BROOKSVILLE — Charlotte Murrin was more than a violin teacher to Joy Pritz. She was a mentor, a colleague and, most important, a friend.
When Pritz was 13, she began taking violin lessons with Murrin, who founded the Hernando Suzuki School of Music and, later, Miss Charlotte's Suzuki Strings.
"I really admired her and her devotion," Pritz recalled. "Charlotte was incredible and hard-working."
As she got older, Pritz became a violin teacher as well, working alongside Murrin, and continued her education by receiving a master's degree in violin performance and chamber music at the University of South Florida.
Now 31 and married with three young children, Pritz will help honor Murrin's memory when she performs at the sixth-annual Best of the Best concert Sunday at Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Murrin, who spent 14 years teaching string instruments to hundreds of local children using the Suzuki method, died in 2006 after a battle with cancer. To keep her legacy alive, her husband, Ken Murrin, founded the Charlotte Murrin Memorial Suzuki Education Foundation. Proceeds from the annual concerts benefit the foundation, which provides scholarships to music students.
Sunday's concert will feature about 20 musicians performing on violin and cello. Many are Mrs. Murrin's former students.
"Joy and her husband returned a few months ago after serving as missionaries in China," Ken Murrin said. "She will perform with two of her children, which will be special."
In fact, the audience will be treated to three generations performing an arrangement of Pachelbel's Canon, which is commonly played at weddings. Pritz will play violin, as well as her daughter, Lydia Ann, 4. Her son, Kenneth, 5, will play on cello. And the accompanist will be Pritz's mother, Vicky Johnson.
Pritz will also give a solo performance of Liang Zhu (Butterfly Lovers), a popular Chinese violin concerto.
The Suzuki method is a technique aimed specifically at teaching strings to young children. Pritz said Mrs. Murrin believed lessons should involve the entire family, as it increased the child's success rate. And having a chance to have children perform Sunday allows Pritz to honor her mentor, her friend.
"(Charlotte Murrin) was an amazing woman, an amazing teacher," Pritz said. "She was devoted to the kids. . . . She is part of my life story and why I'm still involved with music."