Meet the Authors

Sarah Ball

Sarah Ball has been teaching orchestra for twenty six years, currently at North Gwinnett Middle School in Sugar Hill, Ga, where she is one of two orchestra directors. The NGMS orchestra program has 475 students enrolled in grades 6-8. The 8 th grade orchestra was selected to perform at GMEA in January (2012), 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 recently 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. She has served as state treasurer and president for GA-ASTA and has served nationally on the K-12 orchestra curriculum committee for and member-at-large.

She is currently a mentor for national ASTA and has supervised numerous student teachers during her career. Mrs. Ball was the GMEA Orchestra Division Chair, and has held school leadership roles as curriculum and department chair at both Lanier MS and NGMS. She is currently the GMEA Vice President for All-State events. 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 is active as a clinician, adjudicator, and conductor throughout the country. In addition, she is has been on the staff of Encore Music Camp for twenty years as well as the GA-ASTA camp, and NGMS 6 th Grade Bulldog Camp. She is served as conductor of the Kendall Youth Orchestra, a county-wide honor orchestra comprised of students in grades 6-8 for twelve years. 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 Teacher of the Year at Laing Middle School in Charleston County (SC) where her program grew from 42 to 215 students in five years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and her Master’s degree in Music Performance from the University of South Carolina. Mrs. Selby’s orchestras have participated in SCMEA Concert Performance Assessment and other festivals in the southeast, earning superior ratings.

She has been a guest conductor for the West Virginia Junior All-State Orchestra, multiple region orchestras across South Carolina and North Carolina, and was the conductor of the Charleston County Honors Orchestra from 2012-16. She has adjudicated orchestras in Las Vegas and South Carolina, and has been a clinician for the Texas Orchestra Directors Association, Dorchester County String teachers, the Univ. of SC String Teacher Workshop, and SC Region and All-State Orchestra cello sectionals. She is a contributing author of Rehearsing the Middle School Orchestra, published by Meredith Music and distributed by GIA Publications, Inc. She co-presented at the 2019 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and the 2021, 2020 and 2012 ASTA National Conference. Mrs. Selby is the 2017-18 String Educator of the Year awarded by Southern String Supply.

She has served as the President for the South Carolina Music Educators Association Orchestra Division, a former Secretary/Treasurer for the ASTA of South Carolina, and is currently the SCMEA Orchestra Division Region 4 Representative. She 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 their two children. She enjoys running and sampling Charleston’s many amazing restaurants.

Christopher Selby

Dr. Christopher Selby is the author of Habits of a Successful Orchestra Director, Music Theory for the Successful String Musician, and co-author of the Habits of a Successful String Musician series, a collection of string method books for middle- and upper-level orchestras, published by GIA. He is an active clinician and has presented sessions at two Midwest Clinics, the 2016 NAfME National Conference, five American String Teacher Association (ASTA) National Conferences, and numerous state conferences across America. Dr. Selby regularly guest conducts regional and all-state orchestras, and he currently directs the high school orchestras at the School of the Arts in Charleston, South Carolina. Under his direction, the School of the Arts High School Orchestras performed at the 2019 Midwest Clinic, and they won the 2016 ASTA National Orchestra Festival’s top award of Grand Champion in the competitive public school division.

Dr. Selby earned his music education degree from the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut, and his Masters and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees in Orchestral Conducting from the University of South Carolina. He began teaching at the Charleston School of the Arts in 2012, and before that Dr. Selby taught orchestra in traditional elementary, middle, and high schools. He was the Orchestra Coordinator in Richland School District Two from 2001 to 2012, where he taught high school and supervised the district’s orchestra curriculum and instruction.

He has held leadership positions on the Council for Orchestral Education in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the ASTA Committee on School Orchestras and Strings. Dr. Selby was the President of the South Carolina Music Educators Association (SCMEA) from 2011 to 2013, and he served two separate terms as the President of the state’s Orchestra Division. He was named the South Carolina ASTA Orchestra Teacher of the Year in 2009. He is a contributing author for Teaching Music Through Performance in Orchestra, Vol. 4, and has written articles for NAfME and in ASTA’s American String Teacher.

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.