Performance Music Concludes Season with May 13 Recital

Organist Alexander Pattavina will perform on Sunday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the University’s Houlihan-McLean Center.
Organist Alexander Pattavina will perform Sunday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center. The performance is free of charge and open to the public.
Organist Alexander Pattavina will perform Sunday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center. The performance is free of charge and open to the public.

Performance Music at The University of Scranton will close out its 2018 spring semester schedule Sunday, May 13, with a recital by organist and composer Alexander Pattavina. The recital will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center, Mulberry Street and Jefferson Avenue. Admission is free, with seating on a first-come, first-seated basis.

At the recital, Pattavina will perform on the Houlihan-McLean Center’s completely restored Austin Opus 301 Symphonic Organ. Since restoring the organ, Performance Music Conductor and Director Cheryl Y. Boga has made it a point to bring world-class organists to the University.

Boga hasn’t met Pattavina yet, but he came highly recommended by Daniel Ficarri and David Ball, both of whom recently gave organ recitals at the University. All three musicians studied together at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs.

“We have developed these amazing relationships with Paul Jacobs’ students. He’s doing amazing things with these young organists,” Boga said. “His students have this unique gift for not just being great organists and musicians, but also for putting together incredible programs. They know how to program in a way that completely engages the audience.”

“And they are great at talking with audiences,” she continued. “They manage to talk about the piece they’re going to play in a way that doesn’t wreck it or condescend to the audience. They communicate the reasons for their interest in the piece and why they are excited about performing it.”

Meanwhile, Boga said, the organ has been sounding particularly great since Allentown-based Emery Brothers Inc. took over its maintenance.

“They do an amazing job. It’s just sparklingly clear,” she said. “Following up a great re-build by Pat Murphy with the exceptional tuning and maintenance being provided by Adam and Steve and their crew at Emery is helping this instrument to really show its stuff.”

Pattavina, of Stoughton, Massachusetts, is currently completing his bachelor’s degree in organ performance at Juilliard. He took first prize at the 2014 L. Cameron Johnson Memorial Organ Competition, and is a past recipient of the Ruth and Paul Manz Scholarship from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

His composition for choir and organ, “All in a Stable Cold and Bare,” will be published in an upcoming release by Hal Leonard. Meanwhile, Pattavina recently performed recitals at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City, Old West Church in Boston, and Hampton Congregational Church in Hampton, Connecticut.  

Pattavina was among the performers at an 18-hour marathon performance of the complete organ works of J.S. Bach held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Manhattan. He has also worked at St. Michael’s Church in New York, as organ scholar at The Parish of St. Paul in Harvard Square and Christ Church in Bronxville, New York, and as assistant organist at St. Joseph Parish in Needham, Massachusetts.

For more information on the recital, call 570-941-7624, email or visit

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