The High Performing Director is a website designed to help music educators enrich their lives, both in and outside of the music education environment. The High Performing Director LLC was formed in 2019 by Chris Grifa, a middle school band director in Carmel, Indiana.
Chris Grifa has been teaching since 2004 and is beginning his tenth-year teaching in the Carmel school system in Indiana. He is currently the director of Bands at Clay Middle School and was previously at Creekside Middle School.
The Creekside Wind Symphony was honored to perform a concert at the 2013 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, while additionally serving as the rehearsal lab band for Ms. Linda Gammon. The Creekside Wind Symphony also performed at the 2013 Indiana Music Education Association Conference. Mr. Grifa’s bands have consistently earned Gold and Superior ratings 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 for concert bands and marching bands across the country. Additionally, he has presented clinics at numerous state music conferences. He will present the session “Teaching
Deliberate Practice: The Missing Fundamental” at the 2019 Midwest Clinic and previously presented the session "Achieving Your Ensemble Sound: It’s Fundamental!" at the 2015 Midwest Clinic. Mr. Grifa has written several articles that have been published in The Instrumentalist Magazine as well as wrote 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. In 2016, Mr. Grifa joined the Conn-Selmer Division of Education team as an Educational Clinician. He had the honor of serving on the Music For All Summer Symposium faculty as a director of the middle school concert band track in 2019.
Besides teaching middle school band, Mr. Grifa has been heavily involved with high school marching band and drum and bugle corps. He is currently on staff with the Carmel High School Marching Band, which won its fifth Bands of America Grand National Championship in 2018. In 2000 and 2002, Mr. Grifa was a member of the World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps and served on the brass staff for both the Cadets (2007-2009) and the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps (2005-2006).
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.
Mr. Grifa currently resides in Westfield, Indiana with his wife Suzy, his son Geno, and goldendoodle Mickey!