Arts

Music and Identity

A deep connection between music and self-expression

A deep connection between music and self-expression

Juan Álamo, an associate professor of music and director of both the percussion and global rhythms ensembles at UNC-Chapel Hill, has been captivated by music since he was five-years-old. He attended a school that specialized in music in Puerto Rico, where he grew up, and eventually discovered the marimba, which he has been playing for 27 years.

In 2022, Álamo was appointed to the William Wilson Brown Jr. Professorship in Latin American Studies within the UNC Institute for the Study of the Americas. Álamo also published “Four Mallet Music for the Modern Marimba Player,” which is part of the curriculum for universities across the nation and in Europe and Central and South America.

Álamo’s work as a composer, like his work on stage, is rooted in the connection between music and feeling.

“Writing music is a journey into the unknown,” Álamo said. “If you’re a writer, you will use poetry. If you are a painter, you paint. To me, music is a platform that I use to share my thinking, my ideas, who I am, what I see, what I understand, what I’m learning, what I’m still trying to figure out.”

Read the full Carolina Story…Opens in new window

College of Arts and Sciences Funding Priorities

Readers also viewed...

Arts

Film Beyond the Stars

Cosmic Rays film festival encourages students to push boundaries and brings experimental art to Chapel Hill

Carolina researchers digitize and catalog endangered Sufi archives of the 20th and 21st centuries along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border by taking photos.
Global Impact

Cataloging with the Local Community

Making sacred materials accessible worldwide while leaving them at their shrines

Aerial image of a lake in Nepal where Carolina researchers have been working
Environment

Third Time’s a Charm?

Gaining data about climate change in sacred Nepalese lakes

Cayla works with historical documents
Student Support

Tracking History

Uncovering local history for the community

Portrait of Rodriguez
Faculty Support

Space for Research

Packard Fellowship allows for flexibility for innovative early-career research

Portrait of Ashton holding up zines he made
Student Support

Radical Research

Carolina student used fellowship to find rare zines in archives across the country