When I reflect back on my time and experiences with MMEA, I am overwhelmed with fond memories and inspiring moments. The evolution of my conference adventures has been veraciously influential: from the exhilaration of performing in the Salons as a student myself to the pride of watching my own students perform on the same stage; from roaming through the exhibits after long rehearsals to walking out of a truly thought provoking session, ready to get back to the classroom; from meeting fellow musicians who shared my passion for performance to long, meaningful collaborations with fellow colleagues. All of these incredible, and powerful, experiences have shaped who I am as a person and as an educator.
I have always felt that it is not only our charge but our duty to walk in the footsteps of those who came before us; to uphold the resonant traditions and strive to strengthen and advance our profession through our actions both in and out of the classroom. The same holds true for those that lead our wonderful organization. During my brief tenure as Jazz VP, it was altogether evident that our past presidents have worked tirelessly to organize incredibly innovative and prevailing conferences, promote a well- rounded educational experience for students across our state, and ensure that the importance of music education stays at the forefront of any governmental discussions.
As impactful as the conference has been for so many of us, continuing the tradition of quality conference offerings is paramount as we work to further MMEA in the eyes of our upcoming educators. Coupling that with the further development and promotion of our incomparable mentoring program, will ensure those entering our profession feel the support and encouragement needed in their formative educational lives. Extending our mentoring program to recognize not only the evolution that occurs within the process but the vast difference for those experienced educators entering our state, will aid in ushering the program to a new level. In addition, forging ahead with all advocacy efforts, including providing current and meaningful resources to all educators, must remain an imperative goal for anyone who leads the organization.
Thank you for the consideration and I look forward to the future of our organization and the opportunities therein.
Chris Sacco is currently in his 14th year at Ava,
where he co-directs with his wife Sarah. His duties include: Beginning Band, Intermediate Band, Middle School Concert Band, Middle School and High School Jazz Band, and co-directing the High School Symphonic and Marching Bands. His Concert and Jazz Bands have received superior ratings and top placements every year at various festivals. The High School Symphonic Band has also attained 13 consecutive superior ratings at State Assessment. In addition, Mr. Sacco’s applied students have consistently received superior ratings at both the district and state level. The program has more than doubled in size and success since Chris and his wife arrived in 2008. Since then, they have had students perform in the District Band, State Band, Missouri Lions Band, Macy’s Great American Marching Band, Army All-American Marching Band, the Citrus Bowl, and the Bands of America Marching Band.
Chris is a two-time recipient of the National Citizenship Education Teacher Recognition Award as well as the Loyalty Day Award by the VFW. He is also a recipient of the John East “Spirit of Orpheus” Mentor Award for his work with young music educators throughout the South-Central region of the state. His professional affiliations and memberships include MMEA, NAfME, MBA, MOAJE, and Phi Beta Mu. Chris is currently serving as the MMEA Jazz VP, the SCMMEA Band VP, the Event Coordinator for the South-Central Conference Honor Band, and is an active MSHSAA adjudicator.
Chris holds an Associate of Arts degree from Jefferson College, a Bachelor of Music Education from Missouri State University, and a Masters in Secondary Education from Drury University. Chris enlisted in the Missouri Air National Guard in March of 2000, where he completed an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. While serving 12 years in the 131st Civil Engineering Squadron, he was active during Operations Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom, serving in various locations throughout the Middle East.