Conductor of Suzuki Orchestras
Originally from Long Island, New York, Emmett Drake is currently the Director of Orchestras at Hall and Conard High Schools in West Hartford, Conn., as well as the Director of Suzuki Orchestras and Large Ensembles Supervisor at The Hartt School Community Division at the University of Hartford.
His duties at The Hartt School include the musical direction of the Opus 89 Youth Orchestra, which made its Carnegie Hall Debut in 2012. Additionally, he is the musical director for the Appoggiatura, Da Capo, Intermezzo, and Vivace Suzuki Youth Orchestras, and he also teaches composition and chamber music.
Drake's career in the schools first started at St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol, Conn., before he moved to West Hartford in 2010. After a year at Smith Elementary, he taught at King Philip Middle School for three years. Now at Hall and Conard, he conducts the Conard Philharmonia, the Hall Concert Orchestra, and I Giovani Solisti. In addition to his orchestral responsibilities, he directs the Hall High all-male choral group "A Cafella" and co-produces/directs the annual Hall High School "Pops N' Jazz" show.
Drake has had many engagements as a guest conductor/clinician. His recent appearances include the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (Conn.), Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra (Conn.), the Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas (Minn.), the Fairfield County String Festival (Conn.), CMEA Eastern and Southern Regional Festivals (Conn.), and the Westchester All County Youth Orchestra (N.Y.).
As a composer, Drake has written many compositions and arrangements for all levels, and his works are frequently performed by student groups from around the country.
Drake is also active in musical theater, having served as musical director/conductor for shows all across N.Y. and Conn. Recent productions include work at Playhouse on Park, West Hartford Summer Arts Festival, and St. Paul Catholic High School. He is also on the faculty of The Hartt School's Summer Musical Theater Intensive program and serves as Music Director for the annual Connecticut High School Music Theater Awards.
Drake holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Composition from The Hartt School and a Master's Degree in Music Education from the University of Bridgeport. He has studied conducting with Christopher Zimmerman, Kenneth Woods, David Hoose, Marilyn Kesler, and Kirsten Marshall.