Montana State University

Free concert to coincide with international solar meeting at MSU

June 14, 2010 -- By Evelyn Boswell, MSU News Service

Hinode captured images of the moon crossing the face of the sun during a 2009 solar eclipse. (NASA/JAXA photo).   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- A free public concert incorporating dramatic images of the sun and music representing the human experience will be held June 18 in conjunction with an international gathering of solar scientists at Montana State University.

Update: Watch the concert

Approximately 30 astrophysicists from Japan and the United States will be in Bozeman June 16-18 for a team meeting to discuss findings and issues related to four telescopes on the Hinode space craft, said Piet Martens of MSU, a solar physicist and one of the local organizers. Scientists from the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan designed the telescopes to collect X-ray images for a variety of studies related to magnetic energy on the sun.

Eric Funk -- a composer, conductor, musician and MSU faculty member -- will conduct and perform with a chamber group on the last day of the team meeting. The concert, titled "Beyond Time," will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 18, in the Reynolds Recital Hall on the MSU campus. The recital hall is located in Howard Hall along 11th Avenue and across from the MSU duck pond.

The concert will begin with Martens showing solar images from Hinode and continue with selections from symphonies that Funk composed over the past decade. Referring to the concert as a "musical hors d'oeuvre," Funk said that excerpts from his pentalogy "Beyond Time," a cycle of five symphonies that give an overview of human life, will be presented as transcribed for a chamber music ensemble. The works involved in the pentalogy are Symphony No. 6/Apocalypse-Phoenix Rising, No. 7/Time, No. 8/And Humankind Departed, No. 9/Time Bridge to Beyond Time, and a large work for tenor voice and orchestra, The Sojourner's Eye, from which most of the music for this concert was drawn.

Performing will be Bozeman actor Kent Davis; tenor Travis Mills, an MSU senior; Funk and Azusa Hokugo Komiyama on the piano; Stephan Cepeda on violin, Mary Carson on viola, Peter Landeen on violoncello and Stephen Versaevel on percussion.

Martens said the Hinode X-ray Telescope Team meets every year to discuss technical issues related to the telescopes, scientific results and plans for future observations, but this will be the first time the team has assembled at MSU. This will also be the first time that a concert will be held in conjunction with the meeting. The hosts usually offer a public lecture.

"This concert is intended to bring the sciences and humanities together," Funk said.

Hinode was launched in September 2006 as a successor to the Yohkoh Soft X-Ray Telescope, which also involved MSU scientists. Continuously collecting images from the sun, Hinode observes solar magnetic fields, as well as the dissipation of magnetic energy. Dissipation takes a variety of forms, including solar flares.

Scientists attending the MSU meeting will come from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, NASA, the University of New Hampshire, MSU, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the Japanese Space Agency. Dave McKenzie, MSU's Hinode Co-PI, is chairing the Scientific Organizing Committee and the Local Organizing Committee for the meeting.

The first day of the team meeting will be devoted to technical discussions. Scientific discussions will occur on June 17 and 18. For more details, see

For related stories, see:
"MSU researchers say new telescope makes it easier to predict solar explosions" at

"MSU is part of new solar mission orbiting 431 miles up" at

"Sun goes on longer than normal without producing sun spots" at

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or