Chris Grifa has been teaching since 2004 and began teaching in the Carmel school system in Indiana in 2010. He is currently the Director of Bands at Clay Middle School and was previously at Creekside Middle School. His bands continually receive Gold Ratings at their state contest, have performed at the Indiana Music Educators Conference and served as a session lab band at both the IMEA convention and The Midwest Clinic. The Creekside Wind Symphony was honored to be accepted and perform at the 2013 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.
Mr. Grifa has served as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator for concert bands and marching bands across the country. He presented sessions on teaching fundamentals and teaching students how to practice at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in 2015 and 2019. Additionally, he has presented these sessions at numerous state music conferences including Texas, New York, Arizona, Oklahoma, California, Iowa, and Virginia. He had the honor of serving on the Music for All Summer Symposium faculty as a director of the middle school band in 2019 and as a clinician in 2022.
In 2021, GIA published “Foundations: The Essential Elements for Building a Successful Middle School Band Program.” This book was edited and compiled by Chip De Stefano and Chris Grifa, who also contributed individual chapters for the book. Mr. Grifa has written several articles that have been published in The Instrumentalist magazine as well as contributed an entry for the “Conductor’s Companion: 100 rehearsal Techniques, Imaginative ideas, Quotes and Facts,” a book published in 2016 by Meredith Music and compiled by Gary Stith.
Besides teaching middle school band, Mr. Grifa has been heavily involved in high school marching band and drum and bugle corps. He was on staff with the Carmel High School marching band from 2010 to 2019, which included four Bands of America Grand National Championships. In 2000 and 2002, Mr. Grifa was a marching member of the World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps and served on the brass staffs for The Cadets (2007-2009) and The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps (2005-2006). In 2021, Mr. Grifa was honored to join the Board of Directors for The Cadets.
Mr. Grifa received his bachelor’s degree in music education and minor in trombone performance from Old Dominion University located in Norfolk, VA and his Master of Music Education degree from the University of Florida. While at Old Dominion, Mr. Grifa had the pleasure of being a member of the Virginia Wind Symphony under the direction of Mr. Dennis Zeisler, which performed at the Midwest Clinic in 2004. In 2021, Mr. Grifa was honored to be inducted into Phi Beta Mu, an International Bandmasters Fraternity.
Mr. Grifa currently resides in Westfield, Indiana with his wife Suzy, his son Geno, and goldendoodle Mickey!