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Zachary Grindle: John Phillips Sousa Award and Senior Recital

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Esther Lanting

Zach Grindle, ATG member, received the Fairfield High School John Philip Sousa Award. This award is restricted to one per school per year. The award recognizes superior musicianship and ability, extreme dedication to the band program, demonstration of personal and professional qualities (including citizenship, dependability, strong leadership skills), and contributions above and beyond the call of duty to the band. In responding to the award, Zach shared, “Receiving the John Philip Sousa Award has been a very special honor as it recognizes all the hard work put into the music programs at school as well as a student’s personal investment and dedication to their instrument. And especially since accordion is not a traditional band instrument, it is something I am very humbled by.”

And on May 7th, Zach performed his senior accordion recital at Jennings Auditorium in Goshen, IN in front of a crowd of 165 attenders! Zach’s program included Danse of the Hours (Ponchielli, arr. Galla-Rini), Stormy Weather (Arlen/Koehler, arr. Marocco), How Great Thou Art (Bogerg, arr. Galla-Rini), Malagueña (Lecuona, arr. Galla-Rini), Clarinet Polka (Namyslowski, arr. Palmer-Hughes), Smooth (Natoli), Clair de Lune (Debussy, arr. Galla-Rini), two duets with his teacher, ATG Board Member, Esther Lanting, Danse Boheme from the opera Carmen (Bizet, arr. Galla-Rini), and The Prayer (Foster, Bayer Sager, Testa, Renis. arr. Dan and Kim Christian). Zach concluded his recital with Galla-Rini’s solo arrangement of Finlandia (Sibelius) to a quick and spontaneous standing ovation.

ATG member Kenn Baert and wife Susan, Barrington, IL, attended the recital. Kenn shared:

“It has been wonderful to watch Zach mature as a musician over the years since he began coming to ATG. He has truly turned into not only a great accordion player, but a great musician. He showed excellent stage presence, technical skills and musicianship. It was also nice to see a larger crowd on hand. Esther should be extremely proud of what she has accomplished as a teacher.” Zach reflected, “Putting together my senior recital has been the most I’ve ever worked on a single project (both musically and non-musically related). But all the time put in was definitely worth it and it was fun to put on a performance like that.”

Zach with his (L to R): Zach Grindle, Chris Way, Elementary School Music Teacher, Mykayla Roskos-Neilson, High School Band director, Esther Lanting, Accordion Teacher and ATG Board Member

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