New band director has student leadership vision

 

This fall, Malone University welcomes a new Associate Professor of Music who brings a passion for student leadership to the marching band.

New band director, Dr. Steven Grimo, conducts the band over the weekend at the football game. (Photo by Autumn Berry)

Dr. Steven Grimo is excited to help students grow both in their musical ability and in leadership.

Grimo said that he has been working on teaching the students more efficient ways to learn drills, and eventually hopes to grow the marching band so they can learn more than one show a season. His main focus is on developing students as leaders in band.

“I have the students actually running the rehearsal, teaching the drill, doing all these different pieces,” Grimo said. “You guys are all going to come out of school with a job, you hope, so you want to get as much experience as you can.”

Grimo teaches a marching band technique class and has involved those students in his vision as well.

[pullquote]“You still need to have excellence in what you do, but when you go out and play in the field and play in the stands, you have fun.” said Grimo.[/pullquote]“They write the pregame for next year. The four students that are in there are now designing the show. They pick the music, they write the drill,” Grimo said.

Grimo chose the music for this year’s show. He chose to play on Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday by designing a show using music of the Beatles.

“I picked this time period of ’64-’68, the music that was done when the Beatles first came here (to America),” Grimo said.

The show includes the songs “Lady Madonna,” “Eleanor Rigby,” and “Yesterday,” among others.

“I like the Beatles, so I really like doing the halftime show,” freshman music performance major Caitlyn Holcomb said.

The students in band have been very supportive of the changes Grimo has made.

Senior music education major Anna McAnallen said, “I think he’s really making some good changes… being strict on some things… there’s more discipline, but he’s better at explaining what he wants from us.”

Grimo has goals for the future of the symphonic band as well.

“I’m hoping to begin doing more symphonic band music much earlier,” he said.

Grimo encourages anyone who is interested to check out the band. Even students who have not played in a band for several years are welcome. He hopes to grow the marching band to 80 or 90 members.

Camaraderie, working together, and school spirit is what could draw more members to the band, Grimo said. “You still need to have excellence in what you do, but when you go out and play in the field and play in the stands, you have fun.”

Grimo’s passion for music has always been a significant part of his life. Appropriately enough, a concert was what started the chain of events leading to his arrival at Malone.

In the spring of 2011, Grimo met Dr. Jesse Ayers, the previous band director, at a performance in Denver at the Longmont School of Music.

“We got to talking… he was a percussionist like I was in college,” Grimo said. “We communicated with a few emails and that was all it was at the time.” When he heard the position opened months later, he applied for the job.

Grimo is originally from Rhode Island. He taught in public school for ten years before joining the Air Force, where he served as band commander for 22 ½ years, then retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He spent the past eight years in Colorado Springs before coming to Malone.

Blaire Thompson is the copy editor for the Aviso AVW.

 

Sarah Bosler is a contributing writer for the Aviso AVW.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Alex Mundell says:

    Dr. Grimo is doing a fantastic job so far.
    As a student I’m excited to see where the Lord is going to take the
    music program through him.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s