Cedaredge High School welcomed Melissa Gross as the new band director in 2014. She led the marching band to not only another state championship last year, but to a performance at the Rockies game and an invitation to Washington, D.C. With a positive attitude and passion for her students, Melissa Gross continues to astound the community with the level of excellence she instills in the band.
Gross graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in music education. When she got the job as the CHS music director, she was pleased to find that she can see the stars in Cedaredge. "I also like how welcoming and willing to help everyone is in this town." Although she can pick up any instrument in the band and play it fluently, her true love lies in playing violin. When she's not directing the CHS band, she plays in Wither Without Orchestra, a contemporary rock orchestra located in Denver.
"I started beginning orchestra in fifth grade, and I knew I wanted to teach music my second year of college." Music exists as a key asset in Gross's life, and she hopes to continue to pursue music education for as long as she can. "I can't imagine myself doing anything else."
Music pours through the town of Cedaredge late into the night, and Gross sits with her legs dangling out of the pressbox, pushing each band member in the right direction. "My favorite thing about this band is watching the growth and progression of not just the band as a whole, but also each individual member. I like their attitudes and commitment." Gibson describes this year's band as having a "go-get-'em" mindset.
The upcoming band season approaches, and Melissa Gross prepares the band for competitions and the National Memorial Day Parade in May. She prioritizes the band's well-being and talent. "Every member has so much potential, and I'm really excited to tap into that."