Dallas Symphony Orchestra Announces 2024 Music Teacher of the Year Award

Chris Drews

El premio anual reconoce a los profesores de música de primaria en el DISD

Chris Drews from Leslie A. Stemmons Elementary School will receive $500 Cash Award

Dallas, TX (March 15, 2024) – The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is pleased to announce the winner of its annual Music Teacher of the Year Award. Chris Drews from Leslie A. Stemmons Elementary School was chosen from nominees across the Dallas Independent School District.

The Music Teacher of the Year Award coincides with Music in Our Schools Month, a nationwide campaign each March focused on the importance of high-quality music education in public schools.

“We are delighted to present the 2024 Music Teacher of the Year Award to Chris Drews,” said DSO Director of Education, Jennifer Guzmán. “He is an incredible educator who goes above and beyond for each and every student. We applaud his achievement, and those of all of our wonderful DISD music educators, and we look forward to honoring Chris at the Meyerson before the Texas Instruments Classical Series concert on April 12.”

Chris Drews has been a music educator since 2009 and has developed a unique method of teaching that emphasizes student music making.  He teaches General Music, Mariachi, Modern Band, and World Drumming to PreK through fifth grade students at Stemmons Elementary. Mr. Drews has presented professional development for teachers in Dallas ISD, Texas Region 10 and at the Modern Band National Summit in Fort Collins, CO. Drews lives in East Tawakoni, Texas, with his wife Beth, who was named Region 10 Teacher of the Year in 2019. He enjoys making music, reading, baseball, woodworking and gardening.

“I want my students to make music, enjoy listening to music and to have music be a part of their lives long after they leave my classroom,” said Drews. “Teaching children how to find their innate music-maker is so important. I know I’m doing my job well when my students don’t even realize they are learning music theory, because they’re having so much fun.”

Nominations were submitted to the DSO with an application and follow-up in-person observations. Chris Drews was selected from a group of three finalists. The other finalists were:

  • Aracy McCalley, from Nathan Adams, Marcus, and Withers Elementaries
  • Andres Rodriguez, from Salazar Elementary School

The finalists and winners were chosen by the DSO’s Education Committee, which is comprised of members of the education department, the Dallas Symphony Association’s Board of Governors, DSO League members, DSO musicians as well as members of the community at large.

Chris Drews will be presented with an award and recognized on April 12 at a DSO concert at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.


The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Fabio Luisi, presents more than 150 orchestra concerts each year at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, one of the world’s top-rated concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. As part of its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches more than 243,000 adults and children annually through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives. The orchestra offers more than 200 chamber concerts in neighborhoods throughout Dallas each year, as well as music lessons to more than 1200 students as part of its Young Strings and Young Musicians programs.The DSO has a tradition dating back to 1900 and is a cornerstone of the unique, 118-acre Arts District in Downtown Dallas that is home to multiple performing arts venues, museums and parks – the largest district of its kind in the nation. The DSO is supported, in part, by funds from the Office of Arts & Culture, City of Dallas. For more information, visit dallassymphony.org.


Chelsey Norris, Director of Communications
c.norris@dalsym.com | 214.871.4063