Marja Kerney

percussionist educator collaborator

Marja Kerney is the percussion professor at the Stetson University School of Music, where she teaches Applied Percussion, Percussion Methods, Music History, Popular Music in Unpopular Times: the Soundtrack of American Social Movements, and directs the Percussion Ensemble. 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. An avid chamber music performer, she cofounded the ensemble P4 with Florida colleagues Thad Anderson, Rose Grace, and Kristie Born. P4 regularly presents recitals (including a recent tour in the Midwest) comprised mostly of contemporary music commissioned by the group. She is also a member of 421 Duo with Jessica Hall Speak, clarinet. The duo gave recitals at Stetson University and the Florida State University College of Music in the fall of 2016 and has been invited to perform at ClarinetFest 2017. At the festival, the duo will premiere their newly commissioned work 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. In addition to her responsibilities at Stetson, she holds a teaching position at Bethune-Cookman University. Kerney is a longtime member of the Percussive Arts Society, currently serving on the University Pedagogy Committee and as Secretary/Treasurer of the Florida chapter of PAS, and remains active as a free-lance percussionist and timpanist.


Photography by Keelyn Oxley Mitchell

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