Owner/General Manager Ankeny Dance & Performing Arts
Academy/Instructor in Vocals/Theater
years of on-air television experience as a news reporter and meteorologist, Mark Ferree brings his love of music, theater
and performance to Ankeny Dance and Performing Arts Academy. After receiving a liberal arts degree with majors in both Communications
and Theater Arts from the University of Minnesota, Mark went back to school through Mississippi State University to complete
all major coursework in Meteorology. Mark has more than two decades of live on-camera experience in broadcast television
markets from Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, and here in Des Moines, Iowa. You can still see Mark on-air
from time to time filling in on the KCWI-23 morning show, Great Day!
Mark has always enjoyed the theater, music, and dance, and first began formal training in music at the
age of four. Mark competed in numerous piano competitions, even winning the Minnesota Music Teacher's Association Ten Pianos
Competition twice, earning the opportunity to perform onstage at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. Mark began vocal training
in junior high, was a member of the district 281 All-District Junior High Chorus, and sang in the adult Chancel
Choir at Brunswick United Methodist Church beginning in eighth grade. In high school, Mark played piano
in jazz band, played saxophone in symphonic band and marching band, became drum major of the marching band, played jazz piano
for the nearby community college while still in high school, and sang in select choir. Ferree also discovered his
love for the theater in Senior High, and began acting, dancing, and singing in onstage drama and musical productions
at E.J. Cooper Senior High School. He polished those skills and appeared in productions while studying Theater
Arts at the University of Minnesota. While there, in addition to acting, voice, and movement he also enjoyed studying jazz
piano, taking classes with renowned jazz pianist and musician Reginald Buckner. Mark also performed in the Minnesota Golden
Gopher Marching Band and was a rank and section leader on saxophone. (He can still play the Minnesota March and the Minnesota
Rouser by heart, something he doesn't admit much to here in Iowa).
On stage, some of Mark's favorite roles were as Tommy Trainor in No No Nanette, Jimmy Curry in 110 In The Shade,
Hap in the U of M Peppermint Tent children's theater production of Hap and the Riddle Machine, and as Rocky, a ballplayer
in the musical Damn Yankees at the Des Moines Playhouse. In fact, Mark met his wife Sarah on stage at the Des Moines Playhouse
when both were cast (Sarah played Lola) in that production! More recently, Mark and Sarah appeared again together
onstage at the Ankeny Community Playhouse in the playhouse production of A.R. Gurney's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Love Letters.
In addition to his continuing involvement with the performing
arts, Mark enjoys the challenges of owning and managing a business, and the wide range of skills it requires, from customer
service to managing an office and even creating and maintaining a website and online presence. He also appreciates the
opportunity to use his knowledge of set construction from his college courses in theater arts to help create set and
prop elements for our Ankeny Dance & Performing Arts Academy productions, although Mark has a knack for "over-engineering"
and building set elements that require a crane ... or at least eight dance dads ... to lift! He has enjoyed working with students
in the vocal program and believes the best part about being at Ankeny Dance & Performing Arts Academy is helping to inspire
young people to achieve in the performing arts.
can contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org