The University of Scranton to Host Performance by Rob Kapilow and Magdalyn E. Boga

Performance Music at The University of Scranton will kick off its Fall 2023 concert schedule Friday, Sept. 8, with a presentation of “What Makes It Great? The Great American Songbook,” featuring Rob Kapilow H ’09 with soprano Magdalyn E. Boga.

The performance begins 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.

Part of Kapilow’s long-running “What Makes It Great?” series, the presentation/concert will illuminate for attendees the difference between hearing and listening as Kapilow demonstrates how to pay attention to all the great elements of a song that might otherwise go unnoticed. The evening will include various selections from the Great American Songbook sung by Boga, including the duet “For Good” from “Wicked” in which she will be joined by fellow soprano Jessica Hitchcock.

“Rob has a special gift for creating what he refers to as ‘AHA! moments’ for his audiences,” said Performance Music Conductor and Director Cheryl Y. Boga. “Everyone in the hall – regardless of musical ability or experience – finds their ears opened by his presentations.”

A frequent Performance Music collaborator and acclaimed conductor, composer, music commentator and author, Kapilow has developed a devoted national and international following through his “What Makes It Great?” and “Family Musik” performances. He has appeared on NBC’s “Today” show, presented a special “What Makes It Great?” for PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center,” and was the subject of a full-length PBS documentary, “Summer Sun, Winter Moon.” His “What Makes It Great?” radio series was broadcast for more than a decade on NPR’s “Performance Today.”

Kapilow has written several books, including “Listening for America: Inside the Great American Songbook from Gershwin to Sondheim,” which was a finalist for the Marfield Prize, and he was the first composer to be granted the rights to set Dr. Seuss’ words to music.

Through the years, Kapilow has conducted many of North America’s major orchestras, as well as numerous works of musical theater, among them the Tony Award-winning “Nine” on Broadway, the premiere of “Frida” for the opening of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, and works for the American Repertory Theater. He’s received a number of accolades, including first place in the Fontainebleau Casadesus Piano Competition and second place in the Antal Dorati Conductor’s Competition with the Detroit Symphony.

A member of the University’s History faculty since 2010, Magdalyn Boga is equipped with a vocal range of nearly three octaves and a lyric voice capable of unusual power. She studied voice with renowned Bulgarian baritone/bass Guenko Guechev and Chinese mezzo-soprano Xiu-Ru Liu and has delivered solo, duo and quartet performances of operatic and concert repertoire with choirs and orchestras. She has also performed Baroque duet repertoire with New York City-based trumpeters Joseph Boga (her brother) and the legendary Mark Gould. Boga currently serves as the soprano soloist at First Presbyterian Church in Wilkes-Barre and is an active recitalist and chamber musician, performing as a vocal and instrumental soloist and ensemble member throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. She teaches voice at Scranton Music Academy, and performs professionally on voice, cello and French horn.

Jessica Hitchcock is a section leader and regular soloist for both the Choral Society of NEPA, and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes Barre, and a professional choir member at Temple B’nai B’rith, Kingston, and has performed as a featured soloist with the Arcadia Chorale. Hitchcock has sung throughout the United States, as well as in Austria, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey. Aside from her regular performances as a soloist and chorister, Jessica owns and operates The Vocal Studio of Jessica Hitchcock, which is now in its sixteenth year offering high-quality voice and piano lessons to students of all ages.

Also on Sept. 8, Kapilow will present “We’ve Got to Get Ourselves Back to the Garden: Inside the Music and Times of the Woodstock Generation,” as part of the Schemel Forum’s World Affairs Luncheon Seminars at the University. For more information about the luncheon, visit

University of Scranton Announces Planned April Events

Note: Access to the campus is currently limited to members of the University community, invited guests and others as listed in the Royals Back Together plan. Campus access and other health and safety information will be updated throughout the semester and can be seen on the Royals Back Together webpage

Through Apr. 29        Art Exhibit: “Shinnecock Sites and Portraits: Photographs by Jeremy Dennis.” Hope Horn Gallery, Hyland Hall. Free during gallery hours. Call 570-941-4214 or email  

Apr. 2     9 a.m. Ready to Run Northeastern Pennsylvania Campaign School offered in collaboration with the Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service. Fifth floor of Brennan Hall. Fees vary. Registration required. Register at Call 570-941-6326 or mail or

Apr. 2     7:30 p.m. Performance Music: “In Recital” featuring Kako Miura, violinist and friends. Houlihan-McLean Center. Free. Call 570-941-7624 or email  

Apr. 6     7:30 p.m. Performance Music: “14th Annual Gene Yevich Memorial Concert” featuring Dr. Wycliffe A. Gordon with The University of Scranton Singers and Scranton Brass Orchestra. Houlihan-McLean Center. Free. Call 570-941-7624 or email  

Apr. 7      8:30 a.m. Hayes Family Competition in physics and engineering for invited high school students. Byron Complex. Registration required. Call 570-941-6296 or email   

Apr. 7     4 p.m. 2022 Annual ACHE Healthcare Symposium: “HEALTH’y Employees Lead to HEALTH’y Patients: Strategies to Support the Well-Being of Healthcare Professionals.” McIlhenny Ballroom, DeNaples Center. Registration required. Includes dinner, presentation and panel discussion. Fees vary. Call 484-632-6605 or email

Apr. 7     7:30 p.m. Performance Music: “In Concert” featuring Dr. Wycliffe A. Gordon with The University of Scranton Jazz Band. Houlihan-McLean Center. Free. Call 570-941-7624 or email  

Apr. 7-9     8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. “Drowsy Chaperone” presented by The Liva Arts Company. The Royal Theater, McDade Literary and Performing Arts Center. $7 admission. Visit or email  

April 9     8 a.m. Inaugural Conference on Ethics and Excellence in Public Service for public officials, leaders of nonprofit organizations and students. Fifth floor of Brennan Hall. Fees vary. Registration required. Email or call 570-941-7401. 

Apr. 20     4 p.m. Henry George Spring Lecture: “Evolution of Conventions of Behavior” presented by Andrew Schotter, Ph.D., professor of economics, New York University. McIlhenny Ballroom, DeNaples Center. Free. Call 570-941-4048 or email

Apr. 22     noon. Schemel Forum World Affairs Luncheon Seminar: “Russia and the Post-Truth Society” presented by Jill Dougherty, former CNN’s Moscow bureau chief for almost a decade, Russian expert, adjunct professor at Georgetown University and a CNN on-air contributor. Kane Forum, Edward Leahy Hall or remote. Registration required. Fees vary. Call 570-941-6206 or email  

Apr. 25     5:30 p.m. Schemel Forum Collaborative Program with the Jesuit Center, The University of Scranton: “A Schemel Legacy: The Engineer and the Monk” presented by Christopher F. Schemel, Ph.D., president Delta Q Consultants, Inc. and courtesy professor of chemical engineering, University of South Florida, and Brother Mario Joseph, Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers, Georgia. Pearn Auditorium, Brennan Hall or remote, reception follows. $25 fee. Registration required. Call 570-941-6206 or email  

Apr. 30-May 1     9 a.m. Saturday; noon Sunday. Friends of the Library Book and Plant Sale. Heritage Room, Weinberg Memorial Library. Call 570-941-7816 or email  

Apr. 30     7:30 p.m. Performance Music: “39th Annual World Premiere Composition Series Concert” featuring The University of Scranton Concert Band and Concert Choir premiering two new commissioned works by guest composer/conductor Javier Nero. Houlihan-McLean Center. Free. Call 570-941-7624 or email