At the Academy: Soaring songs, objects that soared

2014-08-07T00:00:00Z At the Academy: Soaring songs, objects that soaredSubmitted By Mike Maharry Academy Village Volunteer Arizona Daily Star
Aug. 12

Soprano to mix opera classics, social satire

Soprano Lindsey McHugh‘s vocal recital at the Arizona Senior Academy Tuesday will feature classical arias and art songs, but she also promises to include a few social satire songs by Tom Lehrer.

On the program, which begins at 11:30 a.m., will be a combination of opera and oratorio arias and art songs by composers such as Bach, Handel, Charpentier and Richard Strauss, as well as selections by Tom Lehrer.

Pianist Leeza Beriyeva will provide accompaniment for the classical pieces while McHugh will accompany herself for the Lehrer set.

McHugh is a senior at the University of Arizona, majoring in choral music education, but her accomplishments show she is no novice musician. She recently returned from Vienna and Prague, where she sang with the Arizona Choir, UA’s elite choral ensemble, at the Musikverein and Dvorak Hall.

Since spring 2011 she has been a featured soloist with Sons of Orpheus — the male choir of Tucson — and will travel with the group to Paris in the summer of 2015.

She regularly appears as soloist with the Tucson Pops Orchestra and the Arizona Symphonic Winds.

As a collaborative pianist, coach and director, McHugh has worked with voice and instrumental students at Pima Community College and the UA, as well as with choirs at the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church and Desert Sky Middle School in Vail.

She has also served as musical director, accompanist and coach for productions with the Red Barn Theatre Company, Mystery Mansion Dinner Theatre of Tucson, Pima college and the UA.McHugh is an active member of the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Arizona Council of the Blind. She plans meetings, organizes recreational outings, and is always eager to volunteer. Having won a scholarship from the SAZCB in 2012, she co-chairs its scholarship and college mentoring committee.

Aug. 14

Meteorites, movies and myths

Imagine that you’re a New Jersey resident rocking peacefully on your front porch one evening when a small fireball rockets from the sky at warp speed and BOOM! something smashes into your roof.

The whole neighborhood is alarmed. What was it? A Martian as in Orson Wells’ famous “War of the Worlds” broadcast? A miniature saucer from Area 51? An ordinary meteorite? You dial 911. The police arrive, secure the area and begin a search. They find a dense, rocklike object about the size of a golf ball, weighing just short of a pound! What to do next?

Jeremy Delaney, space geologist from nearby Rutgers University, is on the case. He and some colleagues do a preliminary examination at the police station and tentatively pronounce the object an iron meteorite based on its shape and density. However, something is not quite right.

On closer inspection, the irregular orb appears to be made of a stainless-steel alloy, something that doesn’t occur in nature. And after further analysis Delaney discovers it is indeed part of a spacecraft — or space junk.

“Basically, it’s a piece of stainless steel,” he said. “Huge amounts of material have been left in orbit by various space programs.”

Sometimes rocket parts or other orbital debris fall to earth.

Delaney will present a lecture on “Meteorites, Myths and Movies” at the Arizona Senior Academy at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 14.

Delaney is a senior researcher in Rutgers’ Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. His Ph.D. is from Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group of leading research institutions.

His students say he’s “an excellent professor. Charming accent, strong interest and experience in his subject, knows how to add some flavor to the lectures to make them funny and interesting.”

Leslie Nitzberg

Stan Davis

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