Ben Justis

Composer  •  Performer  •  Educator

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Explore "Percussion Methods"

(b. 1990)

An amalgamation of broad swaths of neotonality, captivating textures, and infectious grooves gives the music of Ben Justis sonic magnetism. His works have been performed by the Portland Percussion Group, newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet, and the United States Air Force Band among others. He served as Artist-in-Residence at Denali National Park, Homestead National Monument of America, and Glacier National Park where he took field recordings, presented to the public, and worked on new pieces to be donated to the parks. He is represented by ASCAP and published through Tapspace, North Star Music, and EARTHGRAZER STUDIOS.

Ben was educated at Colorado State University (music education and percussion performance) and The University of Kansas (DMA, music composition). His chief mentors were Eric Hollenbeck (percussion), Forrest Pierce, Ingrid Stölzel, and Kip Haaheim. He is an Assistant Professor of Music at Western Colorado University where he teaches composition, music theory, percussion, and music technology.

Ben is a sought-after arranger for many mediums, including marching arts, brass bands, and steel bands. Use the contact page to set up a collaboration. He also does composing for projects such as film, advertising, apps, and video games.

An active soloist and section player, Ben has performed at the Aspen Summer Music Festival, Bravo! Vail, with the United States Air Force Band, and with the acclaimed Colorado State University Percussion Ensemble. He was a back-to-back winner of the CSU Concerto Competition and was a featured performer at the New York City Electro-Acoustic Festival. In 2019 he delivered a composition/performance on one of Harry Bertoia’s sounding sculptures for New York Museum of Art and Design curator Shannon Stratton’s talk at the Spencer Museum of Art. You can hear his drumming on Houseproud’s EP Just Choose One, Frank Nawrot’s Enough is Enough, and Emma Piazza’s Find Me Out. Ben is also a producer at Quigley Records on the Western Colorado University campus and works with local, independent artists.

Also a conductor of contemporary repertoire, Ben has directed works with the KU New Music Guild, Helianthus (the KU new music ensemble) and newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble (KC).

At any given point you might find him skiing, stargazing, camping, cooking, or, most likely, making music in his hometown of Gunnison, Colorado. He produces the YouTube channel Percussion Methods, a growing video repository of percussive education.

In residence at Glacier National Park, 2020
Performing at the Spencer Museum of Art
Roaming the Great Sand Dunes