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Apr 9, 2024 | Blog

Each issue of the Messenger, we provide a profile for one NNU faculty member, one staff member, one undergraduate student and one graduate student. Meet John Dally, our faculty profile for Winter 2023.

NAME: John Dally (My full name is John Wesley Malali Phineas Dally Jr… Malali and Phineas come from my Samoan side). Definitely has a Nazarene ring to it… 

PROFESSION: Professor of Music (I conduct Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and oversee Music Education) 

HOMETOWN: Born in Orange County, CA, but mostly grew up in Burbank, CA. 

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU: In college, I played rugby and was the president of the club. I played “Hooker,” the position that hooks the ball back during scrums. 

FAVORITE NNU MEMORY SO FAR: Playing on the Fall 2021 Intramural Championship flag football team. 

FAVORITE THING ABOUT NNU: The students. They make this place sparkle. My favorite part of NNU is seeing students walking through “new” opportunities, experiences and challenges. It is through these experiences that they are transformed. 

SOMETHING VALUABLE YOU LEARNED AT NNU: I learned, and continue to learn, how to be an orchestra director. I knew how to conduct… but I spent hours reading and studying books and scores and have sought out resources and asked tons of questions from notable musicians and educators. Combine that with gracious students, and there you have it. 

PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT FROM YOUR TIME AT NNU: My proudest accomplishment is the level of repertoire the instrumental ensembles have been able to tackle. All three ensembles have been able to elevate their programs to meaningful collegiate-level repertoire successfully. This comes two years after starting a chamber orchestra and restarting the wind ensemble. 

FAVORITE QUOTE: My mentor, Dr. Dan Nelson, taught me that “it’s all relational.” Over time, I have seen this quote penetrate all aspects of my life. In my conducting, I am constantly aware of the interconnectedness of musical lines. In my teaching, I strive to cultivate student relationships by hosting meals for my ensembles. The quote speaks to the pivotal role relationships play in shaping our future. After all, we are all brothers and sisters. 

ADVICE YOU’D OFFER TO FUTURE STUDENTS: Embrace the opportunities and unknowns that lie ahead. Just start on the journey and know that doors will open and close, but HE will go with you always. 

HOW DO YOU KNOW BELONGING BECAUSE OF NNU? I know belonging from the countless people who share their encouragement and gratitude for what our students share through music. I received an email from a former NNU faculty member, and in his kind note, he not only commended the musical faculty and students but also shared that he prays for us by name daily. Knowing that there are people not only cheering us on but praying for me and my work at NNU is humbling. 

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