Moon Music Serenade

Jan. 20, 2019

A total lunar eclipse is always an exciting event, and this time it will be even better thanks to a special live musical performance by the UA’s Chamber Winds ensemble. We’re calling this unique combination Moon Music Serenade.

For this special event, we’re also partnering with the UA Lunar & Planetary Lab (LPL), and the Tucson Amateur Astronomers Association (TAAA). Several TAAA volunteers will generously bring their telescopes to the UA Mall so the public can view the eclipse with the guidance of experienced observers. Some of the TAAA volunteers will have adapters for smartphone photography on their telescopes so visitors can take a photo of the eclipse with their phone! The Flandrau observatory telescope will also be open for free viewing of the eclipse.

A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon, so that the Earth’s shadow crosses the face of the full Moon. This eclipse will begin at 8:30pm on Sunday, January 20, 2019 when the Earth’s shadow first intersects the Moon, and the shadow will then move across until it covers the entire face of the Moon by 9:40pm for a total lunar eclipse. During the total eclipse, the Moon will appear red due to sunlight that bends around the Earth, through the Earth’s atmosphere, and provides some illumination. Within that same timeframe, 8:30-9:40pm, the Chamber Windswill play three musical selections to accompany eclipse viewing.

Under the baton of conductor Martin I. Gaines, the Chamber Winds bring together several talented musicians from the University of Arizona. Gaines, a doctoral conducting student from the UA Fred Fox School of Music, has selected music appropriate to the astronomical occasion. The concert will begin with the lively "Cooperstown Fanfare" by William Schuman, featuring trumpets and trombones. This will be followed by Serenade No. 12 in C Minor "Nachtmusik" (K388) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and "Suite Persane" by André Caplet, performed by ensembles of woodwinds and brass instruments.

Prior to the concert, inside Flandrau, UA planetary scientist Steve Koretenkamp will give a special presentation about the Moon at 7pm. He’ll talk about what we know already about the Moon, and about what we continue to discover from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a NASA research spacecraft orbiting the Moon.

Telescope viewing, the concert, and Flandrau exhibits will be free and open to the public. The special Moon presentation, Planetarium Show, and “Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon” Laser Music Show are $5 each and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating is limited.

Please note, telescope viewing requires a clear sky so it is “weather permitting,” but the Moon presentation, Chamber Winds concert, and planetarium shows will run regardless of clear or cloudy skies. 

Come join the fun at Moon Music Serenade for an experience you’ll never forget.