Mrs. Pote is in her twenty eighth year of teaching and her fourteenth year as Director of Bands at Clay Middle School where she directs the Beginning Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble as well as Pep Band. She also serves as a staff member for the five-time Grand National Champion Carmel High School Marching Greyhounds.
Prior to teaching in Carmel, Mrs. Pote was Director of Bands at Center Grove Middle School in Greenwood, Indiana where she served as an Assistant Director of the Center Grove High School Marching Trojans, a consistent Bands of America Grand National Finalist and 1999 Indiana State Champion. Her teaching experience also includes positions of Director of Bands at Plainfield Community Middle School and at South Marshall Middle School. She is a member of the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity.
Mrs. Pote’s ensembles have consistently received gold ratings, “With Distinction”, in state and regional festival as well as numerous Grand Champion Awards at the Music in the Parks Festival in Cincinnati, OH. She is active as an adjudicator and guest clinician across the Mid-west.
In 2015, the Clay Middle School Wind Ensemble was honored to be selected to perform at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival.
Mrs. Pote received her Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Education degrees from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. She lives in Carmel with her husband, Michael and son, Devin.
Chris Grifa is in his 14th year of teaching and is currently the Director of Bands at Clay Middle School in Carmel, Indiana. Before joining the band department at Clay in 2016, Chris was the Co-Director of Bands at Creekside Middle School, also in Carmel.
The Creekside Wind Symphony was honored to perform a concert at the 2013 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, as well as serving as the rehearsal lab band for Ms. Linda Gammon. The Creekside Wind Symphony also performed at the 2013 (January) 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 and adjudicator for both concert and marching bands around the country. He has presented clinics at numerous state music conferences and as well as the Midwest Clinic. Mr. Grifa currently serves as an educational clinician for the Conn-Selmer Division of Education. He has also written articles for The Instrumentalist Magazine and has a published excerpt in the book The Conductor’s Companion: 100 Rehearsal Techniques, Imaginative Ideas, Quotes and Facts compiled by Gary Stith.
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 the music staff with the Carmel High School Marching Band, which won its third Bands of America National Championship in 2016. Mr. Grifa has been on the brass staff for both the Cadets and the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps as well as a marching member of the Cadets in both 2000 and 2002.