Connie Drosakis is currently in her 30th year of teaching (currently in her sixteenth year at Bak MSOA). Prior to teaching at the Bak Middle School of the Arts, Connie taught at Christa McAuliffe Middle School for fourteen years. She received the Bachelor and Master of Music Education/Choral Conducting degrees from Florida State University. At FSU, Connie was the recipient of the Irving Cooper Memorial Scholarship in Choral Music Education.
Her choruses have been selected to perform with the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of James Judd, and in festival choruses under the direction of Doreen Rao and Henry Leck. Under her directorship, all four Choral Groups have received straight superior ratings for 18 consecutive years at the Florida Vocal Association’s Music Performance Assessments. In addition, her choruses have received high praise and several awards at middle and high school festivals and competitions both nationally and internationally. Choruses under her direction have also performed at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City, as well as Southern Division and National Conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. Most recently the 7th and 8th Grade Girls Chorus performed at the 2011 National ACDA Convention in Chicago. In January of 2015, Ms. Drosakis conducted the Florida All-State High School Women’s Chorus. Ms. Drosakis is an active adjudicator and clinician for district evaluation festivals and county honor choirs throughout the states of Florida and Alabama. She has conducted All-State Choirs in North Carolina, Alabama and Missouri. She has served as the State Middle School Chair for the Florida Vocal Association and Membership Chair as well as President for the Florida State Chapter of ACDA. Ms. Drosakis holds membership in several professional organizations, including Florida Music Educator’s Association, Music Educator’s National Conference and American Choral Director’s Association.
Daniel Gutierrez is an active conductor, clinician and presenter throughout the country. He has received numerous accolades for his work as a teacher, including Teacher of the Year by Springfield Public Schools and Southwest Missouri (as well as being a finalist for the state TOTY award), Springfield Hometown Hero by Springfield’s CBS News, Springfield Rotary Award for Outstanding Community Service, an honoree for Springfield Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, a quarterfinalist for the Grammy National Music Educator Award, and the Missouri Choral Directors Association Podium Award. Gutierrez has presented for TEDx and regional ACDA conferences. Choral groups under his direction have won choral festivals, and received invitations to perform at the Missouri Music Educator Association Conference, Southwest American Choral Directors Association Conference, the National Conference for MS/JH Choral Music, and the National American Choral Directors Association Conference. This year, Gutierrez will be the youth choir director for the American Fellowship of Baptist Musicians Conference, and a clinician for All-State choirs in Virginia, South Carolina, Minnesota, Colorado and Florida.