Message from the Directors:

You are about to embark on what will hopefully be one of the most memorable and fulfilling experiences of your high school career. We always enjoy meeting and getting to work with a new class. One of the most rewarding parts of our job is seeing these young people grow into young adults and watching the maturity process over 4 years.  The marching season is always one of our favorite times of the year.  We enjoy seeing the final product being put together for the first time at camp and watching the tremendous progress that is made over the course of the first two months of school.

Darren Kirschimag015

Mr. Kirsch has been Director of Bands at Grafton High School in York County since the school’s opening in the fall of 1996. Mr. Kirsch graduated from Virginia Tech in 1995 where he received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree with an emphasis in Music Education and Music Performance. He is an active adjudicator and clinician in the state and has worked for several spring festival companies that have festivals in the Williamsburg-Virginia Beach area. Mr. Kirsch’s responsibilities as the director at Grafton High School include directing the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic, and Concert Bands, as well as the Jazz Ensemble and the 175 member Grafton Clipper Marching Band. He has also served as the Fine Arts Department chair for the past six years.  The Grafton bands have consistently earned superior ratings at State Concert Festival, and have received recognition at festivals throughout the country and in Canada.

Mr. Kirsch is a member of VMEA and VBODA and is a past instrumental chairman of District VIII. He has been inducted into Phi Beta Mu and ASBDA. Mr. Kirsch was named Teacher of the Year in 2006-2007 at Grafton High School and was awarded the MIT Inspirational Teacher in 2014. He currently lives in York County, Virginia with his wife Cena, his son Jackson and daughter Molly.


Gabe Stoneimag014

Mr. Stone is in his ninth year as a Band Director at Grafton High School. He holds a Master of Music Education degree from the University of South Carolina, a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and Certificate in Tuba Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory. He studied tuba with Dr. Ron Davis and Michael Bunn and conducting with Dr. William Moody.  Born in Limestone, Maine, he attended Newport News schools and graduated from Menchville High School. He taught elementary band in Winchester, VA and middle and high School band in Newport News, VA. Mr. Stone also served as a band graduate assistant at the University of South Carolina in Columbia with James Copenhaver where he taught several undergraduate music courses. At Grafton High School Mr. Stone’s responsibilities include Concert and Symphonic Bands, Percussion Ensemble, Marching Band, Music Appreciation and Guitar Class. He is the sponsor for the Grafton Ukulele Club.  He performs as a balladeer at Colonial Williamsburg where he plays eighteenth century music on period instruments including the Serpent, Traverso, Hurdy-Gurdy, and Baroque Guitar.

His professional memberships include VMEA and VBODA, Virginia Professional Educators, International Tuba and Euphonium Association, and is a life member of Kappa Kappa Psi.  Mr. Stone lives in Yorktown, VA with his wife Beth (Band Director at Grafton Middle School) and his twins Liam and Daphne.