Social media spotlight: Music

Social media spotlight: Music

We want you to sing your heart out.

We want you to bring your rhythm.

We want you to find the harmony between boundless passion and applied excellence at the College of doing what you love.

Bring your zeal to the Doane Music program and it will be repaid in kind. This is the crossroads between education and enthusiasm. Here you can study music education, history, literature, performance and theory with faculty who don’t just share your passion – they live it. Here you can play in the concert band, jazz ensemble, Mighty Tiger Marching Band, string ensemble or Symphonic Wind Ensemble or sing in Doane Choir, Collegiate Chorale, Doane Women’s Chorale or Jazz Unlimited. Take your learning out-of-state and travel the country and world on choir tours and band trips.

Come to Doane and we’ll help you compose your own masterpiece.

For more on Doane Music, follow Doane College on social media throughout the week: Facebook | Twitter

#FacultyFriday profiles

Dr. Jay Gilbert

Director of Instrumental Music, chairman of the music department, Keeper of the Golden Key of B♭ Major, member of the Undergraduate Core Committee, member of the Public Events Committee

From: Madison, Wis.

Degrees: B.S. in music education, University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A. and Ph.D. in Conducting, Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.).

Why do you recommend the program? “There is something special about the Doane music program. Students have so many opportunities to lean, participate, perform and travel. And the quality of our music making has never been better.”

Favorite part of Doane Music: “My favorite part of the program is the people, my colleagues and our students.”

Favorite song: “Very difficult to answer. I have so many. It depends on what mood I’m in, I guess. I like ‘Mahler's Ninth Symphony’ as much as I like Art Tatum's rendition of ‘I Got Rhythm,’ but for different reasons.”

Dr. Kurt Runestad

Associate professor of music

From: Wayne, Neb.

Degrees: B.A. in music education, St. Olaf College (Minn.); M.A. in Choral Conducting, University of Iowa; D.M.A. in Choral Conducting, University of Iowa.

Favorite part of Doane Music: “My favorite part of Doane’s choral program is the Doane students and the art that we create together.

Favorite song: “I couldn’t name a ‘favorite song;’ too many options. As a music teacher, that’s an ever-evolving answer as we discover new music all the time.”


Dr. Lance Nielsen

Associate professor of music, president-elect of North Central Division, National Association for Music Education

From: Stromsburg, Neb.
Degrees: B.S. in education and instrumental music, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; M.A. in music, UNL; Ph.D. in music, UNL.

Why would you recommend Doane for prospective music students? “Doane College is committed to preparing future music educators. We have a comprehensive music education program which focuses on developing the tools needed to be an effective teacher. The key to our program is the amount of hands on teaching opportunities we try to give our students.

Favorite part of Doane Music: “I have really enjoyed the one-on-one attention we can give our students. We are able to develop personal and professional skills of each individual music education major and it is really exciting to see them grow as professionals. 

Favorite song: “‘Adagio for Strings’ by Samuel Barber. For me, this is a truly moving and reflective piece of music.”


Dr. Kathy Ohlman

Lecturer for music education, on Doane’s Education and Assessment Committees, public relations/advocacy chairwoman for NMEA

From: “I currently live in Lincoln but grew up in Arkansas and consider myself a southern girl.

Degrees: “I have (my Master of Arts) from Concordia University and am completing my Ph.D. program at UNL.

Favorite part of Doane Music: “The students are my favorite part! I love the teaching act and being engaged with learners in the classroom.

Favorite song: “Oh my, this is a very difficult question. This week, my favorite piece is Bach’s ‘Cantata 106.’ I have been listening to this piece recently. I am constantly amazed at the imagery, symbolism, emotional energy and compositional choices Bach packs into his work. It is such a meditative journey for the listener.”

#tbt (Throwback Thursday) alumni profiles

Lacey Atkinson ’13

Degree: B.A. in Music Education.

Now: “I have been working on reviving the arts in Page, Ariz., where I currently teach.  Setting high standards for my students has done them well, exceeding even their own expectations for themselves.

Why I love Doane Music: “I could not have gotten a college degree if it wasn't for the fantastic faculty and staff of the Doane Music Department.  Their different approaches on each discipline made for a diverse and well-rounded music education. With open arms  and big hearts, they have given me the readiness to teach in any music classroom.  Not to mention, they all have the worst and best jokes!  Without them I would not be doing what I love most; teaching music.”


Maureen Beck ’12

From: Wilber, Neb.

Degree: B.A. in Music Education, working on Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction through Doane.

Now: Teaching instrumental music for grades 6-12 for Fairbury Public Schools in Fairbury, Neb.

Why I love Doane Music: “Doane music helped shape me as a musician, educator and individual. Some of the best musical memories I have were made on tour with Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Doane Choir, forming a polka band (‘Polka Your Eye Out’) for Dr. Jay Gilbert’s Christmas party and, of course, having the band play ‘Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie’ when I walked across the stage to receive my diploma in Cassel Theatre. Without the guidance of Dr. Gilbert, Dr. Kurt Runestad and Kathy Ohlman, I would never have been able to feel as prepared and confident in these initial years of teaching.”


Matt Bertrand ’96 @MattBertrand74

From: Minden, Neb.

Degree: B.A. in Music

Now: “I am currently in my sixth year of teaching (grades) 5-12 instrumental (music) and 7-12 vocal (music) at Humphrey Public School.  Previously, I taught (grades) 5-12 Instrumental Music for 12 years at Sandy Creek Public School.  My wife, Peggy Sandall-Bertrand ’96, and I have been married for 17 years and have three children; Zane 12, Paxton, 9 and Nora 7.”

Honors: Crossroads Conference Honor Band percussion ensemble director; Doane College Alumni band director, Homecoming 2008; Central 8 Conference Honor Band director, 2009.

Why I love Doane Music: “My time at Doane College prepared me for my career in many ways.  First and foremost, the knowledge and mentoring I received from Dr. Gilbert, Mr. (Larry) Monson, Ms. Dianne Ferguson, Dr. (David) Breckbill and the rest of the faculty has been invaluable.  Even after 18 years of teaching, I find myself using lessons I learned as a student at Doane everyday.

“Second, the quality ensembles and performance opportunities I was afforded at Doane definitely made me a better musician, but more than that, I was able to grow as a person.  In band and choir I toured to 18 states, Washington D.C., Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Italy.  Without the music program at Doane, I would not have had these opportunities to travel and learn from these trips.

“Finally, the people I performed for and with became, and still are, some of the most important people in my life.  The experiences I had as a member of the band and choir at Doane are a part of my teaching everyday and I am truly fortunate to be a member of the Doane College family.”


Katie Brauer ’13 @katiebrauer90

From: Utica, Neb.

Degree: B.A. in Music Education.

Now: Teaching preschool/kindergarten-12th grade vocal music in Plainview, Neb.

Why I love Doane Music: “The Doane music program helped shape me into the person and teacher I am today. It provided me with the proper skills I need to succeed in my job and other areas of my life. It also created lasting relationships between my fellow classmates and professors. Dr. Gilbert and Dr. Runestad have been such blessings in my life. I could not have asked for more caring and inspiring mentors. I also met my husband-to-be through the Doane music program, which means I will be indebted to Doane forever! Which I have to admit – I do not mind one bit.”


Joann Couton ’74

From: Malmo, Neb.

Degree: B.A. in Music Education, did post-graduate work through the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and Kearney.

Now: After starting career teaching at Raymond Central High School and Exeter HS, in 29th year of teaching instrumental music at Bishop Neumann HS in Wahoo, Neb. Also, teaching 5th and 6th grade bands at St. Wenceslaus School in Wahoo and St. John Nepomucene School in Weston, Neb.

Honors: Instituted and hosted the Bishop Neumann Elementary/Junior High Music Contest for the past 21 years for vocal and instrumental solos and small ensembles.  Eight years ago, created the Bishop Neumann National Anthem Singers ensemble and the has been group selected to perform at five Nebraska State Activities Association State Championship games and at the 2006 College World Series.  Two-time recipient of the Howard Hansen Award from the Wahoo Chamber of Commerce for contributions to the musical, cultural and performing arts of the community. Her bands have consistently received superior and excellent ratings at state, district and local contests. Served as a staff member for the 2005 and 2009 Nebraska Ambassadors of Music European Tour, and has served as a clinician and adjudicator at several local contests.

Why I love Doane Music: “Doane Music gave me a wide variety of experiences in all areas of music, vocal and instrumental, and prepared me to teach in all of those areas with a great level of confidence in my ability to do so. I also met the love of my life, Bob Couton, while we were students there and enjoyed 34 years of married life before his sudden passing in 2010.  We also have three children, two of which also chose Doane for their higher educational pursuits: Julie Couton ’11, and Krista, who is currently a junior Music Education major.”


Jonathan Jaques ’01

From: Lincoln, Neb.

Degrees: B.A. in Music Performance (vocal/piano) and Music Education. Minored in business.

Now: “After graduating, I taught K-12 instrumental, vocal and general music at Palmer Public Schools for two years. I then moved on to O’Neill High School, where I am currently teaching (grades) 7-12 vocal music (two concert choirs and a show choir), music theory, and drama, and I assist with the junior high and high school bands.  I also direct the spring musical and co-direct the fall one-act play.  I am a substitute pianist for the churches in town and teach voice and piano lessons.

Why I love Doane Music: “Music at Doane obviously inspired me, energized me and kept me focused on my future career in music education.  I was blessed, as many many others have been, to have amazingly talented, professional and caring music and education professors at Doane, including – but not limited to – Larry Monson, Jay Gilbert, Dianne Ferguson, David Breckbill, Steve Bobst, Emme Bo, Les Manns and Tom King.  Each of them helped to make me a better musician, teacher and person. Music is my profession and my passion.”


Bri McGuffey ’13 @bri_lynn08

From: Bellevue, Neb.

Degree: B.A. in Music Education. Minored in religious studies.

Now: K-6th grade music teacher for Omaha Public Schools

Why I love Doane Music: “Being a member of the Doane music department allowed me to travel all over the country and even internationally! I met some of the most wonderful people and had tons of unique adventures while traveling with ensembles. My experiences at Doane have given me the opportunity to inspire my students to go to college and reach their dreams. They’ll never know what they may discover along the way.”


Mike Morris ’78, ’10E
From: Columbus, Neb.

Degrees: B.A. in Music Education, Masters of Education in Curriculum & Instruction.

Career and Honors: Taught vocal music for 34 years, the last 27 in Crete; adjunct music instructor at Doane; director of Nebraska State FFA Honor Choir for 11 years; choral conductor of Nebraska Ambassadors of Music European Tour 2001-2007; Nebraska Music Educators Association Music Educator of the Year, 2005; Doane College Alumni Educator of the Year, 2006; Broadway League Educator Apple Award winner, 2008; Doane College Platt Alumni Music Award winner, 2013.

Why I love Doane Music: “Doane College introduced me to my wife of 35 years and is the main reason I’ve been successful throughout my career. Any success beyond that is because of the people I attended school with, professors I worked with and outstanding educators I worked alongside throughout my career. I always drew from my experiences at Doane and pointed many of my top students toward an education at Doane College.”


Joyce Patch ’73

From: Tobias, Neb.

Degree: B.A. in Music K-12 Instrumental/Vocal music.

Now: Retired from teaching K-12 vocal music after 34 years. Taught grades 1-12 vocal music in Stanton, Neb. for one Year; K-12 vocal music in Ainsworth, Neb. for two years; K-12 vocal music in Callaway, Neb. for 11 years; and K-5 general music in Broken Bow, Neb. for 20 years.

Honors: Doane College Platt Alumni Music Award winner, 1999; Peter Kiewit Foundation Nebraska Teacher Achievement Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching, 1993; selected for summer training with the Metropolitan Opera “Creating Original Opera” program with the MET Opera Guild for 3 years (mid-1990s); elected as Elementary/General Music Chairwoman for Nebraska Music Educators Association, 1994-95; elected as NMEA President, 1998-2004; appointed as NMEA Executive Director, Editor, Webmaster, 2003 to present; elected to the National Executive Board representing the North Central Division (10 states) of the National Association for Music Education - formerly called MENC: Music Educators National Conference, 2004-10 (part of that responsibility was serving as President of the North Central Division of NAfME, 2006-2008).

Why I love Doane Music: “Doane was monumental in my achievements as the music faculty was so supportive and encouraging. Being a small town girl who had not traveled or experienced much of the outside 'world,' the faculty gave me the special attention (and encouragement) needed to feel at home and accepted so I could excel. Many of those Doane students have remained life-long friends.”


Dale Ritter ’87 @DaleRitter

From: Tilden, Neb.

Degree: B.A. in Music Education.

Now: Taught K-12 vocal and instrumental music at Polk Hordville Schools, 1987-1990; teaching instrumental music for grades 5-12 and vocal music for grades 7-12 with Alma Public Schools, 1990-present.

Honors: In 2009, the Alma High School Concert Choir was selected to sing at the Nebraska Music Educators Fall Convention. All high school large vocal groups since 1990 have received a superior rating at district contests, in that same time frame, only two of those 46 groups have not received superior ratings from all three judges. The Alma High School Concert Band has also received superior ratings at district contests every year from all three judges since 2000. At the annual Harvest of Harmony Parade, the high school band has won the parade twice (2008, 2010); placed in the top five bands in its class 21 times since 1990; and placed in the top five bands in all classes five times since 1990.

Why I love Doane Music: “Looking back, the experience I gained through Doane has helped me in many areas of life.  Of course, through the music and education departments, I gained the essential tools necessary to begin my career as a professional educator. However, it was probably the simple experiences I gained working with people – through my fraternity (Alpha Pi Epsilon), the choir and band, intramural sports, being a resident adviser in Frees Hall, and other leadership areas – that I grew the most.  Leadership and organizational skills that I developed working in those areas, that I really did not think about at the time, have been invaluable to me.”

#TigerCrushTuesday student profiles

Taylor Anderson ’15

From: Omaha, Neb.

Major: Music Education Minors: Leadership Studies, Spanish

Music involvement: I am the president of Doane’s Collegiate Chapter of National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Collegiate Chorale and Concert Band. I am also the chairwoman of Collegiate Members for the Nebraska Music Edcuator’s Association (NMEA).

Why I love the Doane Music program: I love the music program because it has taught me not only how to become a better musician, but how to improve my music teaching skills.  The music program here at Doane is one giant family that you become a part of.  Some of my best friends are involved with the music program and I get to spend time with them every day doing what I love.  


Megan Fender ’16

From: Council Bluffs, Iowa

Majors: Music Performance, Economics

Music involvement: Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, Brass Quintet and playing in the musical “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Why I love the Doane Music program: I love the music program because it is like a second family away from home. Just the other night, I was jamming with saxophonist Chance Busy until one in the morning and had a great time.


Riley Miller ’15

From: Seward, Neb.

Music involvement: Doane Choir, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble and Mighty Tiger Marching Band. 

Major: Biology Minors: Chemistry, Music

Why I love the Doane Music program: The music program is special to me because I wouldn't have had these opportunities if I had gone to a big university. At Doane, I have the ability to have a challenging major but still participate in ensembles which have been a part of my life since middle school. I have made some of my best friends in the music program and have really come to love rehearsing, practicing, learning and performing. 


Chelsey Moyer ’14

From: Cambridge, Neb.

Majors: Music Education, Vocal Performance

Music involvement: Doane Choir

Why I love the Doane Music program: I love Doane’s music program because of the people in it. My professors are so helpful and caring, and the friends I’ve met through choir are some of the kindest people I have ever known. I will always be reminded of all the beautiful music and beautiful people when I come back and hear the choir sing. And perhaps the most important thing the Music Education department has given me is the confidence and tools to inspire students to create their own music and memories.


Karena Nyberg ’16

From: Lincoln, Neb.

Major: Psychology (planning to go into speech language pathology)

Music involvement: I am involved in the Mighty Tiger Marching Band and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. I also am a part of the double reed quartet called FOURtissimo.

Why I love the Doane Music program: I adore the music program here at Doane. Everyone who is a part of it is just so genuine and helpful.  Playing music in itself is just a great way to express your thoughts, feelings and who you are as a collective whole in a way that words cannot. Having supportive faculty and friends, on top of that form of expression, really just creates the perfect balance for a great musical experience.


Emily Pracht ’14

From: Broken Bow, Neb.

Major: Biology

Music involvement: I’ve participated in Symphonic Wind Ensemble for my first three years at Doane and am participating in Concert Band this year (playing oboe). I’m also an oboist in the double reed quartet 

Why I love the Doane Music program: I love music because it is my outlet.  Life can be extremely stressful at times, but music allows me to escape for a while.  Playing or just listening to great music can be the best form of therapy. 


Sam Rickert ’15

From: Geneva, Neb.

Major: Vocal Performance

Music involvement: Doane Choir, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Jazz Unlimited, Doublewide and the barbershop quartet Whirlwind. 

Why I love the Doane Music program: The Doane College Music Program is the biggest reason I am at Doane. I grew up listening to the Doane ensembles perform, and I knew I wanted to be up there on stage some day. The experiences I have gotten from these ensembles have shaped me into a better musician and person. The fact that I can be heavily involved in six groups is an opportunity I can only get at Doane!

Interested in Doane? Let us know.

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