Featured Tigers is a monthly series wherein the spotlight shines on a few students, alumni, faculty and staff from our Crete, Lincoln and Omaha campus locations. These individuals stand out in the best way — as talented and driven leaders.
View all Featured Tigers here.
What is your name and title?
Dr. Andrew Feyes, Director of Instrumental Music
How long have you taught at Doane? What attracted you to teach here?
This is my second year here at Doane. I was aware of the positive reputation of Doane’s Music Department and after visiting campus, I discovered that Doane is a place where faculty can truly invest in their students. Doing so allows me to feel fulfilled as an educator. Coming to Doane was also an opportunity to lead a comprehensive instrumental program, which has been an absolute joy thus far.
What do you consider the best part of your Doane experience?
Seeing the growth of the student performers on our campus. In relatively short order they have committed to new ways of thinking about and making music, and the results have been wonderful to see and hear.
What is something you're proud of accomplishing or achieving while at Doane?
Our Doane Concert Band students were given the honor to be only one of two collegiate bands in the state that were selected to perform at the 2023 Nebraska Music Education Association’s annual conference. It is a testament to the recordings made and submitted by last year’s Doane Concert Band and is an opportunity that can only come at most once every three years. This year’s band performed on Friday, November 17th at Lincoln’s Lied Center and were excellent representatives of Doane University, providing a truly high quality performance for the music educators of our state.
Do you have a favorite class to teach? If so, what about it makes it your favorite?
It’s very hard to pick just one… I have the joy of leading our Doane Concert Band where I get to work with the greatest number of students, but I also am grateful to teach conducting and methods classes to music majors. Leading a large group of students in our concert band is always a pleasure, but training the future music educators of our nation has also been a life long dream.
Are you pursuing research this year? If so, what are you researching and what excites you about it?
While I am not pursuing any current academic research, I do find great joy in my creative work as I select programs of music literature for the Doane Concert Band to perform. At our NMEA performance in November, our program was entitled, “Journeys”, where each piece was intended to take the listener on a specific journey. This program resonated well with both our students and audiences, which is wonderful to see.
What's some advice you would give to current students? Or, what is some advice you've received that you value?
One recent bit of advice I shared with our concert band students was borrowed from Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He said, “No one cares what you’re capable of. What matters is what you are willing to do, right now.” It speaks to acknowledging our talents and past experiences, but having the realization that no matter our past and talent, what we are willing to do in the moment is what matters most. As a performer, every concert, every piece, every phrase, and every note must have importance. We must be willing to live in the moment that is live music and be vulnerable enough to share that music with our audience. It takes courage and the presence of mind to understand that no one knows if you played it correctly yesterday. Now will always matter more than yesterday.
What is something you like about yourself that others may not know?
I am very proud of my cooking! I take joy in preparing dinner (or weekend breakfast) for my family. I don’t get to do it every night, but when I do, I try to make the food special. My daughters are at an age where they are beginning to join me in the kitchen and it’s so special to me. They enjoy food more when they cook it. Coincidentally, the same is true for music. We enjoy it more when we know how to make and share it.