Elsy M. Gallardo-Díaz
Elsy Galardo-Diaz, a versatile musician, served as an academy teacher and minister of music in the Seventh-day Adventist church from 2000 until 2008. She has been pursuing graduate study for the last five years.
Elsy was born in Mexico City, the only child of Juan Gallardo and Elsa Díaz. She attended the Seventh-day Adventist academy in Mexico City, where she had her first lessons in flute and piano in her teenage years. During her senior year at the academy at the Universidad de Montemorelos she decided to pursue music as a career.
Although she preferred the flute and had had only a few lessons in piano when she enrolled as a music major at UM in 1995, she graduated from UM with a B.A. in music education in 2000 with piano listed as the performance area, the only one in which the degree is granted. At that time Elsy was also a recipient of the Academic Excellence Award given by the Association of Professional Colleges of the State of Nuevo Leon.
Following her graduation from UM, she served as minister of music at the Spring Branch Spanish Adventist Church in Houston, Texas. In 2003 she accepted the music teaching position at Enterprise Academy in Kansas, which was renamed Great Plains Academy in 2007. In her time at the school, Gallardo's efforts were primarily focused on directing the choir and handbell groups. She also taught some piano students and two Spanish classes. More than half of the students at GPA were eventually involved in the music program under her leadership.
In 2008 she enrolled at Andrews University, completing an M.Mus. in orchestral conducting in 2011. She is presently pursuing a D.M.A. in orchestral conducting literature and pedagogy at James Madison University.
Sources: Interviews, 2007 and 2013; email updates, 2009, 2013.