A lot has happened in the past nine months, so let me get you all caught up.
My biggest news is that I am now a married man! On July 9th, 2016 I married Jennifer Tinberg in Chanhassen, MN surrounded by friends and family. It was and will continue to be the greatest day of my life.
I have been very fortunate to be regularly gigging throughout Alabama and Florida over the past few yaers, as well as presenting master classes, clinics, and recitals in Alabama, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Arkansas.
Jennifer and I performed “A Curtain of Stars" by Jerod Sommerfeldt at the 2016 International Clarinet Associaton Clarinetfest at the University of Kansas in Lawerence, KS on August 4th.
I have been busying writing new pieces. “Synchronism," a piece for solo drumset, was written for Catherine Cole who is a graduate student at the Eastman School of Music. “The First Shade," a solo for vibraphone, was written for Tyler Tolles. The premiere recording of the piece will be on Tyler’s first album, “In Touch," to be released this fall. New pieces for Jennifer Fraley and Amanda DeBoer Bartlett will be coming soon.
New recording projects have given me chances to work with Matthew Geiger and Justin Alexander. Be on the lookout for their new albums. A new album of solo E-Flat clarinet commissions is in the plans with Dr. Jennifer Fraley.
I have been very fortunate to be supported by wonderful companies: Innovative Percussion, Inc., Remo, Inc., and Grover Pro Percussion. I am also very proud to be joining the Pearl/Adams team as a new endorser.
01.18.16Doctor Complete! and so much more!
Sorry I have not sent out a news announcement in a long time. Life got really busy and I forgot, but now I have a lot of big news.
On May 9th, 2015, I asked Jennifer Tinberg to marry me and she said yes. I extremely fortunate to have this wonderful woman in my life.
Jennifer and I moved to Troy, AL over the 2015 Summer in order to be closer to our jobs teaching at Troy University.
I have been very fortunate to be regularly gigging throughout Alabama and Florida over the past few years, as well as presenting master classes in Alabama, Florida, and New York.
Since I last posted some news I have written four new pieces: "Notions" for Tommy Dobbs, "Pillars" for Dr. Stacy Christofakis and Gennie Clarkson, "Circuits" for Nick Stevens, and "Prattle" for Jamie Whitmarsh and Dr. Lisa Kachouee. There are more compositions to come as well for Tyler Tolles and Catherine Cole.
I have been very fortunate to be supported by three wonderful companies: Innovative Percussion, Inc., Remo, Inc., and Grover Pro Percussion.
Last but certainly not least, I finished my doctorate at Florida State University by completing my treatise entitled "Creating Musical Landscapes: The Origins, Analysis, Performance, and Logistics of John Luther Adams's Inuksuit." I am very grateful for all the help I received on this project from Dr. John Parks, John Luther Adams, Omar Carmenates, Allen Otte, Russell Burge, James Culley, Bonnie Whiting, Doug Perkins, Rob Esler, Steven Schick, as well as Prof. Eva Amsler, Dr. Alexander Jiménez, and Dr. Mark Westgate. Thank you all. I am officially Dr. Benjamin Fraley.
06.27.14DM Year 2 = Complete!
Well, it wasn't an easy year, but it was a year that had a lot of positives. I haven't done a news update in a while, but that's what happens when you have a busy year I guess.
- Inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lamba, and the Golden Key International Honor Society.
- Nominated to win the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award at FSU.
- Awarded the FSU College of Music Academic Leadership Award
- Helped organize an Inuksuit performance at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, FL.
- Performed extensively with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and the Tallahassee Ballet.
- Gave master classes on frame drums and John Cage at Troy University and Florida State University.
- Moderated a successful panel discuss at PASIC.
- Became an Innovate Percussion mallets and sticks artist.
- Gave a successful chamber recital and lecture recital.
Next year = Last year of School!
05.08.13DM Year 1 = Complete!
I know it's been a long time since there has been any news but there is a reason. My first year as a doctoral student at Florida State University was amazing and intense. I wish I could tell you all everything I did this year in prose, but it would just be impossible. So ... here it goes:
- Appointed Chair of the University Committee of the Percussive Arts Society.
- Performed at the Florida Flute Association Convention with the FSU Graduate Flute Ensemble.
- Performed in several pieces for the FSU New Music Festival.
- Performed with the FSU Wind Orchestra at the American Bandmaster's Association Conference.
- Recorded with the FSU University Symphony Orchestra for the new album to be released through NAXOS.
- Recorded with the FSU Percussion Ensemble for the ensemble's second album, "Not Far From Here."
- Premiered Jerod Sommerfeldt's "Samsara" at the Great Lake's Division of the College Music Society at the University of Dayton.
- Performed in my 5th "Inuksuit" performance at the University of Richmond (organized by eighth blackbird and Doug Perkins).
- Performed in masterclasses with Dr. Scott Herring, Brian Del Signore, Nicholas Ormrod, and Cynthia Yeh.
- Received a grant from the Fundação Luso Americana.
- Performed in over 30 concerts this school year including my first Doctoral Recital.
This year was great! This summer is going to great too.
- Traveling to Lisbon, Portugal with Alexander Casimiro thanks to a grant from the Fundação Luso Americana in order to perform and give masterclasses at the 2nd Annual Percussion Festival at the Escola Superior de Musica de Lisboa directed by Pedro Carneiro.
- I will be attending the Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar for the third year in a row! This summer I will be there not only as a participant, but as the media director (audio, photography, and video).
- I will be performing with the FSU Graduate Flute Ensemble at the National Flute Association Convention in New Orleans, LA in August.
Life is good.
03.10.12Moving to Tallahassee, Florida!
It's official!!!! Starting next September, I will be starting my doctorate at The Florida State University, and I will have the extreme privilege and pleasure to be studying with Dr. John W. Parks IV. I'm very excited to soon be a part of a great percussion department, to be studying with a great teacher, and to be living in a new exciting place.
There is plenty to do before I move though.
Performance with CCM Percussion Ensemble playing "Workers Union."
More dates and performances in New York and Indiana with the Color Field Ensemble.
Returning to the Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar in Enfield, NH in July.
Plus, a special "Goodbye Cincinnati" Recital that I will be giving in mid-June. Check back periodically for details.
As the year draws to an end, even the past four months have been very busy:
Performance of "Inuksuit" by John Luther Adams for the Arts for Peace United Nations Group to promote the "For the Forest" campaign.
Performance of Morton Feldman's "The King of Denmark" at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention's 50th Anniversary.
A part of the Whiz Kids Educational Program for Music.
Appointed concert percussion and marching percussion instructor at Roger Bacon High School in Cincinnati, OH.
A new year brings new adventures yet to come:
Appointed adjunct professor of percussion for Cincinnati Christian University in Cincinnati, OH.
Appointed once again to be a part of the Linton Series presents Peanut Butter and Jam educational concerts of percussion.
Tour with the Color Field Ensemble in March in Buffalo, Rochester, and Fredonia, NY.
A planned concert of premiered pieces in Cincinnati. Featuring works by Melissa Carubia, Danny Clay, Stuart Saunders Smith, TR Beery, and Natalie Draper.
05.25.11Another Chapter in the Book ...
Mr. Fraley has closed another chapter in his book. Mr. Fraley has completed his Artist Diploma at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and has thus completed his student career at CCM. His experience at CCM has been nothing short of awesome.
The coming year will involve many exciting moments:
1. Inuksuit performance in New York City
2. Attending "The Chosen Vale Percussion Seminar"
3. Performing at the 50th anniversary of the Percussive Arts Society International Convention
4. Premiering pieces by Natalie Draper, TR Beery, Danny Clay, and Melissa Carubia.
5. ... and who knows what the future will hold
08.08.10Updates and then Some
It's been a long time since there has been an update, but there is plenty to update you all on now.
Mr. Fraley will be beginning his final year at CCM this coming year.
There is still a struggle to finish recent composition projects but progress is being made.
Mr. Fraley recently finished up at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival at Mass Moca in North Adams, MA. Not only was it a great performing experience but it was also a growing experience in which a lot was learned. Not to mention a wonderful opportunity making new friends and seeing old friends.
The highlights for this coming fall include not only a recital on November 20th at CCM, but also performing at the Percussive Artists Society International Convention in Indianapolis, IN. Mr. Fraley will be performing "Child of Tree" by John Cage on November 11 in the Wabash room during the 3 - 3:50 time slot.
Commissioning new music as of late have resulted in the creations of two new pieces:
A vibraphone solo composed by Natalie Draper entitled "Everything Accumulates."
A duet for marimba and french horn composed by Melissa Carubia entitled "You Are Welcome Here."
10.04.09Commissions, Commissions, Commissions
This past summer has brought forth the prospects of working with great composers. Benjamin Fraley is fronting the commissions of three composers. Melissa Carubia is composing a duet for Horn and Marimba for Mr. Fraley and Rachel Hockenberry. Natalie Draper is composing a vibraphone solo for Mr. Fraley, and Lisa Coons is composing a piece for mixed ensemble.
Mr. Fraley also hopes in the new future to secure commissions with Gene Koshinski and Jessica Rudman.
Mr. Fraley himself has struggled to complete a vibraphone solo and percussion trio for his percussion friends in Switzerland.
04.12.09So much to do ... So little time ...
Here is the latest news from Benjamin Fraley:
1. CCM for Two More Years
After deciding that two years of studying with the members of Percussion Group Cincinnati was not enough, Benjamin Fraley has decided to begin an Artist Diploma program at CCM after graduating with his Masters of Music.
The completion of current compositions has been a struggle due to a very busy year. Benjamin Fraley just recently finished the arrangement of Gretchen Taubl's "Celtic Dance." "Celtic Dance," originally for string ensemble, will be performed this upcoming summer for an Ars Deum Percussion Duo concert on marimba and vibraphone.
Benjamin Fraley will be in Blonay, Switzerland this summer at the Music09 New Music Festival. Special guests include Joel Hoffman, Chen Yi, Frederic Rzewski, and the eighth blackbird ensemble.
4. Schwanter Percussion Concerto
Benjamin Fraley won the opportunity to play the Finale of the Schwanter Percussion Concerto with the CCM Wind Symphony this coming June. Benjamin Fraley will perform the Concerto with co-percussionist soloists Erica Drake and Philip Andrews.
03.25.09Goodbye to Alexander Lepak
I will never forget all the great lessons that I had with Al Lepak. It truly is not everyday that you get to study with a legend. I learned not only about percussion but also a great deal about printing and publishing my own music. He truly represented the essence of what it meant to be a percussionist. He was a virtuoso in Jazz, Classical, and Contemporary music. Alexander Lepak, by far to this day, is the name on my resume that I am most proudest to display as one of my teachers. RIP Mr. Lepak, and Thank You.
09.19.08New Commissions in the Work
Mr. Fraley has been recently commissioned for a vibraphone solo and and a multiple percussion trio. These pieces are being written for Swiss percussionists, Fanni Rea Muller, Cla Tuor, and Peter Fleischlin.
This was an amazing masterclass in Engers, Germany hosted by Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic. This masterclass had students from 14 countries and guest artist, Beverly Johnston. Check out the gallery for pictures and the provided link.
07.10.08New Pieces finished!
Mr. Fraley recently completed two new pieces:
Corpless is presently a three mvt. piece for snare drum duet. Each mvt. incorporates distinct characteristics of timbre and chamber music performance from one to the other. This piece can be found through Born of Fire Publications.
Shh... is a multiple percussion duet with nearly identical setups. The duo will share a set of bongos (one playing the higher drum, the other playing the lower), and each player will have a low tom tom, medium tom tom, and a conga. This piece can be found through Born of Fire Publications.
03.19.08Piece for Marimba and Soprano Complete!
A year ago while Mr. Fraley was still at The Hartt School, he commissioned composer Phil Salathe to write a piece for him and soprano Alexis Garry. After much anticipation, the piece is complete. Phil Salathe has taken settings from three poems by Sara Teasdale, and composed a three movement piece for soprano and marimba entitled, "The Cold and Sparkling Silver of the Sea." To find out more on Phil Salathe, click the link below.
Mr. Fraley has just finished his latest composition, "Silent Words and the Din Journey" for Harp, Viola, and Cello. This piece was specifically composed for The Taubl Sisters, Annabelle, Gretchen, and Emily. The piece is scheduled to be premiered at Annabelle Taubl's Senior Recital on May 13th, 2008 at 7:30 pm, at The Hartt School, University of Hartford.
The past several months have been very busy for new compositions. This past summer saw the finishing of several compositions by Benjamin Fraley:
1. "Focus" - marimba solo
2. "Improvisations for Decisions:For Musical Duo" - musical duet
Both pieces are available through Born of Fire Publications which can be accessed through the links page.
Currently, Mr. Fraley is composing several pieces for upcoming performances:
1."Silent Words and the Din Journey" - This is piece is for Harp, Viola, and Cello and is being written for the Taubl Sisters, Annabelle, Emily, and Gretchen.
2. "Waving Ink" - This piece is for percussion ensemble with 2-8 players. This piece is based on many philosophical ideas and the finishing touches are being advised by Allen Otte.
3. "Shh..." - This piece is for percussion duo and is being written for the Ars Deum Percussion Duo.
4. "Corpless" - This piece is for snare drum duet and is being written for the Ars Deum Percussion Duo.
Performances of these pieces will be notified through the concert page.
01.15.08Benjamin Fraley.com Up and Running
Welcome to my new website everyone. As time goes on I will be adding more and more sights and sounds to my website. So please visit again.
- Benjamin Fraley