Empty Stocking Fund Concert Set for Dec. 9

    The Empty Stocking Fund Benefit Concert, presented by Performance Music at The University of Scranton, will be held Sunday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the University’s Houlihan-McLean Center. Admission is a donation of either a new and unwrapped toy or book, new toiletry items, or a cash donation.
    November 30, 2018

    On Sunday, Dec. 9, Performance Music at The University of Scranton will be encouraging area residents to join them in the holiday spirit of giving and music-making at its annual Empty Stocking Fund Benefit Concert.

    Set for 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center, Mulberry Street and Jefferson Avenue, the concert will feature the Scranton Brass Orchestra and University Singers, under the direction of Cheryl Y. Boga, and the Scranton Prep Cavalyrics, under the direction of Daniel Marx.

    The event is open to the public, with attendees asked to bring either a new and unwrapped toy or book, new toiletry items (toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, comb/brush, etc.), or a cash donation.  The donated items will benefit local children and families in need this holiday season.

    As always, the concert will include a variety of Christmas classics performed by the ensembles. At the end of the evening, the groups will collaborate with the audience for a lively Christmas caroling session that’s sure to lift the spirits.

    “Everyone really gets into that. Because how many chances do you get these days to be part of a good sing-along?” said Boga, conductor and director of Performance Music at the University.

    Empty Stocking’s origins go back to 1999, when Boga’s friend, Alan Drake, the former band director at Georgia’s Augusta College (now Augusta University), told her about a benefit Christmas concert held there. When Boga asked Drake if he would mind if she brought the idea back to Scranton, he responded, “Absolutely not.”

    For that inaugural year, she and Drake decided to wage a friendly competition to see which concert could raise the most money, and a new tradition was born.

    No doubt, the concert’s charitable mission lends it a special resonance, and Boga noted it’s always moving to see the donated items put on display the night of the concert.

    And then there’s the warm yuletide vibes produced at the concert. By the time it ends, Boga said, “You can really see people starting to feel the Christmas spirit.”

    For more information on the Empty Stocking Fund Benefit Concert, call 570-941-7624, email or visit

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