The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Connecticut in Waterbury has announced that area residents, Nunzio DeFilippis, James Coleman, Sr., Concetta Scarfone, Phil Benevento, Cynthia Paolino, Donna Bonasera and Sheila Waters Fucci of CT Dance Theatre, Stuart Brown (UConn), Steve Collins of Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, along with former Waterbury resident Sue Matsuki, will be leading programs in the upcoming session. The spring courses and special events will take place from March to May and summer session will take place in June, 2012.

   OLLI at UConn is offered at the Waterbury campus and other downtown locations and is one of a national network of Institutes associated with the prestigious Bernard Osher Foundation. Bernard Osher, a New England native, is ranked among the top fifty most generous philanthropists in the United States. Beginning its sixth year, OLLI currently provides non-credit courses, special events, author talks, research lectures, and current events forums to over 750 adult participants (usually age 50 and up). Since its inception in 2007, OLLI has served over 900 individuals from over 75 cities and towns in Connecticut representing five of Connecticut’s eight counties.

   Stuart Brown will offer a 6-week class from March 16 – April 27 (8:15 AM – 9:45 AM) entitled, Cole Porter: On Broadway and the Silver Screen.  Brown is the Director of Student Services at UConn in Waterbury.

   Nunzio DeFilippis will offer an 8-week class from March 16 – May 11 (3:00 PM – 4:30 PM), entitled, Opera: A Passion for the Ages, Part V, The Bel Canto and a 4-week class from June 5 – June 26 (1:45 PM – 3:15 PM), called, Opera: A Passion for the Ages, Part VI, Mozart.  A businessman for 35 years, DeFilippis began teaching opera to share his passion for the subject.

   James Coleman, Sr. will offer two sets of 6 classes from March 16 – April 27 (3:00 – 4:30 PM) and June 5 – June 21 (10:15 AM – 11:45 AM), entitled, Passport to Retirement. Coleman is an independent financial advisor with over two decades of financial service industry experience.

   Concetta Scarfone will lead an 8-week basic language course, from March 16 – May 11 (3:00 – 4:30 PM) entitled Learning Italian – Through Film. Scarfone speaks fluent Spanish, Italian, and several dialects of Southern Italy.

   Phil Benevento will conduct an 8-week course, March 16 – May 11 (10:00 – 11:30 AM), entitled Searching for the New Jerusalem.  He earned a BA and MA from UConn, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Literature from Wesleyan, and a Certificate in Administration and Supervision from SCSU.

   Cynthia Paolino will offer a 6-week yoga course, March 16 – April 27 (10:00 AM – 11:30 AM), entitled Yoga – Stretch Strengthen and Breathe. Paolino is a certified, registered yoga teacher for adults and children.   Donna Bonasera and Sheila Waters Fucci will teach three dance classes at the CT Dance Theatre in the Howland Hughes building on Bank Street in downtown Waterbury. Classes will be held on Tuesdays,
   March 13 – May 1. Dance for the Love of It will be held from 10:00 – 11:30 AM (taught by Donna), followed by All Tapped Out – Part I (taught by Sheila) from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM, followed by Sheila’s more advanced class, All Tapped Out, Part II from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM. 

   Steve Collins, executive director of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, will present a 4-week class from April 20 – May 11 (10:00 AM – 11:30 AM).  Rhythm – Music’s Motor, will explore the fundamental but little understood component of music and how cultures from around the world use rhythm differently.  Participants will have an opportunity to attend an open dress rehearsal and be able to purchase discounted tickets to a WSO concert.

   Sue Matsuki will conduct three 8-week classes (March 16 – May 11). Life is a Cabaret – Continues, a hands-on singing class, will be offered from 11:40 AM – 1:00 PM and again from 1:15 – 2:45 PM.  The other class is Life is a Cabaret- How to Write a Show (Patter) will be held from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM.  Matsuki, a 20-year jazz and cabaret singer, grew up in Waterbury and held the title of Miss Waterbury in 1976. During her musical career, she played in legendary jazz clubs and in some of the best Cabarets in New York City.

   This innovative and fast-growing, community-based program offers non-credit learning experiences (courses,  lectures, and special events) for older adults who want to engage socially and intellectually with their peers as teachers and learners. OLLI at UConn is the only program of its type in Connecticut and one of 117 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes in the U.S.

   Classes are held at the Waterbury campus and other downtown locations. The program will offer over 50 courses in the upcoming spring session and 12 during the summer session. In addition to class offerings, there are university research lectures, author talks, special events and discounts offered by community partners such as The Palace Theater, Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, the Mattatuck Museum, 7 Angels Theatre and CT Dance Theatre.

   Dr. William Pizzuto, Waterbury campus Director comments, “Our University has been delivering academic degree programs to the community for over 60 years. The Osher Institute at UConn has become a great way for citizens of the Waterbury region and five surrounding counties, to take a step into college life for the first time, to reconnect with higher education, or to come back to UConn.”  Dr. Brian Chapman, Director of OLLI at UConn, has stated, “We are pleased to be reaching out to the community and engaging course leaders and new participants—it is great to see them reach back with enthusiasm and a zest for learning!”

   The annual membership cost is $60, allowing participants to sign up for courses (from $20 – $50 each), to participate in OLLI Café lunchtime presentations, university research lectures, receive discounts to OLLI partnership events, attend special OLLI events, obtain an OLLI membership card and a UConn Waterbury parking pass for OLLI classes. Membership is “first come, first served” and courses fill up quickly.

   For additional information, please call 203-236-9924, 203-236-9925 or e-mail To view a list of courses and membership registration information, visit the UConn OLLI website at