Lunch and Learn

LNL – March 18 – Dr. Joe Utterback & Michael Jovovich – Pepsico Theater

LNL Piano

Open House, All Are Invited. Bring Your Friends!

Refreshments at 12:15pm
Presentation at 1:00pm

By popular request, music is our opening program. Jazz pianist Dr. Joe Utterback and vocalist Michael  Jovovich perform some of the old time traditional American music we always love to hear, including  It’s a Most Unusual Day,  Chattanooga Choo Choo, Have Some Jazz and Sincerely. 

Bring friends and neighbors to this special event to enjoy the music, while also introducing them  to Lifetime Learners, as well as to Norwalk Community College.


Dr. Joe Utterback is a classically trained pianist and prolific composer of music, both classical and jazz. When not performing in the US and internationally, he has been teaching music for 22 years at Sacred Heart University.  At Lifetime Learners, he has been a facilitator of popular American music for over ten years.           

Michael Jovovich is a multi-talented tenor soloist, actor, and dancer.  He is well known locally for his work with the Stamford Curtain Call Theater, Playhouse on the Green and the Downtown Cabaret Theater.

LNL – April 1 – Plants and Gardens: Spring Tune-Up — Forum Auditorium

LJL Garden

Refreshments at 12:15pm
Presentation at 1:00pm

Plan ahead for planting flowers, early vegetables, trees and shrubs. From an organic point of view we review different types of grasses, de-thatching, fertilizing and the difference between compost and mulch–how to use them to help protect your plants and¬† garden from drought, weeds and bugs.¬† We learn how to take soil pH samples, where to send them and what to do with the results¬†you receive.


Brian Hollstein is a graduate of the University of Connecticut‚Äôs Master Gardener program.¬†¬† For the past seven years, he has developed and managed a garden at St Mark‚Äôs Church New Canaan, which delivers free fresh vegetables and fruit to the New¬† Canaan Food Pantry.¬† He is now known to the New Canaan Men‚Äôs Club as the ‚ÄúGarden Guru‚ÄĚ.

LNL – April 8 – African Gorillas of Rwanda and Uganda – Forum Auditorium

LNL Gorilla

Refreshments at 12:15pm
Presentation at 1:00pm

April 8 РAfrican Gorillas of Rwanda and Uganda 

Mr. Les de Villiers, a professional safari tour organizer and conservationist, tells us adabout his unique visit with the free roaming gorillas on both the Rwandan and Ugandan sides of the Virunga Mountains in Africa.¬† With close up photographs and video, he shares his experiences with these endangered primates.¬† We come to understand the life of the seldom seen older male gorillas called ‚ÄúSilverbacks‚ÄĚ because of the white hair on their backs.

Les de Villiers was born in the Karoo region of South Africa and now lives and works in Connecticut. He admits to once being a hunter of animals in his youth, but as a young adult he learned to give up hunting with a rifle and switched to only shooting with a camera. He has been a long time active conservationist and professional organizer of South African safaris, a publisher and an author of many books on the subject.

LNL – April 15 ‚Äď The Lost Ark of the Covenant, Forum Auditorium

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

Refreshments at 12:15pm
Presentation at 1:00pm

What was the famous lost Biblical Ark of the Covenant? What was in it? Where is it now?¬† The blockbuster movie Raiders of the Lost Ark assumed, like the Bible, that it had powerful magical properties.¬† Going beyond the movie we look at many tantalizing hints to the answers to those three questions using ancient texts, images and religious practices of the ancient Near East.¬†¬† The surprising answers may tie together the Ark, the Holy Grail, the Philosopher‚Äôs Stone and‚Äēof all things‚Äēmeteorites!

Besides being a regular and popular LLI facilitator on opera, David Shafer is an avid photographer and writer. He has previously presented several Lunch & Learn events on Having Fun Photographing Flowers, The History of Penicillin and, most recently, the Life Story of the 16 Century Dutch Philosopher Spinoza.  In addition, as an optical scientist, he has designed high-tech optical systems; over the last 50 years he has been awarded over 150 US and foreign patents for camera lenses, telescopes and microscopes.

LNL – April 22 ‚Äď Uncle Zac, ‚ÄúThe Uke Guy‚ÄĚ – Forum Auditorium

LNL Uke Uncle Zac

Refreshments at 12:15pm
Presentation at 1:00pm

The ukulele is a musical instrument that has recently enjoyed an impressive renaissance. It appeals to people of all ages and all levels of musical skills. Although the ukulele is commonly associated with Hawaii, it was actually introduced by Portuguese sailors who visited the Islands. During this presentation, you hear many popular tunes, like Blue Skies and On a Slow Boat to China, as well as humorous tunes sung by Uncle Zac. Many of these were written by musicians such as Allen Sherman, Leon Redbone and Jimmy Buffett. All played on the ukulele!!


Peter Zaccagnino, alias Uncle Zac, is a local ukulele performer and teacher of individuals from age 5 to 95. For over 55 years he has performed all over Connecticut and New York State. A lover of the instrument, he owns over 30 ukuleles. He enjoys making people feel good and seeing them smile when they hear him sing the many fun lyrics, while playing the songs on his ukulele.

LNL – April 29, Women at Work In World War II, Forum Auditorium

LNL Women Rosie Riveter

Refreshments at 12:15pm
Presentation at 1:00pm

Rosie the Riveter was a true American icon,¬†answering the call to work during the war years.¬† There¬†were millions of “Rosies”¬†and millions of stories that are being brought to life a half century later. This is¬†a story of home front America during WWII. While millions of men were drafted into military service, these amazing women stepped into jobs with minimum¬†training and experience, in order to keep America running and producing the abundance of equipment that helped win the war. This is¬†a story of home-front America during WWII. Join our guest as he narrates this important historical period,¬†including¬†a related colorful, slide presentation.¬†

John Cilio is a historian and author of six history books.  He is an American Marketing Association award winner and has spoken world-wide on a wide range of historical and marketing topics.                   

LNL РMay 6 РMusic Appreciation: Norwalk Symphony VIP’s РForum Auditorium

LNL Music

Refreshments at 12:15pm
Presentation at 1:00pm

Principal Cellist of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, Gunnar Sahlin, and Music Director of the  Symphony, Jonathan Yates, present a look behind the scenes of the orchestra. They discuss orchestra conducting and playing along with performing live music. They focus particularly on the upcoming concert of a stage version of the opera La Boheme scheduled for Saturday, May 21, at the Norwalk Concert Hall.

Maestro Yates has earned high praise, not only as a conductor, but also as a solo pianist. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, New York State University and Harvard University and has been conducting orchestras since the age of twenty three.  He currently conducts the Norwalk Youth Symphony and the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra. 

Gunnar Sahlin, in addition to being a talented musician, is a popular NCC librarian with an MA in Library Science from Long Island University. He earned his BA degree at Universities in Sweden and also studied music in Prague. As a member of the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, he toured Europe and the United States, where he later became a US citizen living in Connecticut.