Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

For 23rd Time in Row, Percussionists to Play

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

For 23rd Time in Row, Percussionists to Play

Article excerpt

Byline: Tamara McClaran

For 22 years, University of North Florida professor Charlotte Mabrey has offered an annual recital to provide audiences with fresh and often experimental pieces of percussion music while challenging herself as a musician and an artist. It looks as if this year's An Evening of 20th Century Music is on track to accomplish both.

Mabrey, who has a long and distinguished percussion resume, performs with several of her UNF students in this year's show. Mabrey says a drum set duet, Spring, with UNF student Dan Johnson, is challenging their traditional teacher-student relationship.

"He is a whole lot better than me," Mabrey said. "It is a great experience for both of us. It puts me on the learning curve. It's very cool to be taught by one of my students. Just because you're the teacher, you're not always the best."

Mabrey says the same is true in the Marimba Quartet, a work performed at her annual recital a few years ago.

"It is truly one of the most joyous pieces of music," Mabrey said. "However, I'm consumed with my part and struggling to get it up to tempo. Again, the whole relationship is turned on its ear."

Relationship themes set the tone for this year's concert. Every concert has followed a unique theme. Mabrey hopes this year's show reflects the emotional impact that relationships have on our lives. "It's universal. Every one of us has this real human condition we grapple with."

Each year, Mabrey's program features a marimba solo. She says this year's piece, From the Edge of the Frame, describes the challenges of coping with the unexpected changes daily life brings.

"Life gets frenzied, and you're barely hanging on," she said. "You're out of focus. That's what this feels like."

This piece of music has personal meaning to Mabrey and the other performers as they mourned the unexpected deaths of a professor and a student in the UNF Music Department this year. While some years the concert features a lot of solo performances, Mabrey says most of this year's show was designed to bring the performers together. Making music has helped them heal.

"This year, we weathered the storm together," Mabrey said. …

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