Marja Kerney is Artist in Residence and Part-Time Assistant Professor of Percussion Performance at the Kennesaw State University School of Music. Prior to her appointment at KSU, she was the percussion professor at the Stetson University School of Music. In addition to percussion-related education, she has created two well-received courses (Popular Music in Unpopular Times: the Soundtrack of American Social Movements and The Symphonic Experience) and has taught courses in music history and aural training.
A native of Michigan, Kerney earned her BM from the Michigan State University College of Music and MM and DMA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. As an avid chamber music performer, she cofounded and co-commissioned music for the quartet P4 for two pianos and two percussion as well as the clarinet/percussion duo 421. The duo have performed at various universities and were featured performers at ClarinetFest 2017 in Orlando, FL, where they premiered their newly commissioned work, Two Trees, by Baljinder Singh Sekhon, II.
As a new music collaborator, Kerney has worked with composers Chen Yi, James Mobberley, Sydney Hodkinson, Zack Browning, Philip Wharton, Baljinder Sekhon, Thad Anderson, Lee Hartman, Shawn Hundley, Ethan Greene, and Chad Rehmann. In addition to her extensive contemporary chamber experience, Kerney has performed as a percussionist/timpanist with the Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Ballet, Florida Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Wichita Symphony, West Shore Symphony, Midland Symphony, and Greater Lansing Symphony, and has served as a pit percussionist for musicals including A Chorus Line, La Cage Aux Folles, 9 to 5, and Spamalot. She was also a member of Marimba Sol de Chiapas, an authentic Mexican marimba quartet based in Kansas City. Aside from her appointments at Kennesaw State and Stetson, she has served on the faculties at Bethune-Cookman University and Seminole State College. Kerney is a longtime member of the Percussive Arts Society, currently serving on the University Pedagogy and Leadership Academy Steering Committees and formerly as Secretary/Treasurer of the Florida chapter of PAS, and remains active as a free-lance percussionist and timpanist.