Tyler Griesbach conducts band students during rehearsal at Black Mountain Elementary School. (Photo by Emily Black)
Mohave County

Black Mountain Students Tune Up for Band Festival

GOLDEN VALLEY — Tyler Griesbach is a one-man show for the music department at Black Mountain Elementary School.

Griesbach boasts heartily about his advanced band students. He’s proud, and he should be. The students have been practicing since January for the upcoming district band festival at White Cliffs Middle School, 3550 Prospector St., Kingman.

The band festival features students from Black Mountain Elementary School, Desert Willow Elementary School, Hualapai Elementary School, White Cliffs Middle School and Lee Williams High School.

The free show will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the cafeteria. The children will be performing two selections — Peer Gynt Suite #1 and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Black Mountain’s advanced band consists of 5th through 8th graders. Riley Rubens, the only student in 5th grade, won an award in March for rating of excellent solo with the trumpet in the Arizona Elementary/Junior High School Solo and Ensemble Music Festival.

Griesbach said he loves teaching music. “One of my favorite things is when it finally clicks with the students,” said Griesbach. “It’s the ah-hah moment. I enjoy it when I see them listening critically and then applying it to the music.”

It takes a lot of effort and patience to prepare for concerts, said Griesbach. The 24-year-old teacher hands out endless correction and direction, with jokes and one-liners mixed in between.

The students are excited about performing for the band festival.

Students rehearse for the upcoming district band festival scheduled for White Cliffs Middle School. (Photo by Emily Black)

Doniphan Schmidt, 14, was in the back of the room playing the percussion instruments. Doniphan said music is fun to learn. Doniphan plays the snare drum, bells and bass drum.

“I’ve been in band since 6th grade,” said Doniphan. “I’m looking forward to the festival and I want to sound good for the audience. I’m also excited about having a good time with other students at different schools.”

One of the baritone bass players for the advanced band class is 11-year-old Rebecca Boyd. She said she loves band because she gets to travel to other schools and towns. “I am really excited to see how the audience responds to how we play,” said Rebecca.

Griesbach graduated from the University of Mississippi, with a degree in music education. He has been teaching band at Black Mountain for two years and enjoys sharing his talents with the students. He plays every instrument except the strings. He plays the trombone for the Kingman Concert Band in his spare time.

Griesbach said the band festival will be a chance for students from other schools to come together. “I want the students to be pumped to play with other kids,” said Griesbach.