Jason Graham - Director of Bands
Mr. Jason R. Graham is the Director of Bands at Grove City High School and in his 9th year of teaching. His teaching responsibilities include directing the Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Band I, Jazz Band I, and teaching beginning band classes at both Hayes and Park Street Intermediate Schools. During his time at Grove City High School, the band program has continued its tradition of excellence with straight superior ratings at all OMEA large group events. The Marching Band was featured at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in the spring of 2014 and they will be seen worldwide next year at the prestigious 128th Tournament of Roses Parade on January 2nd, 2017. Next year marks the third time in the band’s history that they have been selected for this honor.
Prior to his appointment at Grove City High School, Mr. Graham was the Director of Bands and Choirs for seven years at Newton Local Schools, located in Pleasant Hill, Ohio. He taught 5th grade band, 6th grade band, Junior High Band, High School Band, Junior High Choir, High School Choir, and Music Theory. During his tenure at Newton, the High School and Junior High Concert Bands grew in numbers and quality while advancing from Class C to Class A where they consistently received superior ratings at district and state level events. In addition, the choirs grew from 25 to 50+ members and consistently received excellent and superior ratings at district and state contest. The 50 member marching band was often awarded first place honors and won many grand champion victories at local marching band events. The marching band qualified for state finals every year and also moved from Class C to Class A where they received superior ratings at OMEA State Marching Band Finals each year.
Mr. Graham studied tuba and piano at Otterbein College and in the spring of 2007, student taught under Mr. George Edge (Director of Bands at Grove City High School (1987-2014) and Director of Bands and Choirs at Newton Local Schools (1979-1987)). He then went on to graduate with honors from Otterbein College with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Mr. Graham also holds the degree of Master of Arts in Music Education from The Ohio State University. He is a member of OMEA, NAfME, and was inducted to the prestigious American School Band Directors Association in the winter of 2012. Throughout his professional career, Mr. Graham has been involved with many ensembles such as The Alliance Barbershop Chorus where he served as assistant director, Sinclair Wind Symphony, Ohio Valley British Brass Band, and The Brass Band of Columbus. In addition, he is an active adjudicator with the Ohio Music Education Association and travels throughout Ohio to evaluate Marching Band, Solo and Ensemble, and Large Group events. He currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.
Greg Benson - Assistant Director
Mr. Benson is in his second year as Assistant Director of Bands for the Grove City High School Band Program, and in his fourth year of teaching. His teaching responsibilities include instructing the Marching Band and co-directing Concert Band II at the high school, while also teaching beginning band classes at both Park Street and Hayes Intermediate Schools.
Prior to coming to Grove City, Mr. Benson spent two years as Director of Bands at Gallia Academy High School and Middle School in the Gallipolis City Schools in southeastern Ohio. Under his direction, both the Gallia Academy High School and Gallia Academy Middle School bands experienced tremendous growth, consistently receiving high marks and Superior ratings in OMEA Adjudicated Events in both marching and concert bands at the district and state levels. Mr. Benson has had an ensemble qualify for and perform at OMEA state level competition in every year of his teaching.
Mr. Benson graduated summa cum laude from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. Originally from Worthington, Ohio, he completed his student teaching at Grove City High School under former band director, George Edge, in the spring of 2012. In the summer of 2011, he was selected as a Conductor for the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps from Rockford, Illinois, with which he toured and performed all across the county. Additionally, in 2012 he served as an Assistant Tour Director for the Corps. As a saxophonist at Otterbein, he had the honor of performing with the Otterbein University Saxophone Quartet at the 2012 U.S. Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium. Mr. Benson currently holds membership in both NAFME and OMEA, and resides in Delaware, Ohio with his wife Melinda.
Walt Riesenberg - Assistant Director
Walter Riesenberg has taught at Grove City High School since 2003. He serves as the Director of Percussion Studies and Assistant Band Director. He comes to us from Eastern Kentucky University where he served as graduate assistant responsible for teaching undergraduate percussion majors, the EKU drum line, and the EKU steel band. Mr. Riesenberg received his undergraduate degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Emily Ebert - Color Guard Director
Emily Ebert has been teaching the GCHS Color Guard for six years. The color guard is currently 33 members strong. Ms. Ebert is a Grove City High School graduate and participated in color guard throughout her high school career. Emily has marched two years in Juxtaposition World Guard. She currently is employed with CAPA as well as SWCS substitute teaching for in her free time.