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just starting their financial lives. Decisions
made in their 20s could determine whether
they have to swim upstream or downstream
as they get closer to retirement age.
— GS
Stargazing for Beginners:
How to Find Your Way
Around the Night Sky
Lafcadio Adams ’00
61 pages, e-book, available for Kindle
Lulu Press,
It can be tough for
beginners to learn the
constellations. Stan-
dard star charts contain
so much information
that they are confus-
ing, and even a simple
planisphere can be
intimidating to people not familiar with the
tool. Those who haven’t a clue about right
ascension or relative magnitude can still learn
the stars with this marvelous new guide from
Lafcadio Adams.
Adams is a teacher in the Portland, Ore.,
area, and astronomy is her favorite subject—
she has had a scale model of the solar system
in her living room “since way back when
Pluto was a planet.” Adams wrote
ing for Beginners
as a series of six lessons,
each taking a look at a different part of the
Northern Hemisphere sky. She recommends
taking them in order, as each builds upon the
learning of the preceding lesson. Each lesson
features numerous clear, simple illustrations
and photos that help the reader identify the
constellations, using the familiar to help
point the way to the more obscure nearby.
Adams published the guide as an e-book
for practical reasons. She figures a smart-
phone or tablet device is easy to haul outside
with you on a clear night. Set it on night-
vision mode, fire up
Stargazing for Beginners
and find out what you’re looking at. If you’re
old-school, you can get the PDF version and
print it out.
The guide is appropriate for most ages,
understandable by budding stargazers as
young as 7 or 8, but appealing to adults, too.
If you know Boötes or Lepus already you
should proceed to a more in-depth sky guide.
But beginning stargazers should grab a copy
of Adams’ book and start looking up.
— GS
The Sweet Dark, Part 1
Jasper Tollefson ’10
Audio CD
Available at
I don’t want to put any
pressure on Jasper Tollef-
son, but his CD,
Sweet Dark, Part 1
, has a
certain witty, observant
nature to it that reminded
me a bit of Bob Dylan.
Tollefson is a talented classical guitarist
who calls his compositions “organic pop”—
a mix of pop, rock, and folk representative of
the Red Hot Chili Peppers and other music
he likes to listen to on the radio.
He gave me a rough cut of five tracks
The Sweet Dark
, and those five have a
definite bluesy bent to them as well. Perhaps
it’s because Tollefson is a native Northwest-
erner, but there’s a lot of bad weather on
the disc. The title of one track, “Rain City,”
speaks for itself. In “Broken Singer’s Blues” he
sings of the “raindrops falling on my wind-
shield.” The tune “For the Ones We Love”
begins with a deep sigh and references “cold
nights and strong winds.”
Tollefson majored in music at Puget
Sound with elective studies in business, a
combination he says is serving him well as
he figures out how to work and market in
today’s music business. While he’s played
a number of concerts, including this year’s
Relay For Life at Puget Sound (which he jok-
ingly calls his “first stadium gig”), he’s mainly
focused on recording. He has a part-time
accounting job to pay the bills and frequently
gives guitar lessons, the revenue from which
he’s putting right into the production of
Sweet Dark
. His goal is to release part one
by the time you receive this magazine. Ulti-
mately he’d love a music career that allows
him to teach during the day while he’s on
tour playing shows in the evenings.
Keep an eye out for the CD release or
for future live performances. You can stay up
to date by bookmarking Tollefson’s website,
— GS
Reflections: 2008–2011
Adelphian Concert Choir
Audio CD
Available from Puget Sound Bookstore (item
number W41755)
Lovers of choral music
will want to snap up a
copy of
Reflections: 2008–
, a recording released
this year by Puget Sound’s
Adelphian Concert Choir,
under the direction of Steven Zopfi.
The Adelphians have been at it now for
80 years. (Hey there, Adelphian alumni, we
note that there’s an 80th anniversary reunion
planned for Homecoming Weekend in the
fall.) This recording features students involved
over the three previous academic years. The
21 tracks on the disc include a great mix of
old and new. There are four selections from
Brahms, as well as compositions from the likes
of Healey Willan, Jean Berger, and John Payn-
ter. The selections also feature more contempo-
rary composers such as Grammy winner Eric
Whitacre, Paul Basler, and Lee R. Kesselman.
Renowned for their repertoire, interpreta-
tion, and musicianship, the Adelphians live up
to their reputation with this disc. While the
classical and sacred compositions are marvel-
ous, I particularly enjoyed the gospel and spir-
itual tracks on the CD. “Hold On,” arranged
by Eugene Simpson, was especially energetic
and upbeat. The classic “I Got a Key,” featuring
baritone Kyle Downs ’10 in an arrangement
by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw, is outstand-
ing. It is one of three Parker arrangements
included on the disc. The spiritual standard
“Sinner Man,” arranged by Howard Roberts
and with a solo by soprano Lana McMullen
’11, puts an emphatic exclamation point on
the recording.
The Adelphians tour regularly and have
performed with the Northwest Sinfonietta,
Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Tacoma Con-
cert Band, and Tacoma City Ballet. Now with
, we can hear them any time.
— GS