The University of Scranton to Host Concert

Continuing its commitment to presenting world class musical talent, Performance Music at The University of Scranton will spotlight the work of guest composer/conductor Javier Nero at its 39th annual World Premiere Composition Series Concert on Saturday, April 30. The concert 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 concert, The University of Scranton Concert Band and Concert Choir will premiere two brand-new commissioned works by Nero written specifically for the University’s student ensembles, entitled The Return (for concert band) and One Day (for six part choir), according to Performance Music Conductor and Director Cheryl Y. Boga.

An internationally award-winning jazz trombonist, composer, arranger and educator, Nero recently won the position of lead trombone in the prestigious U. S. Army Blues, the big band jazz element of The U. S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D.C. His compositions have been described by Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch as “modern, sophisticated yet accessible, pleasing the player and listener alike.”

In addition to his career with the Army Blues, Nero also performs in the D.C. and N.Y.C. areas with two of his ensembles, the Javier Nero Septet and the Javier Nero Jazz Orchestra. With the Septet, he released his first album, “Freedom” and his big band album will be released later this year.  He has also been a member of the award-winning Haitian band Klass, which has toured the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, South America and France.

Nero’s compositions and arrangements have earned him awards from Downbeat magazine, as well as participation in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program and the Banff Centre’s international workshop in jazz and creative music, and his works have been performed by the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, Frost Symphony Orchestra, Studio Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Vocal 1, Extensions, the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra and the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra.

As a trombonist, Nero has won first place in four international jazz solo competitions, including the 2011 International Trombone Association’s Carl Fontana Competition, the ITA’s 2013 JJ Johnson Competition, the 2014 American Trombone Workshop National Jazz Solo Competition and the 2015 Texas State Trombone Symposium Jazz Trombone Competition. He was also a finalist in the Detroit Jazz Festival’s Curtis Fuller National Solo Competition, and he recently won and placed as finalist for two consecutive years in the Ithaca College Jazz Composer Contest.

Nero received his Bachelor of Music from the Juilliard School, a Master of Music in studio/jazz writing from the University of Miami, and a Doctor of Musical Arts with a minor in classical trombone performance from Miami’s Frost School of Music.

All audience members are required to wear a higher-grade mask (N95, KN95, KF94 or double masking) at all times. Please check Performance Music’s website,, within 24 hours of the concert for the most current information on additional required audience COVID-19 mitigation measures (e.g., masking, vaccination, distancing, etc.).

For further information on the concert, call 570-941-7624, email or visit For more info on Nero, visit

WM Sites Offering Free Disposal to Cleanup Projects

WM’s Alliance Landfill in Taylor and Beach Lake Transfer Station in Berlin Twp., Wayne County, are offering free waste disposal in April to groups that register their spring cleanup projects with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’ s (KPB) Pick Up Pennsylvania program.

Michelle Dunn, Pick Up Pennsylvania coordinator, said groups planning cleanups can register their projects and receive free gloves, bags and vests while supplies last through KPB at (Programs/Pick Up PA).

Ms. Dunn said the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association have arranged for free waste disposal for registered cleanup projects. Free disposal is available at Alliance and the Beach Lake Transfer Station through April.

KPB’s statewide cleanup effort in 2021 attracted more than 6,000 volunteers who removed 1,100 tons of waste and recyclables from 4,430 miles of roadsides, shorelines and trails. Project volunteers last year also picked up and properly disposed of almost 23,041 waste tires and planted more than 102,000 trees, shrubs and flowers.

“Plenty of litter and other waste remains to be picked up,” Ms. Dunn said. “We estimate that there are over 500 million pieces of litter spoiling Pennsylvania’s roadsides.”

According to the state’s 2020 litter study, more than two-thirds of this litter is cigarette butts and bits of plastics. Motorists and pedestrians are the leading sources of litter. The report also found litter is impacting the taxes we pay. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spent more than $65 million to remove litter from roadsides between

2014 and 2018 and the state’s nine largest cities, including Allentown and Scranton, spend $68.5 million a year on litter prevention, education and cleanup.

“You can make a difference in your community by working together and I encourage scout and church groups, youth sports organizations, neighborhood associations and workplace teams to register an event at and celebrate spring by helping to clean up our state,” Ms. Dunn said. “And if you are an individual or family interested in joining an existing event, please contact our office and we will try to match you with a local cleanup project.”

The Dime Bank Hosts Free Virtual Webinars on Money Management

Want to get smarter about money? April 9 -16 is Money Smart Week! This FREE virtual campaign aims to help people better manage their personal finances with a focus on those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s line-up includes:

  • Monday, April 11th @ 1:00 p.m. CT / 2:00 p.m. EST | Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Presented by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
  • Tuesday, April 12th @ 1:00 p.m. CT / 2:00 p.m. EST | Credit: Build & Improve It! Presented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Wednesday, April 13th @ 1:00 p.m. CT / 2:00 p.m. EST | Buying or Refinancing a Home: Options & Tools. Presented by North West Housing Partnership
  • Thursday, April 14th @ 1:00 p.m. CT / 2:00 p.m. EST | Understanding Social Security Benefits. Presented by the Social Security Administration

View more details at*. Events are free and open to the public, but registration is advised. Questions for the panelists can be submitted during the registration process.

University of Scranton Earth Day Events

Inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical titled “On Care for Our Common Home,” The University of Scranton’s Sustainability Office has selected the theme “We Are All Connected” for their Spring sustainability initiative. To celebrate this theme, especially as Earth Day approaches, the Sustainability Office will host several events for students, faculty and staff as well as guests from the greater Scranton community.

Area students in grades 5-12 may participate in the University’s Earth Day Essay Contest. Submissions will be accepted through April 4. This year’s theme is “We Are All Connected.” For submission rules and details, visit:

Winners of the essay contest will be announced at the Evening of Environmental on Wednesday, April 20, in the Atrium of the Loyola Science Center on campus. The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and features interactive science experiments run by University students. The event will also include a display of the essays submitted. Finalists will receive Earth Day medals and certificates at a ceremony.

On the following day, April 21, the University will host a lecture by renowned American climatologist and geophysicist Michael Mann, Ph.D., author of “The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet.” Dr. Mann is the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Pennsylvania State University, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. He is the author of five books on climate change, as well as more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications, numerous op-eds and commentaries. The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center on campus.

The final Earth Day event for the month of April will be an art show address on April 25 by Laura Kern, an artist from rural Pennsylvania who uses her sculptures to emphasize the connection between humans and the environment, as well as to highlight prominent environmental and societal issues. Kern will present her address in the Heritage Room of the Weinberg Memorial Library. The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Other events open to University students, faculty and staff include an Environmental Art Show on the fifth floor of the Weinberg Memorial Library from April 19 to April 26; an Earth Day Fair in the lobby of the Loyola Science Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 19; an Environmentally-Friendly Tie-Dye event, taking place on the Dionne Campus Green at 5 p.m. on April 20; and a kayaking trip on the Susquehanna River on May 7.

Several related events also took place in March, including a screening of “The Human Element,” a film in which photographer James Balog uses his camera to document and uncover how environmental change affects the lives of Americans each day. The University also hosted a celebration of World Water Day on March 22.

All of these events are sponsored by the University’s Sustainability Office with the support of the Jesuit Center, the Kania School of Management, the Multicultural Center, the environmental studies concentration and major, the Weinberg Memorial Library and the Society for Sustainability and Conservation student organization.

Immigrants Stories to be Presented in “80 Minutes Around the World”

The Misericordia University College of Arts and Sciences will present “80 Minutes Around the World,” a once-in-a-lifetime event that takes audience members on an 80-minute trip around five continents as eight storytellers each share their immigration experiences. The storytellers come from around the United States with families connecting back to Guatemala, Philippines, Greece, Eritrea, Argentina, Laos, Canada, Turkey, and Poland. The show combines award-winning performers including Nestor Gomez (show creator), Adam Wade (Magnet Theater, NYC) and John Gebretatose (HUGE Theater, Minneapolis) with regional and local storytellers who are first- and second-generation immigrants and refugees.

The show will tour through Luzerne and Lackawanna counties with performances at Misericordia University’s Lemmond Theatre on April 28 at 7:30 p.m. and April 29 at 12:30 p.m., the F.M. Kirby Center on April 29 at 7:30 p.m., and the Scranton Cultural Center on April 30 at 7:30 p.m. All shows are free and open to the public.

This show is the culmination of The Voices Project: Immigration, a year-long visual and storytelling arts project conducted at Misericordia University. Over the past eight months, over 50 students at Misericordia University interviewed first and second-generation immigrants, refugees and DACA recipients and created stories based on the immigration experiences of their interviewees. These students participated in classes with Alicia Nordstrom, Ph.D., professor and chairperson of the psychology department; Allan Austin, Ph.D., professor of history and Patrick Hamilton, Ph.D., professor and chairperson of the English department, to examine the topic of immigration from psychological, historical, and literary perspectives. The project kicked off with an art exhibit called Voices: Immigration curated by Laine Little, the Director of the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery, which displayed visual, graphic, and sculptural works from six immigrant artists, one of whom will be sharing his story and hosting a pop-up art exhibit at the April show.

The show is supported by grants from the Lackawanna Arts Council, the Soyka Funds for the Humanities, and the Misericordia University College of Arts and Sciences. For more information, email Alicia Nordstrom at or 570-674-8008. You can learn about previous versions of The Voices Project at and follow show information on social media at #MUVoices project and

Founded by The Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 56 academic programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. Misericordia University ranks in the “National Universities” category of U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 edition of Best Colleges. The Princeton Review recognizes Misericordia as a 2021 “Best Northeastern” college, and Money Magazine includes Misericordia in its 2020-2021 “Best Colleges” list. College Consensus, the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education rank Misericordia among the top colleges and universities nationally.

Climate Change Expert to Speak at The University of Scranton

Recognized globally as a leading expert on climate change, climatologist and geophysicist Michael E. Mann, Ph.D., will discuss his new book “The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet” at The University of Scranton on April 21. The lecture, offered free of charge, begins at 7:30 p.m. in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center.

The author of five books on climate change, Dr. Mann’s research has been published in more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications. He was a lead author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was named to the Bloomberg News list of 50 Most Influential People in 2013, Academic’s Ten Most Influential Earth Scientists list in 2020, and, in 2002, was named by Scientific American as one of 50 leading visionaries in science and technology, among dozens of other honors and awards.

Dr. Mann is the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Pennsylvania State University, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. He is the co-founder of the award-winning website

Dr. Mann’s latest book, “The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet,” was nominated among the 15 Best Science and Environment Books of 2021 by The Times (UK) and nominated for the Business Book of the Year 2021 by Financial Times (runner-up). His book explores the intricacies of the struggle to conquer the disinformation campaigns of the fossil fuel industry and their intentional division of modern climate advocates. Dr. Mann demonstrates that these tactical efforts by fossil fuel producers currently render the work of climate advocates ineffective and divert attention from necessary sweeping environmental policy actions. Along with these topics, Dr. Mann will discuss inadequate solutions as well as the responses to the climate crisis he deems best.

Dr. Mann earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and applied mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley; and his master’s degree in physics and Ph.D. in geology and geophysics from Yale University.

Dr. Mann’s research and presentation echo the Jesuit teaching and commitment to care for our common home. Pope Francis broadcasts the same message, highlighting in his encyclical that “the Creator does not abandon us” and that, as humans, we have a duty to protect the planet because “humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home” (Laudato Si’ 13).

Presented as part of The University of Scranton’s Earth Day events this year, the lecture and other related events focus on the theme “we are all connected,” inspired by Pope Francis’ famous encyclical On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si’).

The lecture is presented by the University’s Jesuit Center and Office of Sustainability. Health and safety protocols that are in effect on April 21 as outlined in the Royals Back Together plan must be followed by those in attendance.For more information about the lecture, email or call call 570-941-6267.

The Scranton Cultural Center Presents FREE Concert

Enjoy a concert given by the United States Air Force Heritage of America Concert Band at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple on February 13 at 2:00 p.m.  The concert is free and open to the public.

For eight decades, the USAF Heritage of America Concert Band has educated, inspired and entertained over 1.5 million people annually, by providing music for events that support Airmen and their families, honor our Nation’s veterans and build relationships of trust between the American people and their Air Force. The Concert Band is comprised of over 40 professional Airman-musicians who captivate audiences on regular tours throughout the East Coast with a variety of renditions of great orchestral classics, marches, Broadway hits, jazz standards, movie music and patriotic favorites.

PLEASE NOTE: As per the guidelines of the United States Air Force, all attendees eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination must show proof of vaccination to gain entry to the performance. All non-vaccinated attendees must show proof of a negative FDA-approved COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the performance to gain entry.  Additionally, masks are required inside the Scranton Cultural Center for all patrons.

The United States Air Force Heritage of America Concert Band concert is presented by Gibbons Ford and sponsored by LT Verrastro.  It is supported by Lackawanna County and the PA Council on the Arts.

The concert will take place in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Theatre at 2:00 p.m. with the doors opening at 1:30 p.m.  Concessions will be available for purchase.  Tickets are free to the public and are required for admission.  They can be acquired at the Fidelity Bank Box Office at the SCC in person or by calling (570) 344-1111, or via Ticketmaster. Convenience charges apply when claiming online or by phone.  For additional information and a full schedule of events, visit

Scranton Cultural Center to Host Final Summer Concert

The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple will host the final show in its free outdoor summer concert series on September 10 with alternative rock/punk band Blind Choice.  The show will take place outside the Scranton Cultural Center at 420 N. Washington Avenue.

“This concert series has been such a great success, and we’ve loved providing live entertainment for our community again.  It was a great way to lead into our upcoming season,” said Deborah Moran Peterson, SCC Executive Director.

Blind Choice is an alternative rock & punk trio from Pennsylvania, Blind Choice was formed with its current members in March 2017. The band, with four years under its belt, has quickly gained success and has shared the stage with artists like Richie Ramone (The Ramones), Bowling For Soup, Drake Bell, Diamante, Sponge and TRAPT Official just to name a few! With well over 150 shows performed, the trio continues to perform throughout the tristate region playing at iconic music venues from The Bitter End to the Stanhope House, H*MAC, Chameleon Club and Mount Airy Casino & Lodge. The band is performs a mix of originals and covers, and stripped down raw acoustic tunes.  Band members include Dylan Pysher (Vocals/Lead Guitar), Matt Habrial (Bass/Backup Vocals) and Tanner Snyder (Drums).

All current CDC Guidelines will be followed, with any updates being shared via social media.  Patrons are requested to wear face coverings while inside the building.  The performance will run from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM; a cash bar with light fare will open at 6:00 PM prior to the show.  In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved indoors.  To learn more about the Scranton Cultural Center and its upcoming events, visit

The free outdoor summer concert series is sponsored by LT Verrastro, Truly Hard Seltzer, UGI Utilities Inc., WBRE/WYOU and Fidelity Bank.  It is supported by Lackawanna County and the PA Council on the Arts.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Free Online Invention-Con 2021

If you are an entrepreneur, small business owner, or independent inventor, your creative work is among your most valuable assets. Don’t miss your chance to learn how different types of intellectual property (IP), such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights, are critical to your business strategy. Learn more and register early for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) free online Invention-Con 2021: Capitalizing on your intellectual property, coming August 18-20.

Note this year’s special student programing: If you know a young inventor or entrepreneur, the August 18 agenda will feature informative workshops and young innovators who will share their experiences and insights. Please feel free to share the event link:

Take this opportunity to hear from business and government experts about turning ideas into innovations, protecting your work, and accessing valuable resources that can help you succeed in the marketplace. Keynote speakers Gitanjali Rao, inventor and TIME magazine’s 2020 Kid of the Year; Serene Almomen, CEO of Senseware; and recording artist Ansel Brown will share their insights on science, technological innovation, music, and business.

Presentations and workshops will cover:

  • Putting your creativity to work
  • How to safeguard your work with different types of IP protection: Patents, trademarks, and copyrights
  • How creativity and IP apply in fields as varied as artificial intelligence, robotics, fashion, music, and literature
  • Marketing, manufacturing, and how you can build a competitive advantage around your ideas
  • Fun free educational resources for kids and teens
  • Insights from the USPTO experts who examine patent applications
  • Innovation and the fight against COVID-19
  • And much more

Invention-Con 2021 will also include a wide range of virtual resource booths from the USPTO and other federal government agencies.

This event is offered by the USPTO’s Office of Innovation Outreach. For questions or assistance, please contact

Don’t forget: The USPTO offers many informative presentations, panels, and chats year-round. Find one that interests you on the events page of our website.