Jason Graham - Director of Bands
Mr. Jason R. Graham is the Director of Bands at Grove City High School and in his 12th 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 2015 and they were seen worldwide at the prestigious 128th Tournament of Roses Parade on January 2nd, 2017. This marks the third time in the band's history that they have been selected for this honor. The band will be seen again this spring at Walt Disney World when they perform at the Magic Kingdom!
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, a Conn-Selmer VIP, 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.
Walt Riesenberg - Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Percussion
Walter Riesenberg is in his 16th year of teaching at Grove City High School, where he serves as Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Percussion Studies. Mr. Riesenberg teaches the marching percussion section and assists with the marching band in the fall. In addition to teaching the percussion section, he also composes the music for the drum line each year. He co-directs Concert Band II during the concert season. All groups he works with consistently earn superior ratings at OMEA events. Mr. Riesenberg teaches percussion ensemble, a curricular course that meets daily where the students perform varied literature from traditional concert percussion ensemble pieces to steel band music. He also directs Jazz Band II and teaches beginning percussion at Hayes and Park Street Intermediate Schools.
Mr. Riesenberg holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University and a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Eastern Kentucky University. He marched snare drum for the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corp in 1999. Mr. Riesenberg is a member of OMEA (Ohio Music Education Association) and NSSBE (National Society of Steel Band Educators). He is also a proud husband to his wife, Sincere Lean Riesenberg, who is a former Police Officer with the Philippine National Police.
Hannah Laubscher - Assistant Director of Bands
This is Ms. Laubscher’s first year as Assistant Director of Bands for the Grove City High School Band Program. Her responsibilities include assisting with the Marching Band and directing two Concert Bands at the high school, in addition to teaching beginning band classes at both Hayes and Park Street Intermediate Schools.
Prior to her appointment at Grove City, Ms. Laubscher was the Associate Band Director for Buckeye Local Schools in Ashtabula, Ohio for one year. At Buckeye, she taught the High School Concert Band, High School Jazz Lab Band, Eighth Grade Band, Seventh Grade Band, Sixth Grade Band, Fifth Grade Beginning Band, first, third, and fourth grade General Music, and assisted with the High School Marching Band. Ms. Laubscher also previously taught private saxophone lessons through Barberton City Schools, Norton High School, and Firestone High School while assisting with the Norton and Firestone Marching Bands as a woodwind instructor.
Ms. Laubscher graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, summa cum laude from the University of Akron in 2015. While at the University of Akron, she studied saxophone under Dr. Todd Gaffke and Mr. Rich Shanklin. In 2015, she had the honor of performing at the North American Saxophone Alliance Regional Conference in DeKalb, Illinois as a member of the Take Two Saxophone Quartet. Ms. Laubscher completed her student teaching under Mr. Ryan Smith and Mrs. Karen Martin at Perry Local Schools in Massillon, Ohio where she gained experience working in a co-teaching environment with the Sixth Grade Beginning Band through the High School Symphonic Winds and Marching Band. Ms. Laubscher is a current member of both NAfME and OMEA. In addition to band, Ms. Laubscher enjoys traveling and reading.
Emily Ebert - Color Guard Director
Emily Ebert has been teaching the GCHS Color Guard for eight years. The color guard is currently 36 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.