11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Courses

  • Bright Moments of Jazz & Rock

    This course celebrates the great bands and stars of pop, rock and jazz. We will listen to recordings, watch videos and talk about a wide variety of musicians and bands. Social, historical and musical context will be provided. Examples of the artists included are Aretha Franklin, Michael McDonald, Elvis, James Brown, Fats Domino, the Temptations, Stan Getz, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and B.B. King. You will expand your jazz and rock music appreciation and have fun doing it. Come and share your bright moments.

    Teacher: Tom Doran is a bassist/vocalist who plays soul, funk, blues, jazz and rock. In retirement he loves to play music and make abstract art. He loves to talk about music, so if you do too, please join!

  • Discovering the Cosmos, Discovering Ourselves: A Historical Approach to Science & the History of Western Thought

    Sessions 1 – 5. Starts September 12 From the watchtowers of ancient Babylon to the Hubble Space telescope; from Incan priests to Albert Einstein, new discoveries about the cosmos have changed the human experience. Our ancestors probed the mysteries of the universe to discover their place in it, to answer profound questions about origins and survival. Even modern scientists speak of “knowing the mind of God”.

    This course will trace the history of these discoveries as they unfolded and discuss how they affected the ways we think about religion, the search for knowledge, and the meaning of human existence.

    Teacher: Frank Villa taught physics and ran his own company that designed laboratories. He has lectured on a range of scientific topics for many years.

  • Reflections: Contemporary American Society Through a Cinematic Lens

    Beginning with a Korean American immigrant family establishing their home on an Arkansas farm, Minari (2020), we will take a look at cinematic portrayals of contemporary Americans, from the very old to the very young, the affluent to the just getting by, in their pursuit of the American Dream. Our list will include, among others, Four Seasons Lodge (2008) and Nothing Changes: Art for Hank's Sake (2018). Links to the films will be provided. Join us for some outstanding cinema followed by open-ended, stimulating discussion.

    Teacher: David Moore received his master's degree in American Studies from Boston College in 1966. He taught in the History Department at Newton North High School receiving the Charles Dana Meserve outstanding teacher award in 1993. His particular historical interests include classical Greece, American Studies, fin de siècle Europe, and the Holocaust.

  • Stories of Conflict as Seen Through a Narrator's Lens, Part XVI

    We will discuss how narrators' perspectives affect our appreciation of works including selected sonnets by Shakespeare. Our emphasis will be on Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi and Shakespeare's Othello.

    Teacher: Helen Smith has taught at the Winsor School, Newton North and in Armenia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Georgia, Romania and Zambia. A Smith College graduate, she edits texts about writing and journalism. She is the president of the New England Scholastic Press Association.

  • WRITING YOUR STORY (Memoir, NOT autobiography)

    Maximum Enrollment: 20 If you enjoy writing and sharing stories of your life with a community of writers that will give you constructive feedback, this class may be for you. If you are writing a memoir or simply want to share your stories with your children and grandchildren, most writers find being part of the group inspires them to write more regularly. The best way to learn about memoir writing is to listen to other writers' stories. Everything shared is confidential. Writing is done at home and shared in class. For those who can stay, the class extends to 1 p.m.

    Leader: Sue Edgecomb, retired from teaching for 35 years in the Wellesley schools, has participated in Amherst Writers and Artists workshops for 12 years. Her memoir, Clearing in the West: Navigating the Journey Through Loss, Grief and Healing, was published in July 2021.