JACKSONVILLE, FLA. -- Charlotte Mabrey's career in Jacksonville began in 1978 when she was hired as a percussionist with the Jacksonville Symphony. Professor Mabrey went on to teach at the University of North Florida in 1981. Wednesday, April 13, she will perform one last time as she prepares for retirement at the end of the April.

Mabrey grew up in Illinois and has called the First Coast home for nearly 40 years. Her parents abused alcohol and she too at a point struggled with alcoholism. Through it all she says music kept her in tune. And for decades she's inspired and encouraged students to be seen, heard and even felt through their art.

"I can't tell you the number of kids that have walked by my office with this sort of (sad look on their face) and I'll say hey." said Mabrey.

"I just, I want them to have things that I didn't have. I want them to have somebody that really cares about them as people."

Mabrey earned UNF's distinguished professor award in 2001. She also won the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville Arts Award for education in 2012.

Her farewell performance will be held Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Lazzara Performance Hall in the Fine Arts Center at UNF.