Academy for Cancer Wellness

Academy For Cancer Wellness Benefit - Music & Memories IX

Academy for Cancer Wellness Benefit - Music & Memories IX - 4/5/2011

(Tucson, AZ)— Violinist Carla Ecker, Associate Concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, has brought together many of Tucson’s top musicians to perform a wide variety of music at Music and Memories IX, an evening to benefit the Under-Insured Cancer Patients Endowment Fund of the Academy of Cancer Wellness. The evening begins at 6:00 pm on Saturday, May 14 at Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St., Tucson.  

Patrons are invited to come early and enjoy jazz in the atrium. There will also be door prizes, a silent auction and Chinese tea tasting from the Seven Cups Teahouse. Although tickets are not being sold, patrons are encouraged to make donations and be generous when participating in the silent auction. There will also be a drawing for a beautiful 8 ½ by 8 ½ foot cancer ribbon quilt designed by Academy of Cancer Wellness founder, Dr. Alice F. Chang, pieced by Frankie Mills and quilted by the Senior Citizens Quilting Club of Collinwood, Tennessee.

The musical program will open with Three Irish Folksong Settings arranged by John Corigliano featuring Ms. Ecker and mezzo-soprano Kristin Dauphinais and will include Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1 performed by Emma Noel Votapek, violin, Mark Votapek, cello and Tannis Gibson, piano. It will conclude with brass pieces by Corelli, Bach and Stephen Foster performed by Victor Valenzuela, French horn, Michael Wharton, trombone, Steven Gamble, bass trombone and David Morgan, tuba. The Paloma Winds (Deena Reedy, flute, Sara Fraker, oboe, Andrew Braden, clarinet, Rebecca Cain, bassoon and Victor Valenzuela, horn) will perform Roaring Fork by Eric Ewazen.

Ms. Ecker will also be joined by pianist Michael Dauphinais to perform Brahms’ Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, and by TSO Principal Timpanist Kimberly Toscano for David Liptak’s Shadower for Violin and Percussion.

A native Tucsonan, Ms. Ecker has been Associate Concertmaster of the TSO since 1999.

In the summertime, she is a member of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Ms. Ecker has also performed with the Sarasota and Tulsa Opera Orchestras and the New Mexico, Charleston, Pacific, El Paso and Phoenix Symphonies and currently maintains  an active performing schedule throughout the U.S. Other highlights of her career include a national tour with guitarist Ottmar Liebert and solo appearances with the El Paso Symphony and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

Among the dozens of items in the silent auction are entertainment certificates from the TSO and Invisible Theater, autographed sports memorabilia, clothing, custom-made jewelry, sculpture, stained glass and ceramics by local artists, photographs, paintings and restaurant gift certificates.

Proceeds from Music and Memories IX will benefit the Under-Insured Cancer Patients’ Endowment Fund. According to Dr. Alice F. Chang, founder and director of the Academy for Cancer Wellness, “The Music and Memories Concerts were inspired by a musician and cancer victim, who was, like so many in the arts, uninsured.”

The Academy for Cancer Wellness, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization established in 1995 by Alice F. Chang, along with John J. Welker and his wife, the late Gertrud Welker. Its purpose is to provide support for cancer wellness—for champions, as well as for their families and friends.

 The Academy’s mission is to spread awareness of the many people who have faced the challenge of cancer and emerged triumphant; to provide a means for cancer champions to rally amongst themselves for mutual strength and support; to provide funding for research toward the promotion of cancer wellness; and to provide modest financial support for the working poor and under-insured cancer patients.

The Music and Memories Concert Series began as a benefit for flutist Katherine Kitzmann, who had no insurance when she was diagnosed with the cancer that killed her. Since then, countless musicians have joined forces to honor and remember all those who have been touched by the disease. Some play to celebrate survival, some to celebrate the memories of those who fought and lost the battle

For more information, please contact 520-722-4581 or visit