Clay Middle School, Carmel, Indiana
Chris Grifa has been teaching since 2004 and is in his seventh year in the Carmel school system in Indiana. He is currently the Co-Director of Bands at Clay Middle School and was previously at Creekside Middle School. The Creekside Wind Symphony was honored to perform at the 2013 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, as well as serving as the rehearsal lab band for a session presented by Ms. Linda Gammon. This group also performed at the 2013 Indiana Music Education Association Conference. Mr. Grifa’s bands have consistently earned Gold and Superior ratings at state assessment in Indiana as well as Best in Class and Overall Grand Champion awards in the Chicago and Cincinnati areas.
Mr. Grifa has served as a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator for concert and marching bands across the country and has presented clinics at numerous state music conferences. At the 2015 Midwest Clinic, he presented a session entitled Achieving Your Ensemble Sound: It’s Fundamental! Mr. Grifa has written several articles that have been published in The Instrumentalist Magazine.
Mr. Grifa has been heavily involved with high school marching band and drum and bugle corps. He is currently on the music staff with the Carmel High School Marching Band, which won its third Bands of America Grand National Championship in 2016. Mr. Grifa has been on the brass staff for both the Cadets and the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps as well as a marching member of the Cadets in both 2000 (World Champions) and 2002.
Invite a Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician to conduct a rehearsal, honor band, or All-State Festival to engage your students and help your community reach new musical heights.
By understanding and working on basic sound fundamentals daily, students can develop skills that will improve the balance, blend, intonation and clarity of your ensembles. Understanding the difference between “warming up” and “teaching fundamentals” can change the way you and your students think about sound. The fundamentals of posture, breathing, tone quality, articulations, and releases will be discussed, including ways to practically use these fundamentals in learning performance literature.
This session will provide steps that a director can take from a student’s very first day of class to help set up a strong fundamental foundation that will set up your groups success for years to come. Topics of discussion include daily fundamental routines that work posture, breath control, articulation and release techniques, as well as music reading strategies, various classroom set ups, and available technology that help to reinforce fundamental development.