James K. Bass, Director of Education
James K. Bass, three-time GRAMMY® nominated singer and conductor, is Director of Choral Studies in the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA and Associate Conductor of Seraphic Fire. He was previously on faculty at Western Michigan University and the University of South Florida in Tampa, and served as Artistic Director of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay: the official chorus of the Florida Orchestra. Bass received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami, where he was a doctoral fellow, his Master of Music and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of South Florida, and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy.
Bass was selected by the master conductor of the Amsterdam Baroque Soloists, Ton Koopman, to be one of only 20 singers for a presentation of Cantatas by J. S. Bach in Carnegie Hall, and was an auditioned member of Robert Shaw’s workshop choir at Carnegie. He has appeared with numerous professional vocal ensembles including Seraphic Fire, Conspirare, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Apollo Master Chorale, Vox Humanae, and Spire. He is one of 13 singers on the GRAMMY®-nominated disc A Seraphic Fire Christmas. He is an active bass soloist and has performed at Winchester Cathedral in London, has sung 15 world premieres and appears on CD recordings on the Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Albany, and Seraphic Fire Media label. He will be making his Cleveland Orchestra debut as bass soloist in 2016 and has appeared with the New World Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas, The Florida Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Back Bay Chorale and Orchestra, Firebird Chamber Orchestra, and The Sebastians as bass soloist.
Bass was appointed choirmaster for the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. During the summer of 2011 he co-founded the Professional Choral Institute at the University of South Florida. In its inaugural year of recording, Seraphic Fire and PCI received the GRAMMY® nomination for Best Choral Performance for their recording of Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deuthches Requiem. During his tenure as Artistic Director for the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay he was responsible for five recordings and three world premieres. He has prepared choirs for Sir Colin Davis, Sir David Willcocks, Jahja Ling, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gerard Schwarz, Giancarlo Guerrero, Michael Francis, Marcelo Lehninger, Stefan Sanderling, Evan Rogister, Danail Rachlev, Joshua Weilerstein, Markus Huber, Michael Francis, Patrick Quigley, and Robert Shaw among others.
He has served on the Executive Board of the American Choral Directors Association’s Central Division as College Repertoire and Standards Chairperson. Bass’ professional affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association, Music Educators National Conference, League of American Orchestras, Pi Kappa Lambda national music honor society, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity.
Suzanne Floyd, Education Administrator
Suzanne Floyd is a retired music specialist from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools having taught in a variety of locations for over 35 years. Her last assigned school was Toussaint L’Ouverture Elementary, in the heart of Little Haiti in downtown Miami, where she served as department chair and taught for 17 years. She is responsible for having started the Perrine Elementary and RR Moton Elementary Arts Magnet Programs and served as lead teacher for the Perrine Elementary program. She was adjunct professor at Barry University for 12 years working in the elementary education department teaching music methods classes.
She is featured in Marquis Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who of Americans, and Who’s Who of American Women. She has served as past National Vice President for Sigma Alpha Iota, a professional fraternity for women in the field of music. Before her teaching career Suzanne was solo clarinetist in the Women’s Army Corps Band, stationed at Ft. McClellan, Anniston, Alabama which was then the headquarters for the Women’s Army Corps.
Floyd currently serves as Director of Music at Kendall United Methodist Church. She holds both Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from the University of Miami, Frost School of Music.