Doctor of Musical Arts, Texas Tech University (2017)
Master of Music, Performance, Texas Tech University (2015)
Bachelor of Music, Performance, UNC Charlotte (2013)
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Ben completed a Doctor of Musical Arts in saxophone at Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock, TX, where he co-founded the Mirasol Quartet and performed with the TTU Jazz Ensemble I, and TTU Saxophone Ensemble, in addition to various solo projects. Awarded a Gold Medal in the 2015 Fischoff Competition, a finalist in the 2015 Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition, the Grand Prize in the 2015/2016 ENKOR Chamber Music Competition, and the 2016 American Prize in Chamber Ensemble Performance, the Mirasol Quartet can be heard on its debut album, Four x Four.
An inaugural member of the College of Arts + Architecture Honors Program, Ben graduated summa cum laude and with honors.
"One of the more meaningful educational experiences that stands out is the hours I spent working towards my thesis for the CoA+A Honors Program," he says. "It was one of the most intensive research and writing experiences I’ve had to 'endure,' and while it was not always fun, the process of producing a document like that impacted me both as a scholar and musician and helped prepare me for the academic expectations of graduate school."
His time at UNC Charlotte prepared him well, he says, not only for graduate school, but for a career, too.
"I am so thankful that I attended UNC Charlotte. I learned from amazing and world-class faculty members, particularly Dr. Will Campbell. The faculty provided invaluable insight as to how to begin navigating a career in music, specifically performance, and they were very supportive of my decision to attend graduate school for further study. I suppose one of the key things I learned from UNC Charlotte is that talent has very little to do with success in a music career. Intensive practice and study are what define and propel a musician forward. I try my best not to get hung up on comparing myself with others and instead simply put my head down and get to work on the task at hand."
Ben has performed with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra, and the Texas Tech University Symphony Orchestra. As a jazz and commercial musician, he has performed with artists such as The Temptations, The Four Tops, Rodney Booth, Steve Lippia, John Riley, Bob McChesney, Rich Perry, James Riggs, Bill Watrous, and Ethan Helm.