Mark Fearey started learning to play the piano when he was four-years-old.
At age 12, he decided to play professionally and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the D’Angelo School of Music at Mercyhurst College and his masters in Piano Performance with an emphasis in Accompanying from Arizona State University.
Today, “Mr. Mark”, as he known to his students, has a musical career that includes church, school and children’s theatre.
“I was playing for a church near the end of my graduate studies,” said Fearey, “when a lady approached me at the end of a service and encouraged me to check out Valley Youth Theatre.”
His first interview with VYT’s founder and board chair in 1996 was actually very uncomfortable. While Hope Ozer asked questions, Fearey could only focus on the cats roaming around the theatre, which was then located in the basement of Tower Plaza Mall.
“I was tearing up like crazy, my eyes were swollen, and I couldn’t breathe because I’m so allergic to cats,” he laughed. A year later, Fearey helped organize the theatre’s first youth orchestra and to this day continues working with young, talented musicians.
On top of being musical director for Abiding Savior Community Church and Valley Youth Theatre, he is the faculty coach/accompanist at Grand Canyon University and busy working with three choirs, coaching the opera, and music directing the spring musical.
“I like this job because it’s what’s getting me back into classical music,” Fearey said.
“Mark is tremendous…very approachable, very caring and takes great pride in what he does,” said Claude Pensis, the Dean at Grand Canyon’s College of Fine Arts and Production.
Fearey admits to always striving for excellence and finding joy in working with all different ages.
“For me, the sky’s the limit with what kids can accomplish,” said Fearey. “They haven’t constructed a wall of limits. They know anything is possible if they believe in themselves.”