Meet Dr. Benjamin Lorenzo, Associate Professor and Director of Bands at Kent State University
Meet Dr. Lorenzo!
Benjamin Lorenzo is an associate professor of music and the Director of Bands at Kent State University’s Glauser School of Music, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, teaches conducting, and provides leadership for university bands. He also teaches a summer elective for the Online Master of Music in Music Education.
Read on for a short interview with Dr. Lorenzo.
Tell us about yourself and your work/time at Kent State University.
I am completing my first school year at Kent State as Director of Bands. I conduct ensembles, teach conducting, and provide leadership and support for the university band program. Prior to this, I was at the University of Arkansas, where I was the Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands for seven years. I was born in Cuba and raised in Miami, Florida, and have degrees from Florida International University and the University of Texas.
What drew you to music?
I grew up in a family of musicians, so it was something that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My experiences playing in jazz, concert, and marching bands and orchestras throughout my high school years fueled my passion for music. That is when I really began to think about it as a career possibility. I particularly enjoy the collaborative aspect of music-making in an ensemble setting.
What do you look forward to most in your role?
My role gives me the opportunity to interact and collaborate with many students throughout the school of music, faculty, and community members. I enjoy the variety of performance and teaching opportunities associated with my role. As an ensemble director. I can share our students’ work with many people within the university and the NE Ohio community through our performances.
Why should students choose to study music at Kent State University?
Kent State has world-class faculty and is in an area rich with opportunities for musical growth. It is a place where students receive lots of individual attention within a large comprehensive university. Whatever area of music you are passionate about, we have something great to offer. Our campus is also beautiful!
What is a favorite memory of your time at Kent State University?
This would have to be my first performance with the Wind Ensemble. First performances are usually challenging, to begin with, and because of the rehearsal schedule, this performance had only a few rehearsals. It was a very passionate performance, and I was very proud of how the students came together. I also enjoyed the moments that led to that experience, as we were all getting to know each other and developing rapport.
How are you involved with the School of Music summer electives?
I am teaching a conducting course with my colleague Jay White. It is directed towards instrumental and choral conductors with experience who seek to develop or fine-tune their conducting skills. Learn more about summer electives.
What podcast are you currently listening to, or what book are you currently reading?
I am currently listening to shorter story-driven podcasts like The Daily or the show recaps like the Late Show Pod, but enjoy all sorts of different ones. I enjoy reading a lot, although it is difficult to find the time to do so during the semester. The current books I am reading are Music is History by Questlove, The Storyteller by Dave Grohl, and Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris.
What’s your favorite part about higher education?
My favorite part is the age and level of their professional development where students are at this point. I am passionate about working with young adults, setting them up to enter the professional world and impacting them in a positive way through music.
Benjamin Lorenzo is an associate professor of music and the Director of Bands at Kent State University’s Glauser School of Music, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, teaches conducting, and provides leadership for university bands. Previously, he served as Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Arkansas, where he led the Razorback Marching Band and Wind Symphony. Before this appointment, Lorenzo held positions at Oklahoma State and Texas Tech University. His teaching experience also includes high schools in Florida and Texas.
Passionate about wind bands in Latin America, Dr. Lorenzo has worked with musicians in Mexico, Panama, Peru, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. He has also conducted bands in Kuala Lumpur and was a clinician for the Malaysian Band Directors Association Conducting Workshop. Additional experience abroad includes guest conducting the World Youth Wind Orchestra Project (WYWOP) in Schladming, Austria. Lorenzo remains active as an adjudicator, conductor, and clinician throughout the United States and has conducted professional ensembles such as the West Point Academy Band.
As an orchestrator, Lorenzo’s transcription of John Corigliano’s The Red Violin Chaconne, published by Boosey & Hawkes, received the composer’s praise and numerous performances from university and professional ensembles to date. In addition, he has arranged works for marching bands, wind ensembles, and the Dallas Winds. His writings on music are found in the Journal of Band Research, and the WASBE Journal, and he has contributed to several volumes of the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series. He has presented sessions at the Texas Bandmasters Association, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, College Band Directors National Association conferences, and several state music education conventions.
Committed to amplifying diverse voices, Lorenzo serves on the advisory board of the Music Education Alliance, which sponsors the William P. Foster project, an initiative of CBDNA, Music For All, and the National Band Association, focused on supporting bands in historically underserved and under-resourced communities. Additionally, he chairs the Diversity Committee for CBDNA. He is a member of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Service Sorority, and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity.
Lorenzo holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in Wind Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin under the tutelage of Jerry Junkin. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in Trombone Performance from Florida International University, studying with Mark Hetzler. A native of Havana, Cuba, he is a proud alumnus of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, where he began his teaching career.
Enroll today in the Online Master of Music in Music Education Program at Kent State University
The Online Master of Music degree in Music Education program is designed to offer music teachers the opportunity to develop and refine their professional skills. The degree program allows for enhancement and specialization relative to music teaching and learning in contemporary school contexts.
Kent State University is synonymous with music education. Some of the leading voices in the field have earned a degree here. Our 100% online program can be completed in as few as 23 months. Our curriculum is created for the music teaching professional. Classes are seven weeks, and you can enroll in two classes per semester, including summer. This format allows you to focus on one area of study and then begin another music education course after a brief recess. We are dedicated to helping you design a program that provides exciting new perspectives in your teaching right from the beginning.
For more information on Kent State’s Online Master of Music in Music Education, visit https://onlinedegrees.kent.edu/degrees/master-of-music-in-music-education