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“Music and Poetry of the Starry Skies” – Planetarium Fundraiser



Reno, Nev. – Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center at the University of Nevada, Reno, will host a special evening of poetry reading and musical performance in the Planetarium SkyDome, featuring Sierra star guide and poet, Tony Berendsen, and the Reno string quartet, Accent, during an annual benefit in celebration of Global Astronomy Month. The “Music and Poetry of the Starry Skies” performance will be held Monday, April 18 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Planetarium on the University campus. The special event is open to the community and proceeds will support Planetarium programs.

The evening will debut a new work for string quartet by composer Phil Popham, performed by the chamber music ensemble Accent, in accompaniment to Berendsen’s poems, Elders, Wonders and Cinders. Accent is directed by Eileen Brownell and comprised of leading Reno musicians who have played with such artists as the Moody Blues, ELO and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and with vocalists from the Metropolitan Opera.

The evening will also include an awards presentation honoring several young poets from area schools who recently participated in an Astro-poetry competition. Telescope viewing at the Planetarium after the performance will be provided by Tahoe Star Tours and Celestron Telescopes, weather permitting.

“April is Global Astronomy Month and the Planetarium is celebrating this year with this exciting gala-like event,” said Dan Ruby, Planetarium associate director. “We are pleased that Tony is offering this wonderful evening and we’re so honored to receive such generous support of the Planetarium.”

An award-winning amateur astronomer, poet and president of the Northern Nevada Science Coalition, Tony Berendsen is also past president of the Astronomical Society of Nevada. He has been showing the skies above northern Nevada and California for the past 15 years. He writes astronomy articles and specializes in astronomy outreach by conducting stargazing sessions of the Sierra sky, including regular starry-sky tours at Northstar at Tahoe.

“Music and Poetry of the Starry Skies” will be held Monday, April 18 in the SkyDome at Fleischmann Planetarium on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. General seating begins at 6 p.m.; reserved seating is also available. The poetry reading and chamber music performance starts at 6:30 p.m. (No late seating will be available.) Tickets are $40/general seating or $75/reserved seating and proceeds will support Planetarium programs.

Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center is located north of Lawlor Events Center on Virginia and 16th streets, on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Free parking is available in the West Stadium Parking Complex, level 3, just east of the Planetarium.

To purchase tickets in advance, visit the Planetarium or call (775) 784-4812. (Tickets also may be available at the door the evening of the performance, but seating is limited.) For more information, email [email protected] or visit the Planetarium’s website at http://www.planetarium.unr.edu .

The Planetarium is part of the University of Nevada, Reno and Extended Studies, offering science-related exhibits, public star shows and large-format science films, as well as public star observing courtesy of the Astronomical Society of Nevada. The Planetarium is open daily to the public and admission is free to its museum; individual and group tickets to Planetarium shows and special events are also available for purchase to nonmembers. Regular showings are free to Fleischmann Planetarium members.

Built in 1964, the Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center on the University of Nevada, Reno campus was the first planetarium in the world to project full-dome movies, and is currently one of the first of a handful of planetariums around the world to utilize the Spitz SciDome digital projector, a high-resolution, state-of-the-art immersive visualization tool. The projector is also adaptable to a number of disciplines and uses, supporting collaborations among the Planetarium, other University departments and programs, and community organizations. The Planetarium’s uniquely shaped building was designed by famed Reno architect Ray Hellman and is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Fleischmann Planetarium serves more than 40,000 visitors a year, including hundreds of school field trips that introduce students, K-12, to the wonders of the universe.

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