Gryphon playing the saxophone with text ERA Gryphon Pep Band

Teacher Ben VerbridgeNew Next Year: Gryphon Pep Band

Listen in as we chat with Eagle Ridge Academy Band and Orchestra Director Ben Verbridge, who will lead the new Gryphon Pep Band this fall.

Q: Can you tell us a little more about you? 

A: I went to Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where I received my Bachelor’s of Music for Instrumental Music Education. My primary focus was on bass trombone, though I sang quite a bit as well. I am currently one of the Upper School music teachers at ERA, with my focus on the band and orchestra programs.

Q: Tell us about Pep Band!

A: Pep Band will be an after-school activity open to students in Grades 8-12 who have been in band. We will be performing at various events for the school, primarily for fall sports. The music we will play is quite different from what students would see in concert band. We play a lot of pop music in Pep Band! From my experience playing and teaching pep band music, it’s always loads of fun to play music that is a bit more familiar to students.

Q: How will this activity expand opportunities for ERA students?

A: Pep Band will give many students, especially those in the School of Rhetoric, opportunities to play their instruments outside of curricular concert band. Students will also have more chances to engage with other students who they may not have played music with before, challenging their musical abilities in a positive way!

Q: What are you most excited for about Pep Band?

A: I’m most excited to build an exceptionally fun group full of driven musicians who will be part of a positive community. Pep Band was one of my favorite activities when I was in high school, and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything! I’m also very excited to see how our music makes an impact for events at ERA. It’s going to be a blast!

Q: Who can get involved, and how can they sign up?

A: Students in Grades 8-12 who have some experience in ERA concert band are welcome and encouraged to join. Even if you dropped out of band in the past due to schedule conflicts, you are still welcome back to our program with open arms. Registration will start at the beginning of the school year and will include information about supplies needed and performance dates. I’m so excited to begin the journey with Pep Band, and I am eager to see how our Gryphons will get involved! See you soon!

All students or parents who have questions about Pep Band prior to the start of the school year are welcome to e-mail Mr. Verbridge:

Other questions? Please contact Mary Cornelius, Communications Specialist: