Christopher Perez is in his 23rd year as an active teacher, musician, presenter, composer and clinician who directs the Guitar Program at Freedom High School in Central Florida. His prior appointments include teaching Band, Percussion, Piano and General Music with the Kinnikinnick School District in Roscoe, Illinois, and in Orlando at Hunter’s Creek Middle School, Oak Ridge High School, and Howard Middle School.
Having studied saxophone and percussion, Mr. Perez is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a B.A. in Music Education. For two seasons he was a drum major for the WIU Marching Leathernecks, and was a Student Conductor Competition Winner.
Mr. Perez is a member of the National Association for Music Education where he serves on the NAfME Guitar Council as the Southern Division Representative, the Florida Music Educators Association where he serves on the FMEA Guitar/General Music Committee, the Guitar Foundation of America and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He also serves as the Orange County Public Schools Guitar Chair and was the high school guitar ensemble clinician for the 2012 OCPS All-County Honor Guitar Festival. As a composer and arranger, his music is published with Drop6 Media, Inc. and has several music arrangements on the Florida Bandmaster’s Association State Music List. Mr. Perez is a percussionist with both the Southern Winds Symphonic Band and Walt Disney World’s “ENCORE! Cast Performing Arts”. For the past several years he served on district, state and national levels writing guitar curriculum recommendations plus designing, writing and scoring EOC’s (End of Course Exams).
Mr. Perez continually presents sessions at local, state and national music conferences. He provides numerous performance and clinic opportunities to showcase his student’s talents. His students and ensembles have consistently participated in music events on local, state and national stages including presenting clinics and performing at the Florida Music Educators Association All-State Music Conference; the Orange County Public Schools All-County Honor Guitar Festival and In-Services; Walt Disney World; as well as community events in the greater Central Florida area. The FHS Guitar Orchestra, under his direction, performed in concert at the 2013 FMEA All-State Music Conference and also in New York at the 2013 Long Island Guitar Festival. In April 2017, the FHS Guitar Ensembles will return to LIGF’s 25th Anniversary to perform in concert.
He resides in South Orlando with his wife Stephanie and two sons, Evan and Brendan.
The Freedom High School Guitar Program has quickly grown, becoming one of the largest Performing Arts electives offered with over 230 students enrolled through four Guitar 1 classes and one of three audition based Guitar Ensembles that serve as our FHS Guitar Program family. The program encompasses yearlong accredited classes that meet one period every day during the school day. Students successfully completing a guitar class receive one credit and also fulfill the FDOE Performing Arts Elective required for graduation.
The FHS Guitar Ensembles perform regularly at concerts and festivals locally and around the state of Florida. This includes presenting our annual Fall, Winter and Spring Concerts, annual December FHS Performing Arts Department “PRISM” concerts, participating in the OCPS Guitar Ensemble Music Performance Assessment, the OCPS Honor Guitar Festival, performances and clinics in the FMEA All-State Music Conference and FMEA State Guitar Festival and at several area resorts including the Walt Disney World resorts as part of the Walt Disney World Holiday Resort Enhancement Program.
The Freedom High School Guitar Program have enjoyed nationally and internationally renowned guitar professors as guest clinicians to work and perform in concert with our students. Recently working with us include:
• Dr. Stephen Robinson – Stetson University, DeLand, FL
• William Kanengiser – University of Southern California / Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Los Angeles, CA
• Dr. Eladio Scharrón – University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
• Bobby Koelble – Rollins College / University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
• Harris Becker – Long Island University, Brookville, NY
• Christopher Gotzen-Berg – Legato Foundation, Rockville Centre, NY
• Rex Willis – State College of Florida, Bradenton, FL
• Dr. Lynn McGrath – Oklahoma City University, OK / Guitar Foundation of America
• Dr. Ulisses Rocha – University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
With concert performances at FMEA All-State and the Long Island Guitar Festival in New York, the FHS Guitar Program are recognized as a member of the international guitar community.