Passionate musician, passionate leader
Arts & Life Correspondent
She never fails to be involved in music performance in some way, and with upcoming performances at The University, Cheryl Y. Boga is devoted to making her ensembles reach their fullest potential while enjoying their shared love of music.
Boga is the conductor and director of Performance Music at The University.
Boga has worked in the Performance Music department at The University for more than 30 years, and she has achieved quite a tremendous amount during her time here. She conducts and directs numerous music ensembles, including but not limited to university performance choirs, bands, string orchestra and ensembles and performance arts series.
Trained in the clarinet by Leon Russianoff, Boga is not only a passionate musician, but also a passionate leader. She learned to conduct with Rob Kapilow and studied rehearsal techniques with Vaclav Nelhybel.
As director, Boga noted the unbelievable devotion that participants of the Performance Music program have to music. This is especially noteworthy because there is no credit or requirement involved with participating.
“Everybody walks in the door and makes the commitment only because they love to make music,” Boga said.
She believes the opportunities in the Performance Music program truly give students a portal for creative expression.
“So much of what your whole generation does is based on being right. Sometimes, I just think you should be able to sit down and express yourself in an organized way,” Boga said, smiling.
Additionally, there are no audition requirements for the main groups. To be a member of the band, you just have to play an instrument. It does not matter what level you are at.
“A lot of this program is built on collaboration,” Boga said.
Because most of the students are all at different levels, they can learn from one another and eventually “create some little thing of beauty.”
Boga also emphasized the importance for non-music majors to have fine musical experiences. She believes that Performance Music students have the ability to contribute in a large way to the future of American artistic culture.
“My hope and what I have seen with my alumni in many cases, is that you leave here and you’re more inclined in your future as leaders in your communities and your professions, to ensure a solid foundation for people who are making their living as artists,” Boga said.
Boga hopes that Performance Music students will continue to be involved in their local music communities after they graduate from The University. She wants students to develop their music communities through involvement in arts organizations and projects and by serving as board members and donors. She wants the students, who know what it takes to make music, to develop arts and culture in their communities.
In the future of Performance Music at The University, Boga would like the concerts and performances to be more heavily attended by students of the University community.
If you would like to get involved in the Performance Music program, there are many resources available. Anyone can join during the first week of a new semester, and all are not only welcomed but encouraged to do so.
There are various upcoming events that students and members of the Scranton community are invited to attend. The 32nd Annual World Premiere Composition Series Concert, featuring works by composer/conductor Brian McWhorter, will take place 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25. At this concert, The University’s Concert Band and Concert Choir will be performing. The University’s String Orchestra will be in concert 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2. The University’s Jazz Band, along with surprise alumni guest soloists, will be in concert 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 9. Lastly, The University’s Symphonic Band, Singers and String Ensemble will be performing at the Pre-Commencement Concert 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 15.
Boga is the founder and music director of the World Premiere Composition series and the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and honors, such as the Order Pro Deo et Universitat, National Catholic Bandmasters Association Service Award, The Sursum Corda Award and others.
When speaking about her job, Boga said that she loved kids and music. But to put it in the most basic terms, the reason she loves her job is simple.
“I think it’s important,” Boga said.