Music and Memories
Courtesy photo

The Academy for Cancer Wellness will hold its 12th annual Music and Memories concert and silent auction at 6:15 p.m Saturday, May 10 at Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St., Tucson to benefit its Under-Insured Cancer Patients Endowment Fund. The program will feature performances by members of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and more, performing music by a variety of composers including Schubert, Dvořák and Schumann.

Patrons are invited to come early for the silent auction and music by classical guitarist Brett Lashley. Sports fans will want to bid on basketballs autographed by the Wildcats and Phoenix Suns star Channing Frye and items from the Arizona Diamondbacks. The silent auction will also have travel packages to Las Vegas, the Legoland California Resort and Chicago; jewels by Laura and Lisa Design and more jewelry from other local designers; restaurant, entertainment, golf and hair salon gift certificates; a guitar from the Chicago Music Store, music lessons, art work including glass by locals Barbara Sussman and Martin Levy, wine baskets and more.

There will also be door prizes and Chinese tea tasting from the Seven Cups Teahouse. Raffle tickets will be sold for a beautiful, reversible quilt made by members of the Tucson Quilters’ Guild with Chinese paper lanterns on one side and a pastoral scene on the other. The quilt raffle began last year and will conclude with the drawing of the winner at this year’s event.

Admission is free, patrons are encouraged to make donations and be generous when participating in the silent auction. The Academy for Cancer Wellness is 100 percent volunteer-operated. 

Highlighting the musical program will be a performance by Tucson Symphony Orchestra musicians David Rife, Assistant Concertmaster, and his wife, violinist Wynne Wong Rife who,with their two daughters, Molly and Melissa, cello, and principal violist Ann Weaver, will perform the Schubert String Quintet. Other performances will feature TSO musicians Michael Becker, principal trombone, David Morgan, principal tuba, Jessica Campbell, bassoon and Anna Gendler, violin. Additional performers include Sara Fraker, oboe, Derek Granger, saxophone, pianists Shu ching Cheng and Chai Chung Ko, plus the Powe Family.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild has proclaimed May 10 “Cancer Wellness Day” in Tucson as a tribute to everyone whose lives have been touched by cancer and a reminder that the community must continue to do its part to support patients and their caregivers.

Proceeds from Music and Memories benefit the Under-Insured Cancer Patients’ Endowment Fund. In the past year, the Academy has been able to expand its services, helping people who are treated for multiple types of cancer in multiple treatment facilities. The monetary value of the grants has increased and the organization’s reach has grown from predominantly Tucson to patients from all over Southern Arizona who have traveled to Tucson for treatment.

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. 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 722-4581 or visit

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