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Mario Butera - Senior Recital 

29 March 2009

Butler North, 5 pm

Presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Music in Performance Degree


Three Preludes for Solo Marimba (1982—1987)                                                                           Ney Rosauro (b. 1952)

            1. Prelúdio No. 1 Mi menor (E minor)

            2. Prelúdio No. 2 La Maior (A Major)

            3. Prelúdio No. 3 Do Maior (C Major)

PRELUDE No.1 for solo marimba was originally written for guitar, explaining the harmonies from flamenco music, as well as the Spanish mood of the work. The marimba version was completed in 1983 and is dedicated to Rose Braunstein. Throughout its three themes, the spirit of the Spanish music can be felt, and the fingerings of guitar arpeggios are suggested in the third theme. 

PRELUDE No.2 was written as an homage to the great Brazilian composer Heitor Villa Lobos, who continues to serve as my main inspiration and motive for writing music with Brazilian roots. The first theme is a tribute to the master, and the second and third themes are based on melodic sequences that are characteristic of the Bachianas Brasileiras series of Villa Lobos as well as on diminished chord passages that are common in his works for guitar. 

PRELUDE No.3 was written in 1987, soon after my arrival in Santa Maria, RS, Brazil and is dedicated to my first percussion teacher, Luiz Anunciação. The introduction and coda are presented with rolls and are in a choral style. In the second part, two new themes are introduced in a fast alternating motion of the mallets, demonstrating the virtuosity through expressive melodies. Notes by Ney Rosauro

Style Suite for Solo Snare Drum (2002)                                                                                              Murray Houllif (b. 1948)         

            1. Orchestral

            2. Rudimental

            3. Jazz

Trilogy(1981)                                                                                                                                   Tim Huesgen (b. 1957)

            1. A Vision in a Dream

            2. A Fragment

            3. With A Mazy Motion

Guaguanco                                                                                                                                      traditional Afro-Cuban


Mario Butera, Cory Doran, & Kevin Rabold: Congas

Robert Young: Cascara

Tetsuya Takeno: Claves/Shekeré

Rumba Guaguanco is also danced by couples and is characterized by its extremely risqué sensual content. Sometimes its movements are compared to those of a rooster courting a hen. The man relentlessly pursues the woman, strutting around with his chest poked out as if he were puffing out feathers. The woman pretends she is disinterested at first, but is eventually attracted to the man and permits him to get close. In essence, he attempts to consummate the courtship by thrusting his hand, foot, or pelvis towards the woman in the gesture known as the vacunao. The woman attempts to resist the vacunao by covering her pelvic area while maintaining the rhythm and flow of the dance. If he succeeds without being blocked, he is the better dancer. If she succeeds in eluding him, she is the better dancer!


Five Fantasies of Natural Origin (2001)                                                                                  David Gillingham (b. 1947)

           1. Soaring On The Wings Of an Eagle

            2. Elegy For Those Never Again To Be

            3. Slithering Serpentine Counterpoint

            4. Slow Dance Of The Last Living Dinosaur

Mario Butera, Marimba

Melissa St. Thomas, Flute

Five Fantasies of Natural Origin was commissioned by Elizabeth Sadilek and Barry Larkin of Iowa State University.  Their ensemble, the Sadilek/Larkin Flute and Percussion Duo is in residency in the Department of Music.  All of the movements carry titles derived from the animal kingdom and were inspired by my brother (who is a noted herpetologist at Central Michigan University) who has had a lifelong love of creatures of all sizes and shapes.  The first movement, “Soaring On The Wings Of An Eagle”, reflects the swift and graceful flight of this large and elegant bird with sweeping lyrical lines in the flute and the marimba.  “Elegy For Those Never Again To Be” is in reference to animals that are now extinct, but also is very much inspired by the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  “Slithering Serpentine Counterpoint” is a sort of “tongue-in-cheek” tribute to my herpetologist brother, which depicts the lightning-quick slinking of snakes through the grass with continuous counterpoint between the flute and marimba.  “Slow Dance Of The Last Living Dinosaur” is the quintessential movement of the work, being inspired by my brother’s groundbreaking research of the Tuatara lizard of New Zealand.  This lizard is, in fact, the last living dinosaur and its mating dance is described by the German term, “Stoltzer gang”, meaning “proud walk”.

      Notes by David Gillingham

Nancy                                                                                       Emmanuel Sejourné


Mario Butera is a Senior Music Performance Major at Youngstown State University.  His teachers include Dr. Glenn Schaft, Rob Ferguson, and Nathan Douds.  Throughout his career, Mario has performed in a variety of settings including the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, Youngstown Percussion Collective, YSU’s Marching Pride, Dana Symphony Orchestra, Dana Chamber Orchestra, Dana Concert Band, YSU Percussion Ensemble, and YSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble.  Butera is an active collegiate member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity where he is currently serving as an executive officer in the position of treasurer.  His seductive bass voice can be heard in both the Phi Mu Alpha Men’s Choir and Barbershop Quartet.  Mario also serves as treasurer for the Youngstown Percussion Collective (YPC), a percussion advocacy group at YSU.  With the YPC, he has assisted in the management of various projects such as the 2006 PAS Ohio Day of Percussion and a recent commissioned work for saxophones and percussion by New York composer John Hollenbeck.

Mario is proudly serving his fourth season as Percussion Coordinator and first season as Orchestra Librarian for the Pittsburgh Youth Pops Orchestra ( where he teaches orchestral percussion, manages logistics, and maintains a very organized library.  He also assists in the direction of the West Allegheny High School Percussion Ensemble.  Mario offers private percussion instruction and has taught in various educational settings including Carlynton High School (Carnegie, PA) and the Stambaugh Youth Concert Band (Youngstown, OH).  Mario gigs regularly with the Youngstown Percussion Collective as the group performs and gives educational clinics at various K-12 schools throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Mario would like to thank his teachers, family, friends, and colleagues for their endless support.

    ADA Compliance                                                                                                          Glenn Schaft © 2008-2015