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Donald Behnke, Ph. D., Music Critic, Expert

Dr. Donald Behnke is a music critic of the Green Valley News and Sun in Arizona where he has reviewed Arizona opera for the past five years, recently adding Tucson Symphony to his repertoire.

Receiving his doctorate from Columbia University, Dr. Behnke has been a lifelong student and patron of the arts, having begun voice and piano lessons at age five.  He attended his first live opera performance at Chicago’s Lyric Opera at age 10.  He has directed community plays and musicals, and taught in the graduate schools of DePaul University in Chicago and Long Island University.  He is superintendent emeritus of the Southampton, New York public schools.

Dr. Behnke knows music and travel from many vantage points.  As an early radio DJ and newsman, he handled everything from commercials to on-air musical group production.  His TV announcing days included live intros to music and sports shows, as well as standard booth announcing.

Study of the pipe organ at the Sherwood School of Music in Chicago lead to several years as a church organist.  He played keyboard and trumpet as well as doing vocals with dance bands in the Midwest. Work as a tour escort for Vanderbilt Better Tours of Chicago took him and his clients from Chicago to the Canadian Rockies for two weeks at a time to more than 35 tours of New York, and the East Coast of the United States.

Donald Behnke is scheduled to sail on the following voyage(s) (subject to change): 


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