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Feature

The strength of the Pack is our people

Music department alumni working in faculty and staff positions at NC State are shaping a new generation, including many of our student-musicians. Here are their music stories.

Eva Feucht holds her young son who is holding a toy trombone, while the marching band trombone section walks past them.
Eva Feucht and son Paul Feucht Horne with the Power Sound of the South in Aug. 2016, photo courtesy of Eva Feucht.

There are dozens of music department alumni working at NC State. Many of them are former members of the Power Sound of the South marching band. Others performed in choirs, jazz ensembles, orchestras or concert bands. Some performed in every ensemble they could during their time as a student. For many, even though they haven’t made careers out of music, it has remained an important part of their lives. We caught up with a few of these alumni to hear about the role music played in their college experience, and the role it continues to play today.

Eva Feucht

Director
Park Scholars

BS, Science Education and BA, Chemistry, 2002
MEd, Higher Education Administration, 2009

“My experiences with music at NC State provided a bridge to help me continue my involvement in musical ensembles—and the lifelong learning and community support that comes with these organizations—for life.”

Eva Feucht, Director, Park Scholars

Instruments

Trumpet, mallet percussion and voice

Ensembles taken at NC State

Marching band, jazz ensembles, State Chorale, pep band, wind ensemble, British brass band, indoor drum line

The impact of music on my NC State experience

The music department was a core component of my NC State journey. Traveling to sing in Carnegie Hall via the NC State Chorale with Dr. Al Sturgis and to compete in a national British brass band competition with Dr. Bob Petters were excellent ways to learn and grow as a musician. I formed relationships with people who are still some of my closest friends. My experiences with music at NC State provided a bridge to help me continue my involvement in musical ensembles—and the lifelong learning and community support that comes with these organizations—for life.

Eva Feucht with the trumpet section of the marching band in the fall of 2000.

A favorite memory of making music at NC State

In high school marching band, I played mallet percussion from the sidelines (the pit) and was drum major. When I received the Park Scholarship, my college journey took an unexpected new path to North Carolina (from Virginia) and to NC State. I learned that the marching band didn’t have a pit; if I wanted to join, I’d need to learn a new instrument. I chose the trumpet because my younger brother played and because a neighbor had one I could borrow. I arrived at band camp with about two months of trumpet playing experience and had never actually marched in a show—only in parades. Long story short: I was not good—at playing trumpet, at marching, or at doing both at the same time. I probably played very few correct notes in my first few shows. The experience was enormously, valuably humbling. My fellow musicians and director Jack Fuller were always supportive. I found a culture where fun, camaraderie, and entertaining the audience were primary, and this gave me the room to be able to learn and grow even if I didn’t arrive with the strongest skill set. I worked hard to improve each year, and eventually became trumpet section leader, a role that allowed me to learn a lot and to encourage those who might have struggled like I did.

The role of music in my life today

After graduation, I joined Raleigh’s Little German Band and Dancers, and have now played with them for 18 years. I have also played in a neighborhood band, the Historic Oakwood Second Line Band, since 2013. My spouse, Jason Horne (who I originally met in NC State’s marching band and reconnected with via the German Band) and I are both actively involved in these groups, and we include our three children in them as well. Musical ensembles continue to be an important part of my life. Through these groups, we provide music and cultural enrichment to a wide range of audiences.

Josh Privette

Associate Director of Development
Division of Academic and Student Affairs

BA, Political Science, 2013
MR, Natural Resources, 2019

“I think my appreciation of music is my biggest takeaway…each day I come across a lesson or aspect of my time associated with musical ensembles that helps me be a better, well-rounded person.”

Josh Privette, Associate Director of Development, Division of Academic and Student Affairs

Instruments

Voice (tenor)

Ensembles taken at NC State

Singing Statesmen and State Chorale

The impact of music on my NC State experience

Music was an escape for me from my challenging classes I had at NC State. I knew that my time in rehearsal was going to be 100% focused on something I enjoyed doing and participating in.

A music faculty member who had an impact on me

Dr. [Nathan] Leaf certainly played a big role in my experience at NC State. I will be always thankful for his quick wit, passion and focus on our work as an ensemble. He also understood that my time in his ensembles was just one part of my NC State experience. He was flexible with me as a student leader on campus, and always interested in what I was doing outside of his classroom. I’ll always be thankful for those memories.

Josh Privette sings with the Singing Statesmen during a choir concert in April 2010.

A favorite memory of making music at NC State

I wish I could pick just one—whether it be teaming up with the Peace College Choirs, singing at Chancellor Woodson’s installation, or touring the Tidewater Region of Virginia, all of my experiences were great as we shared our music with the community.

The role of music in my life today

I think my appreciation of music is my biggest takeaway—I’m no longer performing regularly, but each day I come across a lesson or aspect of my time associated with musical ensembles that helps me be a better, well-rounded person. Whether it’s personal responsibility of knowing my part, or knowing that if you are on time, you are late, or just being aware that to accomplish big goals, it takes a big team. All of these lessons I learned as a student in music.

The music department’s role in my NC State experience

I can’t imagine my time at NC State without the music department—it was a critical piece not just of my experience, but mental health. It was my escape, and a way for me to do something I enjoyed.

Stephen Terry

Research Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

BS, Mechanical Engineering, 1992
MS, Mechanical Engineering, 1995
PhD, Mechanical Engineering, 2005

“It was a place to belong and to create lifelong friends. I don’t remember a single person I went to school with in engineering, but my band friends are forever.”

Dr. Stephen Terry, Research Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Instruments

Trumpet, cornet

Ensembles taken at NC State

Marching band, pep band, wind ensemble, British Brass Band, brass quintet

The impact of music on my NC State experience

It gave me a place to relieve the stresses of working towards an engineering degree and a place to belong.

A music faculty member who had an impact on me

They were all great! But Dr. Frank Hammond was most special. He was a father figure to all of us and we would do (and often did) anything for him. He was a class act and understood we were not music majors but were true amateurs (for the love of). When he retired, the entire band created a halftime show in his honor. We wrote it, did the music/marching charts, got special t-shirts, and practiced it without him knowing. We got everyone to come take pictures in their uniforms for a scrapbook (before cell phones and digital cameras). He was floored at the effort. Dozens of former band students attended his funeral.

A favorite memory of making music at NC State

Being selected to interview Doc Severinsen on TV (for the younger crowd—extraordinary trumpet player, co-host with Johnny Carson on NBC’s Tonight Show). He came to the basketball game the next day to see the band. I had the pleasure of introducing my “friend” Doc Severinsen to the band!

The role of music in my life today

I don’t play too much now, but did play for a long time with the Triangle Brass Band—again to relieve stress and to find community.

The music department’s role in my NC State experience

It was a place to belong and to create lifelong friends. I don’t remember a single person I went to school with in engineering, but my band friends are forever.