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Music professor, renowned mezzo-soprano publish book

September 24, 2002

A new book by an Austin Peay State University music professor is touted as likely to become “the sourcebook” for 20th century vocal music.

Written by Dr. Sharon Mabry, the book, “Exploring Twentieth Century Vocal Music: A Practical Guide to Innovations in Performance and Repertoire,” was published in June 2002 by the prestigious Oxford University Press.

Dr. Allen Henderson, chair of APSU's music department, said, “Sharon has published a text I believe will become the primary sourcebook on 20th century vocal music.”

“It's a guidebook for singers discovering the rich, 20th century repertoire,” Mabry said. “It offers practical instruction and advice for developing vocal techniques.”

Mabry has earned her reputation as an outstanding vocal teacher since joining the APSU music faculty in 1970. In recognition of her outstanding creativity, she was selected in 1979 as the first recipient of the coveted Richard M. Hawkins Award. Since 1985, she has been a featured writer for the “National Association of Teachers of Singing Journal,” with her column “New Directions,” which discusses trends in contemporary music.

In addition to teaching, Mabry has established a distinguished career as a recitalist and soloist with symphony orchestras, and she has performed at international festivals, premiering the works of more than 30 contemporary composers. Her most recent records include “Music by Tennessee Composers,” “Dimensions,” “Music by Goossen, Barber and Vercoe,” “Music by Women Composers” and “New Music for Mezzo-Soprano.”

Mabry first received national recognition as the featured recitalist in the 1980 National Public Radio Art of Song series. Her recordings have received outstanding reviews, and she has received two major grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In 1986, she made her critically acclaimed New York recital debut in Merkin Concert Hall, Abraham Goodman House, New York City. Tim Page, reviewer for “The New York Times,” wrote: “Sharon Mabry…has a healthy, versatile and expressive mezzo-soprano voice. Her diction is excellent, and she displayed a willingness to experiment.”

Mabry's new guidebook on 20th century vocal music is being sold online through the Oxford University Press Web site or through

For more information about the book, telephone Mabry at 7656.