Having spent 34 years teaching middle school band, Steve Graves is currently in his 19th year as the band director at Lexington Junior High School in Cypress, CA. Active as an adjudicator and clinician, Steve has been arranging and designing for 40 years and has been an active adjudicator for concert band, marching bands and percussion, and indoor percussion since 1987. An adjudicator for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association since 1989, he has been awarded the “Outstanding Adjudicator,” “Veteran Teacher, ”and most recently “Outstanding Middle School Educator” awards by that association and is also a frequent clinician at both their annual conference and judges training seminars. He has also served as an adjudicator for the Southern California Judging Association, the Colorado Bandmasters Association, and the American Drum Line Association. A multi-time recipient of the “Teacher of the Year” and PTSA “Honorary Service” awards, Steve was named an Orange County “Arts Educator of the Year” in 2018. In December of 2019, Steve presented on classroom management at the renowned Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Two of his books, “Drums, Keyboards, and More!” and “Great Beginnings; warm-ups for second-year band” have been recently published and his beginning method books and several arrangements are currently in use in band programs across the country.
Employed earlier as a musician at Disneyland for sixteen years, he continues to be active as a percussionist with local community bands and several other regularly performing groups.
Mr. Graves holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from California State University, Long Beach, and a Master of Arts degree in Band Conducting from the American Band College at Sam Houston State University.