Performance Music at The University of Scranton will present the Fifth Annual Gene Yevich Memorial Concert on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center. This year’s concert, honoring the late Gene Yevich who served as fire chief for the city of Scranton, features The University of Scranton Jazz Ensemble with guest soloist Mark Gould, and solo performances by Yevich family members Joseph Boga, Mike Yevich, Magdalyn Boga and Cheryl Yevich Boga, all accompanied on organ and piano by Tim Smith, who currently serves as music director at Covenant Presbyterian Church of Scranton. Admission is free and open to the public.
The University’s Jazz Ensemble is a 24-member big band made up of students from majors spanning the curriculum. They perform approximately 6 concerts per year, many of them featuring renowned guest artists. Performances by the group in the last year have featured Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Printup, Victor Goines, Joseph Boga and Kyle Athayde and their April 2013 concert will feature guest saxophonist Erica von Kleist.
Gould served as principal trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera from 1974 to 2003, and also performed as a chamber musician with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The MET Chamber Ensemble, Empire Brass, Canadian Brass, Summit Brass and many others. One of the most influential trumpeters of his generation as both a performer and teacher, Gould maintains an active schedule as a trumpet soloist and conductor, and has lent his talents to many recordings, including several Grammy Award-winning albums. He serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School and The Manhattan School of Music. He also co-founded and co-directs The Scranton Brass Orchestra, which is sponsored by the University and is comprised of professional brass and percussion players from northeastern Pennsylvania.
Joseph Boga, a student at The Juilliard School, performs professionally with many jazz and classical ensembles, including The New York Trumpet Ensemble, Wycliffe Gordon Big Band, Kyle Athayde Dance Party, Dandy Wellington Band, and The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra. A trumpet student of Gould, Chris Jaudes, Chris Gekker, and Wynton Marslias, he has appeared throughout the United States and abroad, in venues ranging from Lincoln Center’s esteemed concert and club venues to a performance with the Wycliffe Gordon Septet at the halftime show for a New York Giants’ playoff game. His is compositions and arrangements have been premiered and performed in America and abroad, and include an original composition in memory of Chris Nelhybel premiered last year as part of the University’s World Premiere Composition Series. Joseph also plays piano and bass.
Lyric soprano Magdalyn Boga, a student of renowned Bulgarian baritone Guenko Guechev and Chinese mezzo-soprano Xiu-Ru Liu, has performed throughout the northeastern U.S. and China, and studied a wide variety of musical styles in a diverse array of languages, including Russian, Czech, Italian, French, German, English and Latin. She is a 2008 honors graduate of Duquesne University, where she studied English, vocal performance and history, and earned her master’s degree from The University of Scranton, where she currently serves as an adjunct professor of History. She also serves as soprano soloist at First Presbyterian Church in Wilkes-Barre and an assistant for Performance Music at Scranton, and also plays cello and French horn with a variety of regional string and brass quartets and quintets.
Mike Yevich, trumpet, a 1982 graduate of The University of Scranton, is an environmental chemist. He has performed with many of the nation’s most renowned polka bands, as well as a variety of other groups, and was nominated for a 1986 GRAMMY Award as a member of “The Brass Release”. He performs a wide variety of styles of music with bands throughout the northeast, and is a member of The Scranton Brass Orchestra. Mike also plays bass, accordion, and guitar.
The performance is sponsored by former Scranton mayor Dave Wenzel and his wife, Janet. Admission is free and the concert is open to the public.