Meet Dr. Fenley
Faculty Profile by Daniel Mollenkamp
Photography by Emily Jordan
Professional bio for programs and publications
Growing up around Springfield, Illinois, J. Franklin Fenley got the opportunity to learn an instrument in sixth grade. He chose the flute, and he was fortunate from the very beginning to have a succession of excellent teachers and directors. By the time he was a sophomore in high school, he was giving private flute lessons to other high school students and knew he wanted to be a teacher.
While in college, Frank was inspired by a music history professor to develop a fondness for that subject. He deepened his knowledge through his doctorate, and continues his study to this day, teaching his students how composers and their circumstances leave behind sonic signatures for us to hear.
At UCM, Dr. Fenley enjoys the privilege of teaching at a university that is big enough to sustain multiple performance opportunities, yet is small enough to get to know the students well.
As a teacher of flute, Dr. Fenley accepts students from wherever they are, regardless of background, and takes them as far as he possibly can, with their cooperation, in the time they have. He does it with empathy, specificity, and organization. The primary goal is always to develop a better performer, a better academic student, and, eventually, a superior teacher. Such a student will possess poise and confidence that may be passed on to their own students.
Dr. Fenley has published over twenty different articles on various facets of flute performance. It is his conviction that two of the most important qualities of becoming a great performer are persistence and self-motivation. Those two qualities continue to support a long and rewarding career.