The University of California's Lick Observatory is celebrating its 125th anniversary and hosting its 33rd season of evening programs for music lovers and astronomy buffs this summer, featuring concerts, lectures, and opportunities to view the night sky through the observatory's history-making telescopes atop Mt. Hamilton.
Music of the Spheres is a benefit summer concert series whose proceeds support Lick Observatory, a UC multicampus research unit headquartered at UC Santa Cruz. Each of the eight Music of the Spheres evenings includes a performance by acclaimed musicians and a talk by a renowned astronomer about current research. Afterward (weather permitting), audience members can view through the historic 36-inch Great Lick Refractor and the 40-inch Nickel reflecting telescope. Knowledgeable volunteer amateur astronomers share their own telescopes and expertise with interested members of the audience.
Music of the Spheres concerts will take place on June 15 and 29, July 13 and 27, August 10 and 24, and September 14 and 28. Scheduled performances include the Dave Rocha Jazz Trio; Grammy-winning artists Eric Tingstad (guitar) and Nancy Rumbel (wind instruments); Great Guitars, featuring Daniel Roest and Laurence Juber (two-time Grammy winner and former lead guitarist for Paul McCartney's band Wings); Afro-Latin world jazz by Oscar Reynolds and Karumanta; and classical guitar duo Yuri Liberzon and Patrick O'Connell.
Tickets for each Music of the Spheres evening are offered at three levels: general ($40), preferred ($90), and VIP ($150), plus ticket service fee. All tickets include the concert, astronomy talk, viewing session, and a commemorative wineglass or coffee cup. Preferred ticket holders have the additional benefits of reserved seating and a 20 percent discount at the gift shop. A VIP ticket further entitles visitors to a behind-the-scenes tour of the 3-meter Shane reflecting telescope and a catered buffet before the concert, as well as front-and-center seating.
Tickets are available online and from the UCSC Ticket Office or the Santa Cruz Civic Box Office. Additional ticket information and details of the 2013 Music of the Spheres concerts are available online at www.ucolick.org/public/music.html.
Lick Observatory is located on the summit of Mt. Hamilton in the Diablo Range east of San Jose. Driving time from San Jose is about one hour via Mt. Hamilton Road (Route 130). Founded in 1888, Lick Observatory remains among the most productive research observatories in the world.
Additional information about visiting Lick Observatory is available on the web at www.ucolick.org/public/visitors.html or by calling Lick Observatory at (408) 274-5061, from noon to 5 p.m. daily.