Mason hires band director

Greg Benson has been named the new band director for Mason High School. CONTRIBUTED

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Greg Benson has been named the new band director for Mason High School. CONTRIBUTED

After a monthslong search, school picks Greg Benson.

Greg Benson marched in the prestigious Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., this past January — just one year after the Mason High School band did the same.

Now he has been named the new MHS band director, selected from a pool of nearly 100 applicants.

“Mason High School’s band program is one of the finest in the nation with the most dedicated staff working tirelessly to provide students with the best musical opportunities possible,” Benson said. “I wanted to join this team in inspiring these students to fall in love with music and to develop as people into hard-working, dedicated and driven citizens.”

Benson currently is assistant director of bands at Grove City High School and the associate conductor of the Grove City Community Winds. He previously served as the director of bands for Gallia Academy High School and Middle School in Gallipolis.

Prior to his teaching career, Benson performed at the Navy Band’s International Saxophone Symposium with Otterbein University’s Saxophone Quartet and served as a conductor with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Otterbein University.

“It is the greatest joy of my life to wake up each morning and have the blessing of doing what I love. I truly feel I am called to share my passion for music with my students, and I strive to share this with them in each and every moment of my teaching. It is my goal that students will fall passionately and undeniably in love with music and want to share this with the world around them,” he explained. “It is also my goal that students not only walk out of my classroom with a deep appreciation and love for music, but have developed character and citizenship skills that will stick with them for the rest of their lives and allow them to be successful in whatever endeavors they pursue. I often say I teach students first, and music is my vehicle.”

Benson looks forward to building relationships with his colleagues, students, parents, boosters and Mason community.

“My immediate goals will be to get to know the students and staff and to familiarize myself with the many facets of the Mason band program,” he said. “I will be hard at work alongside my new colleagues solidifying another banner year for the students of the Mason Bands.”

This year, the MHS Marching Band, under the direction of Susan Bass, placed third out of 100 bands at the 2016 Bands of America Grand Nationals. The MHS Wind Symphony, under the direction of Micah Ewing, was one of only four high school bands to perform at the 2016 70th annual Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic held in Chicago.

“There are many things that have made the Mason Band Program the nationally recognized music program that it is today. An outstanding team of educators, talented and dedicated students and supportive parents are the hallmarks of the Mason Band,” Benson said. “I intend to continue the traditions of excellence with which the Mason Bands have become synonymous and seek out new and exciting opportunities for our students so that they will continue to have one of the best band experiences in the nation.”

Benson and his wife, Melinda, plan to relocate to the area this summer.

“I am incredibly grateful to the administration and staff of Mason City Schools for allowing me this opportunity to join the Mason Bands,” he said. “The band staff, boosters and community have already been so gracious in welcoming me and my wife, Melinda, and I can’t wait to get started making music in Mason.”

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