At Harris Academy of the Arts, we know that music is something that lasts for life. And we’re proud to be the musical home of numerous adult students, all of varying levels and playing various instruments, who embody that fact. We’re thrilled to count Doug Atkin as one of them.
Doug is a civil engineer by trade, an outdoor enthusiast, an amateur beer brewer, and a piano student at Harris Academy of the Arts. He has studied piano with Heera Jang for three years, but he has been playing a total of 40 years, taking lessons off and on. “Doug is a very nice pianist with fine technique and good musicianship,” shares Heera. “I have been amazed at how well he practices his pieces (very advanced ones!) in the midst of his busy life as a successful engineer.”
Doug’s goal with music is simple: to become a better pianist. We have had the privilege of hearing his success in reaching that goal during every student recital since his time at Harris. Congratulations, Doug, on being our November Student of the Month!
More about Doug:
What other instruments do you play?
During High School, I played clarinet, saxophone and French horn. I’ve only kept up on the piano.
What are your favorite pieces to play?
I like to play mostly classical pieces. These have included various pieces by Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert and others.
What is your occupation? Tell us a little bit about what you do.
I am a civil engineer by training. I started my career with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) designing bridges. I spent 12 years with UDOT doing a variety of highway engineering related jobs. I worked as a consultant engineer for 10 years and then joined the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 2007. I have been the Assistant Division Administrator for the FHWA Nebraska Division since March of 2010. The FHWA oversees the Federal funding that goes to the states for highways. In my job, I work closely with the Nebraska Department of Roads on Nebraska Highways.
What other hobbies do you have besides music?
I enjoy woodworking. I recently built a cedar strip canoe with my daughter Hannah. I enjoy outdoor activities, hiking, hunting and fishing, although that has slowed down some since moving away from Utah. I also like to brew (and drink) my own beer and cook outdoors.