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 a new pieces to be donated to the parks.
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. In Fall 2019, he joined the faculty in the department of music at Western Colorado University where he teaches music theory and percussion.
At any given point you might find him skiing, stargazing, camping, cooking, or, most likely, making music in his hometown of Gunnison, Colorado.
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.
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).