Arts & Culture

Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.

Sense of Wonder Concert at Public Media Center

Written by Cary Burkett, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Feb 25, 2015 10:38 AM
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Some 20 years ago, 5 friends who love Penn's Woods got together to talk about how to balance the inevitable coming industrial development of the area with the preservation of the land.

The outgrowth was the founding of the Manada Conservancy, a land trust dedicated to the preservation of natural, historic, agricultural and scenic resources in Dauphin County. In addition, the organization strives to promote environmental education with free programs offered to the community on topics ranging from duck hunting on the Susquehanna to insects of the summer night.

Working with farmers, landowners, municipalities and utilities, the Manada Conservancy has managed to preserve in perpetuity so far about 1,000 acres of land through easement, donation or acquisition.  

Many of the projects have been in highest priority areas such as riparian buffers, like the Swatara Greenway, or along the Kittatinny Ridge, which serves as a critical part of the Atlantic flyway for hawks and other migratory birds.

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Dr. Keith Cheng

On Saturday evening, February 28, a musical program will be presented at the WITF Public Media Center in support of the Manada Conservancy. Dr. Keith Cheng, who is Director of Experimental Pathology at Penn State College of Medicine, is also a classical pianist. He'll be performing music around the theme of a Sense of Wonder.

The program, which includes selections from Bach's Goldberg Variations and Schumann's Kinderszenen, explores the similarity of the feelings of awe evoked within us by music, nature and by science. Dr. Cheng's own scientific research with zebrafish led him to a discovery that eventually brought a new understanding to the biology behind certain skin color variation in humans. It was a discovery that he described as an "oh my God" moment.

A "sense of wonder" can come from the revelations of science, the beauty of music, or the grandeur of nature. But Dr. Cheng will also be sharing about the inspiration that individuals can have on others as well. In his case, he says, knowing the great cellist Yo-Yo Ma in his college years at Harvard had a great impact upon his own life.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres and drinks, and the concert begins at 7:30. A dessert reception with Dr. Cheng will follow.

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