News

Local Music Teachers to Perform

The University of Scranton Jazz Ensemble, featuring local high school music teachers Laurie Burdett (Scranton School District), Mike Lesnesky (Valley View School District), Ken Luckey (Tunkhannock Area School District), and Elaine Ort (Western Wayne School District), will take place Saturday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center. Admission is free.

The performing talents of some of our region’s high school music teachers will be showcased at The University of Scranton Jazz Ensemble’s upcoming “Teacher Feature” concert slated for Saturday, Feb. 22.

Presented by Performance Music at The University of Scranton, the concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. inside the University’s Houlihan-McLean Center, Mulberry Street and Jefferson Avenue.

Admission is free, with seating on a first-come, first-seated basis.

The evening’s guest soloists will be four local high school music teachers who have taught, mentored and inspired members of the current University of Scranton Jazz Ensemble during their high school years.

The featured teachers are: Laurie Burdett of the Scranton School District; Mike Lesnesky of the Valley View School District; Ken Luckey of the Tunkhannock Area School District; and Elaine Ort of the Western Wayne School District.

“My students are really excited about it,” said Performance Music Conductor and Director Cheryl Y. Boga. “Each one of the teachers will solo on one or two pieces during the concert. And, of course, they’ll be sitting in with the band and playing right along with their former students.”

According to Boga, about eight of the Jazz Ensemble’s 24 current student performers are from regional high schools – the highest percentage ever.

“I said to the students in the group, ‘You know how grateful you should be to your high school band directors for the opportunities they provided for you?’ And then the local kids who were there had the idea to have a concert to feature their music teachers who went above and beyond for them,” Boga said. “I have an endless amount of admiration for these teachers. Every single one of the four has continued to make music as an example to their students. And the fact that they are practicing and performing in addition to their teaching duties makes them better teachers and inspirations to their students as a result.”

The big band-style Jazz Ensemble is made up of University of Scranton student musicians from majors spanning the curriculum, with no music majors among them. They perform five or more times a year, and the majority of their concerts are open to the public and free of admission charge.

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