Ben Clark is a versatile trumpet player and dedicated educator working in Middle Tennessee. He was born in Nashville TN, but spent most of his childhood growing up in central and southern Illinois. At the age of 11, he received his first trumpet as a gift from his grandparents.
At age 13, Ben began studying with Herb Stoskopf, a well known trumpet teacher in central Illinois. Throughout the next five years Ben performed with many honor bands. These bands ranged from local all conference bands, to larger district bands and culminated in All State band his senior year of high school.
In the fall of 1996 Ben entered the music department at Illinois State University. His trumpet studies there took place with Dr. Amy Gilreath. While at ISU, Ben performed in all of the schools elite ensembles. These ensembles ranged from the Wind Symphony, to the Jazz Band, and the University Orchestra, to the Madrigal Brass Quintet. Ben graduated from ISU with his B.M. degree in Trumpet Performance.
Ben chose to pursue his Masters degree with Allen Vizzutti at the University of Washington in Seattle WA. While at UW he also had the opportunity to study jazz trumpet with Vern Seilert. Again, he was active performing in the universities top ensembles, including the Wind Ensemble, the Jazz Band I, and the Orchestra. Ben also studied conducting at UW. He was a co director of the University Band for a quarter. Ben was a Brechemin Award winner, as well as a finalist in the university concerto contest. He graduated UW with a M.M. degree in Trumpet Performance.
While in Seattle, Ben co-founded the Left Coast Brass Quintet. This group was focused on performing great brass quintet repertoire, and educating brass players. The Left Coast Brass performed and gave master classes throughout the state of Washington. In 2006, the LCB toured Japan giving several performances and spent time teaching with local brass sections. The LCB still performs together and in 2008 recorded a project for a Japanese recording company, Nihon Pals.
Also in 2006, Ben was able to return to Illinois State University to fill a sabbatical leave and teach the trumpet studio. He performed with the faculty brass quintet and enjoyed returning to and teaching at his alma mater.
In 2009 Ben returned to Japan. While there, he taught master classes and private brass lessons throughout the country. Ben had the privilege to work with many outstanding students at schools including Tamana All Girls High School, Tamana Senshu High School, Hiraoka Middle School, and Musica Grato in Himi.
Ben has also performed with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, The Federal Way Symphony, The Vashon Chorale, and the Third Eye Brass Ensemble, and artists including Allen Vizzutti, Marvin Hamlisch, Carl Fontana, Marvin Stamm, Steve Houghton, and Joel Grey.