Daniel Wooten is the Director of Bands at Niceville Senior High School in Niceville, Florida. He began at this current position in 2003. Daniel has held a variety of music positions since graduating from Louisiana State University with his BME.
Wooten has served at a variety of high schools in Florida with a ten year stint in Ohio. He also held the position of Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Louisville and was the Music Outreach Coordinator for the same school.
Wooten is a three-time recipient of the National Band Association's Citation of Excellence.He was named the Florida Bandmasters Association Oliver Hobbs Award for recognition of consistent and superior performances and commitment and service to band students. He was also a Grammy
Nominated Music Educator Semifinalist in 2013-14. Wooten topped that off by being named
Niceville High School Teacher of the Year for 2015-16.
When asked about things that shaped his life he says, "The unique sum total of my experiences have been a blessing and I believe they allowed me to transmit a love of music and the arts to my students in such a way that I have over a dozen former students who are now music educators." He also considers these experiences to have helped him get many students placed into prestigious universities and conservatories.
Because of his philosophy he tries "to provide a compelling exper-ience in a safe environment that allows every student to bloom, develop life skills, and become educated consumers of music as well as lifelong patrons of the arts."
Michael Fiske is the Director of Bands at Joliet Central High School in Joliet, Illinois, a position he has held for the last fourteen years. He has spent his entire carreer of nearly forty years in the high schools of Indiana and Illinois.
Fiske earned his BME from Bradley university and his MME from the Indiana University School of Music.
Fiske has been named the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator in 2003. In 2011 he was named Steelman of the Year. The Joliet HIstorical Museum named him their Dream Maker Awardin 2013 and he topped that off with the Joliet Area Great Teacher Award in 2015.
He has given back to the profession by serving as the Indiana Bandmasters Association's Vice-president.
His groups many achievements were topped off with a perfect score at the Illinois State University Concert Band Festival in 2015.
After naming off hismany mentors Fiske says, " perhaps most important factor in shaping my career has been the constant love and support of my wife, Nancy, throughout all my 39 years of teaching. She has been my greatest ally and most honest critic. There really is a special place in heaven for band directors’ wives."
His philosophy is this,"Teaching music as the most noble of all art forms involves understanding of the musical process and conveying that process to my students. Music is the language of the human spirit. Understanding music as such enables the musician to convey the true beauty in expression and nuance on a “heart level”. Helping students to accomplish this level of performance fosters a lifelong love of performing and listening to great music. Every student will not become a music teacher or professional musician. But they can acquire a musical life as a result of sensitive study of this noble art. If we can help them accomplish that, we have done a fine job!”