Benjamin Berry is currently in his fifth year as a music educator. Before arriving at White Knoll High School, Ben taught at several high schools and junior high schools in Texas. He was formerly an Associate Band Director and Director of Percussion Studies at Hidalgo High School, Robert Vela High School, and Robert E. Lee High School.
During his time in Texas, his responsibilities primarily included the oversight of the percussion studios throughout Marching, Indoor, Solo and Ensemble, and Concert seasons. He was also an associate director of the marching band programs. He also traveled to junior high schools and taught beginner percussion and low brass methods.
During his time at several Texas schools, Ben has helped lead the percussion programs to many honors. Among these are Outstanding Front Ensemble Awards (2010 and 2011), Class A Champions (2010 and 2011), and a Grand Champion (2011) award at the Roma Gladiator Contest in Roma, TX. In the indoor circuit TECA, Ben helped his group to a Class AA State Championship in 2012. In a school’s first year of existence, Ben helped the drumline and front ensemble claim a high percussion award during the fall as well as a bronze medal in the TECA Scholastic A Class State Championship in 2013. During the 2014 indoor percussion season, Ben was a Front Ensemble instructor for the WGI Independent Open Class Tyler Junior College Indoor Percussion Ensemble. During his time there, he helped them to a TCGC Independent World State Championship. Ben is also an indoor percussion drill writer. Both state championship medals in 2012 and 2013 were with drill Ben designed.
This past year, Ben was the band director for a sub non-varsity band that claimed superior ratings on stage and excellent ratings in sight reading. As a part of the Heritage Music Festival in San Antonio, Ben’s band claimed superior awards.
In his years as a Percussion Director, he has helped percussionists consistently achieve superior ratings in Solo and Ensemble Contests with very advanced literature.
He received his Bachelor in Music Education Degree from Ithaca College (Cum Laude) where he studied percussion with Gordon Stout and Conrad Alexander. Other instructors have included Robert Zolnowski, Iain Moyer, Jason Inhat, and Neil Larrivee. After marching tenors for one year with DCA’s Empire Statesmen from Rochester, NY in 2007, he became a member of The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2008. He was a member of the front ensemble for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Performing ensembles have also included the Carnival Kids Steel Orchestra (CKSO), Ithaca College Steel band, Ithaca College Percussion Ensembles, and the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra.
In 2011, Ben was hand-picked to be one of fifty world-class marimba players from around the world to be a part of PASIC’s Marimba Orchestra under the direction of Gordon Stout.
Ben has been a member of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) for the past 5 years, and was also a member of the Texas Music Educator’s Association (TMEA) for the 4 years he was in Texas. Other affiliations have included the Texas Bandmasters Association and the Unified Percussion Ensemble of South Texas. He is a Vic Firth Educator where he proudly endorses high quality percussion implements.
Ben lives in Lexington, SC with his dog Bonnie and enjoys cycling, tennis, and skiing in his spare time.