Trevor Barroero is wrapping up his tenure at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music with the traditional honors concert.
But Barroero, an accomplished percussionist whose fledgling résumé already includes several notables — he soloed on marimba in Canada and guested as principal timpanist with the Moscow Philharmonic in Russia in December — is turning that final undergrad moment into a cause.
The 23-year-old Tucson native and Flinn scholar will perform “... in loving memory,” a benefit concert for the Alzheimer’s Association.
The concert on Wednesday, March 22, honors his grandmother, who died of Alzheimer’s in April 2012 as Barroero was finishing high school; and his father, who died unexpectedly when Barroero was 9.
Claudette Maddox, his maternal grandmother, had lived with Barroero and his family since he was a toddler. After his father died, Maddox quickly filled the role as second parent.
“She used to sit in on all of my drum lessons growing up,” he said.
Maddox lived with the family until Barroero’s junior year in high school. By then her Alzheimer’s had advanced to the point that the family could no longer care for her on their own, so she went to an assisted-living facility.
Her death five years ago at the age of 78 led Barroero on a mission.
“After seeing the effects of that when she passed away … that’s when I kind of knew that as a musician my goal is to help raise awareness and raise funds to find a cure for Alzheimer’s,” he said.
Over the past five years, he has held a number of fundraisers including participating in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Longest Day the year Maddox died.
“I knew that my final graduation recital at the UA I would find some way to incorporate a fundraising aspect for the Alzheimer’s Association,” he said.
Wednesday’s concert will be a showcase of all that Barroero has learned in his three years at the UA and the two years he spent at the University of Georgia working with former Tucson Symphony Orchestra timpanist Kimberly Toscana and her husband, Timothy K. Adams Jr., the former principal timpanist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The program includes solo works for marimba, a new work he commissioned for multipercussion called “To Brighter Directions,” and a bass drum solo work that Barroero described as “a really exciting piece. Kind of like a taiko drum piece.”
The program also will include a solo marimba transcription of “The Christmas Song,” which Barroero’s father used to sing for him when he was young. The evening will close with Andy Akiho’s funky “NO one To kNOW one,” featuring fellow Flinn scholars — none of them music majors — playing percussion, clarinet, cello, flute and piano, and a solo vocalist.
Barroero is expected to graduate with a degree in percussion performance. He plans to pursue a master’s degree and has auditioned for several music schools including at Yale University and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Wednesday’s concert is at 7:30 p.m. in Crowder Hall on the UA campus.