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Annual Gene Yevich Memorial Concert Set for May 4

Performance Music at The University of Scranton will present its 10th Annual Gene Yevich Memorial Concert featuring violinist Kako Miura on Friday, May 4, in the Houlihan-McLean Center. Miura will be the guest soloist at The University of Scranton String Orchestra performance on Saturday, May 5, 7:30 p.m. Both performances are free of charge and open to the public.
April 27, 2018

Continuing a longstanding tradition, Performance Music at The University of Scranton will present its 10th Annual Gene Yevich Memorial Concert sponsored by Dave and Janet Wenzel on Friday, May 4, in the Houlihan-McLean Center, Mulberry Street and Jefferson Avenue. Beginning at 7:30 p.m., the concert will feature a performance by acclaimed young violinist Kako Miura, with an appearance by The University of Scranton String Orchestra.

Also that weekend, the 25-member String Orchestra will perform its spring concert with Miura as guest soloist on Saturday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center. The orchestra is made up of members of the university community – primarily undergraduate students, but also a few members of the faculty and staff – who play violin, viola, cello or string bass.

Admission for both concerts is free, with seating on a first-come, first-seated basis. In addition, Miura will conduct a strings masterclass prior to the May 5 concert. The class is open to local amateur and professional musicians, ages 16 and up. Those interested in taking part should email music@scranton.edu for more information.

Since its establishment a decade ago, the Yevich Memorial Concert has been sponsored by former Scranton Mayor David Wenzel and his wife, Janet, as a celebration of the life of former Scranton Fire Chief Gene Yevich, the late father of Performance Music Conductor and Director Cheryl Yevich Boga.

In addition to his long career as a Scranton fireman, Yevich, who passed away in 2005, was an accomplished local musician. A multi-instrumentalist known best for his virtuosity on the accordion, he was a longtime member of the band The Novelaires. He also played with The Mediterranean Sounds, who regularly played Italian festivals in the Scranton area and New York City.

Yevich was married for almost 50 years to the former Julia Pucher, with whom he had three children, Boga and University graduates Michael Yevich and Cynthia Yevich. His grandchildren are Joseph Boga, a 2014 graduate of The Juilliard School and a professional musician who often performs and leads clinics and masterclasses at the University, and Magdalyn Boga, who earned a master’s degree from the University and is a member of the History Department faculty and Performance Music staff.

“It’s become quite a tradition,” Cheryl Boga said of the concert, which is always well attended by her father’s musician and fire department friends, among them current Scranton Fire Chief Pat DeSarno. Typically, the concert includes a guest performer who is in some way connected to the family. Miura is close friends with Joseph Boga, and this will be her third time performing at the University.

“Her programs are always exciting, eclectic, inspiring,” Cheryl Boga said. “I’ve never seen my strings students react to someone like they do to her. They say, ‘She’s this great artist, but she treats us like colleagues.’”

Miura is an active member of the classical contemporary music ensembles Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra and Aeon Ensemble. She participated in the National Arts Centre’s Young Artists Program in Ottawa and the Aspen Music Festival. In addition, she took part in the Heifetz International Music Institute Ashkenasi Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar in 2016, and the Taos School of Music chamber music program in 2017.

Currently, Miura is pursuing her master’s degree in violin performance on a full scholarship to the prestigious Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, where she is a student of Robert Lipsett, the conservatory’s Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Violin Chair. As an undergraduate at The Juilliard School, she was a student of Masao Kawasaki. She has received numerous awards in Australia and the United States, and has been a solo and chamber music performer at such esteemed venues as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall, and the Sydney Opera House.

For further information on the concerts, call 570-941-7624, email music@scranton.edu or visit scranton.edu/music.

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