Meet the Authors

Sarah Ball

Sarah Ball has been teaching orchestra for twenty seven years, currently at North Gwinnett Middle School in Sugar Hill, Ga, where she is one of two orchestra directors. The NGMS orchestra program has 575 students enrolled in grades 6-8. The 8th grade orchestra was selected to perform at GMEA in January (2012 and 2024), and received the GMEA Exemplary Performance Award in 2009 and 2015. In December 2013, the NGMS Honor Orchestra was one of three middle school orchestras selected internationally to perform in Chicago, Illinois at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, and has performed at Carnegie Hall. The NGMS music department was awarded the inaugural Exemplary Program Award from GMEA (2017-18).

Mrs. Ball holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Appalachian State University and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University. She was named the NGMS Teacher of the Year for 2011-12 and was selected as the middle school Teacher of the Year for Gwinnett County. In 2018, Mrs. Ball was chosen as the GA ASTA String Educator of the year and was awarded with the Elizabeth A. H. Green award by the American String Teacher’s Association in March of 2023. She has served as state treasurer and president for GA-ASTA, has served on the national board as member at large, and is currently the K-12 orchestra curriculum committee chair. Mrs. Ball was the GMEA Orchestra Division Chair, and has also served as Vice President for All-State events. She has held school leadership roles as curriculum and department chair at both Lanier MS and NGMS.

Mrs. Ball has presented professional development sessions at the school, county, state and national level including the national ASTA conference and The Ohio State University String Teacher’s Workshop. She co-authored a chapter in “Rehearsing the School Orchestra” and Volume 4 of Teaching Music Through Performance in Orchestra. She is active as a clinician, adjudicator, and conductor throughout the country. In addition, she is has been on the staff of the GA-ASTA camp for 15 years and serves as a mentor at the local and county level. Mrs. Ball started violin at the age of 10 in the Henderson County Strings Program (Hendersonville, NC) and currently resides in Johns Creek, Georgia with her husband Jerrod, and their cats, Topsy and Turvy.

Margaret Selby

Margaret Selby is the orchestra director and 2020-21 Teacher of the Year at Laing Middle School in Charleston, SC where she grew the program from 42 to over 200 students in five years.  Mrs. Selby’s orchestras have participated in SCMEA Concert Performance Assessment and other festivals in the southeast, earning superior ratings.

Mrs. Selby was the 2022 Featured Clinician for the Orchestra Division of the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), is a coauthor of the Habits of a Successful Young String Musician, a beginner method book (GIA), and is a contributing author of Rehearsing the Middle School Orchestra, published by Meredith Music and distributed by GIA. 

She has been a guest conductor for the Interlochen Arts Camp, All-State Orchestras in Florida and West Virginia, and multiple regional orchestras in Texas and across the Southeast. Ms. Selby has presented sessions for the 2022 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, multiple national ASTA conferences, the Texas Orchestra Directors Association, and state music educator conferences in Ohio, New Mexico, Georgia, and South Carolina. She has adjudicated orchestras in Las Vegas and South Carolina, and will be a clinician at the 2024 Ohio State String Teacher Workshop. She served as the President for the SCMEA Orchestra Division and is currently the SCMEA Orchestra Division Region 4 Representative.  Mrs. Selby is the 2017-18 String Educator of the Year awarded by Southern String Supply.  

Mrs. Selby earned degrees in Music Education and Cello Performance from the University of South Carolina, studying under Dr. Robert Jesselson, and has performed with the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Charleston Symphony, and regularly as a freelance cellist.  She is also a registered Suzuki cello teacher. Mrs. Selby lives in Mt. Pleasant, SC with her husband and has two great kids. She enjoys running and sampling Charleston’s many amazing restaurants.

Christopher Selby

Dr. Christopher Selby is a 30-year veteran public school orchestra teacher, and he is the lead string author of the Habits of a Successful String Musician method book series published by GIA. He is an active clinician and conductor, and has presented sessions at numerous Midwest Clinics, American String Teacher Association (ASTA) National Conferences, and state conferences across America. Dr. Selby currently directs the high school orchestras at the School of the Arts in Charleston, SC. His orchestras have performed at the Midwest Clinic and have twice won the top award of Grand Champion at ASTA’s National Orchestra Festival.

Dr. Selby earned a music education degree from the Hartt School of Music, and a Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Orchestral Conducting from the University of South Carolina. He regularly guest conducts Regional and All-State Orchestras across America, and he has held state and national leadership positions in ASTA and NAfME. In addition to the Habits string method book series, Dr. Selby is also the author of Habits of a Successful Orchestra Director, Music Theory for the Successful String Musician, and a contributing author for Teaching Music Through Performance in Orchestra, vol. 4 and other books published by GIA.

Scott Rush

Scott Rush is the team lead for the Habits series by GIA Publications and is the former Director of Bands at Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, SC.  He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and the University of South Carolina.  He currently serves as co-conductor of the Charleston Wind Symphony, a semi-professional ensemble in Charleston, South Carolina.

Under his direction, the Wando Symphonic Band performed at the 2007 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic and were recipients of the 2007 Sudler Flag of Honor administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation.  His marching bands were two-time BOA Grand National finalist.

Mr. Rush is active as a conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States and Canada.  He is the author and co-author of fourteen highly touted books, some of which include: Habits of A Successful Band Director, Habits of a Successful Beginner Band Musician, Habits of a Successful MusicianHabits of a Successful Beginner Band Musician, Habits of a Successful Middle School Musician, The Evolution of a Successful Band Director, Habits of a Successful Middle School Band Director, Habits of a Significant Band Director and Pathway to Success for GIA Publications. Mr. Rush has served as President of the South Carolina Band Directors Association and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the National Band Association.  In 2010, Mr. Rush was elected into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and in 2011 was awarded the Bandworld “Legion of Honor.”  In 2016, he was awarded the Edwin Franko Goldman Award by the ASBDA for contributions to music education.