Director of Bands
- Doctor of Musical Arts
Texas Tech University
Benjamin Harper is Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at Valdosta State University, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, directs the graduate program in wind conducting, and guides all aspects of the university band program.
A champion of new, accessible music for students and audiences, Harper’s performances regularly include standard band music side-by-side with music by contemporary composers Kevin Walczyk, Joni Greene, and Aaron Perrine. Valdosta State University has been consortium member commissioning composers of diverse backgrounds, including Viet Cuong, Shuying Li, Julia Wolfe, and Juan Pablo Contreras. He is leading a consortium of universities commissioning a new opera for four voices and wind ensemble by Joni Greene based on the White Rose movement, a non-violent, intellectual resistance group led by a group of students in the Third Reich.
Upcoming Wind Ensemble performances will include guest artists Dr. Peter Geldrich, clarinet, and Dr. Javian Brabham, trumpet. Guest conductor Col. Timothy Holtan, retired conductor of The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” will perform with Wind Ensemble as Valdosta State University hosts more than an estimated 350 middle and high school students, directors, and families for the South Georgia Region Honor Band in April 2022.
Prior to serving as Director of Bands, Harper was Director of Athletic Bands at VSU and spent seven years as a high school band director in Iowa. He holds degrees from Iowa State University, The University of Kansas, and Texas Tech University.