Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Dedication has rewards

link Joshua Lucero: Staff photo

Dustin Seifert, Eastern New Mexico University band director and New Mexico Music Educators Association Music Educator of the Year 2015 winner, leads the Greyhound Sound marching band Saturday Sept. 27 during ENMU’s homecoming parade.

Eastern New Mexico University Music Department Chair Dustin Seifert’s work educating musicians at Eastern for more than 13 years has not gone unnoticed.

Seifert is the 2015 recipient of the New Mexico Music Educators Association’s Music Educator of the Year Award.

The Music Educator of the Year Award is based on nominations from NMMEA members. The NMMEA promotes the advancement of music education at all schools across New Mexico.

Seifert, a Lancaster, Ohio, native, is ENMU’s director of bands and chair of the Department of Music. He teaches courses in low brass techniques, techniques of marching band, wind and band ensemble history, and conducting.

Seifert received the “Spirit of Eastern Award” in 2004 and was the 2005 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching from ENMU.

What does it mean to you to be selected for the NMMEA Music Educator of the Year Award?

“I am truly humbled to have received this recognition from my professional peers and an organization that I deeply admire.”

How did you get your start in music and what made you decide to pursue it as a profession?

"I had a truly superb and dedicated music educator in my life beginning in the fifth grade. His name is Richard L. Cass. He possesses a deep intellect and abundant musical talent. He plays all of the instruments well. He was my first mentor and played the largest role in my decision to become a music educator. He remains a personal hero!"

What drives you as a music educator?

"The desire to ensure that every human being has access to meaningful artistic experiences. These experiences can be as a producer or consumer of art, but they should be meaningful, informed, and transformative."

What is one accomplishment you are most proud of?

"Being a loving husband and father."

Why did you choose to teach at Eastern New Mexico University?

"Actually, ENMU chose me. I applied for the director of bands vacancy in 2000 and was so pleased and honored to be offered the position. I sensed throughout the interview process that ENMU was a special place with almost unlimited potential. This feeling has only increased over the years."

What do you hope your students take away from your classes?

"We are first teachers of people. This mantra was uttered in a graduate course and has stuck with me ever since. I want students to understand that we teach people through music and not music through people. In order to be an effective Music Educator, you have to love people and be passionate about music."

When not directing the Greyhound Sound, teaching, or performing your administrative duties, what do you like to do?

"I enjoy spending time with my family doing what families do. It is a true joy to witness growth and development in your own children."

Do you have an instrument that you are partial to?

"The euphonium, of course. In the wind band setting, the euphonium is the primary tenor soloist and everybody loves tenors."

Is there anything you are looking forward to during the fall and spring semesters?

"I look forward to interacting with our exceptionally bright and talented students and fine arts faculty. Our March trip to Ireland will be the icing on the cake."

— Compiled by Joshua Lucero