cities from several directions: geological, historical, political, economic and social. He found that one prevailing difference between the two communities throughout their history has concerned water, including its volume, availability, management and its business and household use. He cites the Salt River Project and the Central Arizona Project as having related and central impacts on the two cities.

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 located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

- Valerie Anderson - Glenda Tonkin - Janet Kerans