Carmel Bands, Carmel, Indiana

Creekside Middle School Bands

ABOUT

Creekside Bands have consistently earned high praise from judges, clinicians and guest conductors, including annual Gold Awards at ISSMA Organizational Contest and Best in Class and Overall Grand Champion awards at competitions in the Chicago and Cincinnati areas.  The Creekside Wind Symphony was honored to perform at the 2013 Indiana Music Education Conference in Fort Wayne, IN this past January.  The Wind Symphony will present a performance at the Midwest Clinic in December 2013.  They are one of only four middle school bands from around the globe selected to perform.  An invitation to perform at The Midwest Clinic is one of the highest honors a school band can receive.  We sincerely appreciate your help in raising the needed funds to provide this experience of a lifetime.

Nearly 800 students are participating in the band, orchestra and choir programs at Creekside this year. The school has a junior chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, which provides leadership and community service opportunities for the music students. The performing arts department also stages a musical production each year.

Approximately 360 students participate in the band program in three concert bands and three beginning band classes.   Wildcat Pep Band and Brass Choir are offered as extra-curricular ensembles. Approximately fifteen percent of the students in the band program study privately on their instruments.

 


 

 

 

 

Directors

Mrs. Wendy Higdon
Mrs. Higdon has been Director of Bands and Unified Arts Department Chair at Creekside Middle School since 2004. Prior to this position, she taught band at Carmel Middle School and Lebanon Middle School.  She has been a middle school band director for over 20 years.

Mrs. Higdon earned her degree in music education from Ball State University Honors College, graduating summa cum laude.  She also holds two masters degrees from Butler University, one in clarinet performance and the second in education administration.  Mrs. Higdon performs frequently with bands and orchestras in central Indiana, as well as for recording sessions in the studio.  She is often called upon as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor in Indiana and around the Midwest.

Under her leadership, the performing arts programs at Creekside have doubled in size from 400 students in 2004 to nearly 800 students this year.  Mrs. Higdon may be reached via email at:  whigdon@ccs.k12.in.us

 

Mr. Chris Grifa
Mr. Grifa is in his ninth year of teaching and is the Co-Director of Bands at Creekside Middle School.  Mr. Grifa received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Old Dominion University located in Norfolk, Virginia.  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.  Mr. Grifa performed with The Virginia Wind Symphony at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL in 2004.

 

Besides teaching middle school band, Mr. Grifa has been heavily involved with high school marching band, as well as Drum Corp International Drum and Bugle Corps.  He is currently on staff with the Carmel High School Marching Greyhounds, which won its fourth ISSMA State Championship in November of 2012 as well its second Bands of America Grand National Championship in November 2013.  Mr. Grifa was a member of the World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2000 and 2002. Mr. Grifa may be reached at: cgrifa@ccs.k12.in.us

 

Mrs. Christy Santangelo
Mrs. Santangelo is in her first year at Creekside as the Co-Director of the Concert Band. A native of Virginia, she earned a bachelor of music degree from the East Carolina University School of Music in North Carolina. She then went on to teach middle school orchestra in Norfolk, VA., orchestra and band in Roanoke and middle school orchestra in Chesapeake, where her groups consistently received “Superior” ratings at Concert Festival.

In addition to her teaching career, Mrs. Santangelo is a bassoonist and contrabassoonist and has been a member of several ensembles in Virginia, including the Virginia Beach Symphony, The Tidewater Winds, and The Virginia Wind Symphony.

 

She has served as an adjudicator for the Tidewater Marching Band Festival and for various district and regional events throughout the Tidewater area.

Mrs. Santangelo resides in Carmel with her husband, Sandy, and their two children, Samantha and Colin.  Mrs. Santangelo may be reached at:  csantang@ccs.k12.in.us

 

Awards and recognitions

2012-13
NAMM Best Community for Music Education (Carmel Clay Schools)
Featured Performance at Indiana Music Education Association Conference
ISSMA Gold Award with Distinction (Wind Symphony)
ISSMA Gold Award (Symphonic Band)
ISSMA Gold Award (Concert Band)

2011-12
Overall Grand Champion, First Place Concert Band, Music In The Parks, Chicago, IL
ISSMA Gold Award (Wind Symphony)
ISSMA Gold Award (Symphonic Band)

2010-11
Overall Grand Champion, First Place Concert Band, Music In The Parks, Chicago, IL
ISSMA Gold Award (Wind Symphony)
ISSMA Gold Award (Symphonic Band)

2009-10
Overall Grand Champion, 1st Place Concert Band, Music In The Parks, Cincinnati, OH
ISSMA Gold Award with Distinction (Wind Symphony)
ISSMA Gold Award (Symphonic Band)

2008-09
1st Place Concert Band, Music In The Parks, Cincinnati, OH
ISSMA Gold Award (Symphonic Band)

2007-08
NAMM Best Communities for Music Education (Carmel Clay Schools)
Overall Grand Champion, 1st Place Concert Band, Music In The Parks, Cincinnati, OH
ISSMA Gold Award (Symphonic Band)

2006-07
1st Place Concert Band, Music Showcase Festivals, Cincinnati, OH
ISSMA Gold Award (Symphonic Band)

ONLINE RECORDINGS AND VIDEOS:
2013 IMEA Performance – Gavorkna Fanfare
2013 IMEA Trip Highlight Video
Instrument Try-On Video

 

 

ABOUT CREEKSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL
Over 1450 students attend Creekside Middle School in suburban Carmel, IN. Creekside was opened in 2004 to help meet the demands of a rapidly growing population in the community. This high-performing school consistently excels academically, athletically and in the performing arts. The students at Creekside take an active role in working with the staff to create a positive climate and an academic program that challenges its students and teachers. The foundation of the rigorous curriculum is a balanced literacy approach and an emphasis on problem solving in all disciplines. Creekside is also a national training center for best practices in educating students with autism.