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.
Mr. Darren Kirsch is in his 22nd year as the Director of Bands at Grafton High School. He
previously taught for one year at Glenvar High School and Middle School located in
Roanoke County. 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
185 member Grafton Clipper Marching Band. He has also served as the Fine Arts
Department chair for the past eleven years. The Grafton High School Wind Ensemble
was selected to perform at the Virginia Music Educators Association Conference in 2007
and again in 2014. The Grafton High School Band has been named a Virginia Honor
Band for the past thirteen consecutive years.
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 recently 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.
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.