About the Hosts: Alan Feirer & Steve Shanley
Alan Feirer is a professional leadership trainer, author, and consultant. For over 20 years, he has done business as Group Dynamic and served bands, choirs, youth organizations, and corporate clients, working with leadership teams to get more done and embrace hard work through leadership training and team building. His corporate training has reached Global 100 companies as well-known as ING, Google and American Express, while also supporting small to mid-sized businesses. Despite that busy schedule, in any given summer, Alan will work closely with over 1000 student leaders from dozens of high school programs.
Mr. Feirer is the author of Leadership in Action: Eight Virtues, and The Group Dynamic Field Guide for Youth; 51 Ideas Student Leaders Can Use Today, with foreword by Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser.
Alan Feirer was a band director for 19 years. Bands and students under his direction received numerous honors, invitations, and high ratings. In 1997, the Sumner High School Band was selected as the class 1A honor band at the IBA convention, and in 2009, the Winterset High School Band served as the class 3A honor band at IBA. Alan has been a frequent adjudicator at all levels and in all areas. Mr. Feirer graduated from Wartburg College in 1991 and earned the award for Outstanding Senior in Music Education. He earned his Master’s degree from UNI in 2003.
Alan continues to support the music education community by serving as a popular clinician at conferences in multiple disciplines. He is regularly asked to direct honor bands and provide informal support to newer teachers. Group Dynamic sponsors multiple conferences and events each year, and since 2003, Alan has served as co‐chair and treasurer of the Iowa Jazz Championships.
Mr. Feirer lives in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife, Julie. His daughter, Mara, is a recent graduate from Winterset High School. He also loves gaming, dining, exercise, and anything Disney.
Steve Shanley is the Pearl M. Taylor Professor of Music at Coe College (Cedar Rapids, IA), where he coordinates the music education program. Previously, he spent 11 years teaching middle and high school band, orchestra, and choir in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. While in the public schools and at Coe College, Shanley has worked with more than 100 music student teachers and countless field experience students. Under his guidance, the Coe College Jazz Summit has become one of the nation’s largest educational jazz festivals, involving over 2,000 middle and high school students each year. Shanley led statewide efforts to found the Jazz Educators of Iowa and currently serves the group as vice president. Additionally, he is co-chair of the Iowa Jazz Championships, conductor of the Coe College Junior Honor Band, and director of the “North Corridor All-Stars” high school jazz ensemble. In addition to teaching, Shanley has an active schedule as a conductor, clinician, and author. He is the conductor of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band, a professional ensemble that performs over 20 concerts each year. He has presented on elementary and secondary music topics at multiple conferences, directed dozens of honor music ensembles, and given clinics to hundreds of school music programs nationwide. As an author, Shanley contributes to GIA’s Teaching Music Through Performance, was rhythm section editor for Hal Leonard’s The Latin Jazz Guidebook, reviews books for various scholarly journals, and regularly writes columns for music education publications. He continues to work professionally as a pianist and is also in demand as a composer and arranger. Over 2,000 of his compositions and arrangements have been performed by instrumental and choral ensembles throughout the world, and his original works for school concert and jazz bands are published by C.L. Barnhouse Company and Magnolia Music Publications. Shanley holds a PhD from the University of Iowa, is a member of the JEI Hall of Fame, was inducted into Sigma Alpha Iota as a National Arts Associate, and was honored with the Iowa Bandmasters Association Karl King Distinguished Service Award. Visit his website here.