In this next edition of "Getting to Know our MMC members," Ben Wareham steps up to the plate! Ben spends A LOT of time at Grand Street Campus—not only does he play in all three ensembles, but he's the assistant conductor of KCCB! (You may also recognize him as the guy who hates those square-backed chairs...) He took some time out of his jam-packed musical schedule to share his favorite MMC memories and his star turn in his middle school jazz band.
Name: Ben Wareham
Occupation: Director of Bands at MS 50 in South Williamsburg; guest conductor for KCCB
Instrument(s): Trombone, Bass Clarinet, Bari Sax, Tenor Sax, Trumpet, Bassoon
What’s your favorite thing about your day job? My favorite thing about my day job is watching the joy in young people growing from knowing nothing about playing music into becoming musicians.
Which ensemble(s) are you in and for how long? GSCB: 3 years; BKWS: 2 years; KCCB: 1 year
How did you get started with the MMC? I took a summer workshop and ended up working in a group with GSCB trumpet player Mari Eli. She told me about the group, which I was then reminded of by a colleague at my school because KCCB director Jasmine Britt used to have my position at MS 50. The rest is history.
What is your favorite MMC memory? All of the performances have been memorable, and band camp is a metric ton of fun, but performing at Carnegie Hall with GSCB is an experience that tops them all for now. Especially the post-show sing along with the German band we shared the stage with.
What’s your favorite piece of music you’ve ever played? The St. Olaf Band’s first performance of La Fiesta Mexicana by Herbert Owen Reed in Guanajuato, Mexico on borrowed instruments because our truck wasn’t allowed across the border.
What was the last concert/musical/ cultural performance you saw? Flying Lotus
Favorite holiday song? Little Drum Machine Boy by Beck
What’s your typical Sunday routine? Wake up, have some coffee and food before I head to the Brooklyn Music School to co-conduct the ISO Concert band with Laurel Stinson. Then head
home and do as little as possible during one of the few stretches of down time I have during the week.
Give us a New York recommendation: The Market on Lafayette in Bedstuy. Very awesome, proper Chinese food. Handmade dumplings, Lou Rou Fan, noodles, etc. All delicious.
Finish this sentence: "I knew I was a musician when..." ...I got a thumbs-up from my middle school band director, Mr. James, when I snuck in the horn line from Jungle Boogie into a solo during a jazz band concert in 8th grade.