Concert features clarinet-piano duo

The Arizona Senior Academy's weekly midday concert Tuesday will feature a talented pair of UA graduate students performing on clarinet and piano. The program begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy Building.

Daniel Becker, a teaching assistant for the UA Clarinet Studio, is pursuing a master of music degree in clarinet performance. Accompanying him will be Meily Mendez, a doctor of musical arts student in the UA College of Music, who held a teaching assistantship from 2007 to 2012.

The concert will open with "Duo for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 15," a selection in early romantic style by German composer Norbert Burgmiller. Becker and Mendez will then perform a neo-classical piece, "Concertino for Clarinet and Piano," by Jeanine Rueff, a 20th-century French composer. They will conclude with "Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 128," a number in neo-romantic style by Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

Becker received bachelor's degrees in music education and wind performance from Central Washington University and performed for five seasons with the Yakima (Wash.) Symphony Orchestra, including two seasons as principal clarinetist.

Mendez received a B.A. in music and bachelor of music in piano performance from the University of Washington and her master's of music degree in piano performance from the UA.

A substitute piano instructor at the UA, she has performed at various venues, including the Leo Rich Theater Performance Hall, the Stevie Eller Theater and the Brechemin Hall.


Genomics talk: Why DNA is not destiny

Identical twins have the same DNA, but are often quite different. Blood cells and skin cells contain identical DNA, yet they perform different functions in the body. The science attempting to understand how such differences occur is called epigenetics, and it is showing that humans and all other organisms are more than just the sum of their DNA.

That was the theme of the lecture by Dr. Donata Vercelli in the UA College of Science's "Genomics Now" series. Vercelli will repeat her lecture, "Epigenetics: Why DNA Is Not Our Destiny," at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Arizona Senior Academy Building.

"Plasticity" is the word scientists use to explain how identical genes can function differently when outside factors cause them to turn on or off.

Vercelli is a professor of cell and molecular medicine, associate director of the Arizona Respiratory Center, where she leads the Functional Genomics Laboratory, and she is also director of the Arizona Center for the Biology of Complex Diseases.

She is the lead researcher for one of the Arizona Respiratory Center and BIO5 Institute's most fascinating research projects, an effort to find out why some children acquire immunity to complex diseases such as asthma while others do not.

Her goal is to extract lessons from the environment about how it has protected us in the distant past, and to learn how genetic variants interact with a child's environment to provide immunity to certain diseases.

She will be available to answer questions at the end of the lecture.

April 11

'Secrets of Color' revealed in lecture

Color is one of the richest and most complex elements in design. It has the power to draw a strong emotional response, yet we are often unaware of how our body and brain connect and react to color.

In her lecture "Secrets of Color," Mariana Carreras will present an overview of the history and properties of this multidimensional element and take a closer look at the physiological, psychological, thermal and optical effects color offers.

The lecture will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. next Thursday in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy.

Carreras is department chair of the Visual Arts and Art History Faculty in the Arts and Humanities Department at Pima Community College. In the last 14 years, Carreras has been an active member of the art community in Tucson. She has been a guest lecturer at the Tucson Museum of Art and for the UA docent team.

Carreras received a BFA and MFA degree from George Washington University. She has been a faculty member at Pima since 1999 and received the Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award in 2012.

- H. Deon Holt - Marcia Neugebauer - Priscilla Moore