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Studio Portrait

Ben Mapes

Graduate Assistant

Benjamin Mapes is a percussion educator and performer in the Mid-Michigan area. He is committed to educating new generations of percussionists and being a part of the growth of the percussion repertoire.
As an educator, Ben has given clinics and masterclasses at universities across the country, including Boise State University, New Mexico State, University of Texas El Paso, Michigan State University, Alma College, York College of Pennsylvania, and Curtis Institute of Music. Ben was also an instructor of percussion at Albion College, and currently has many teaching duties as a Graduate Assistant for the Michigan State University Percussion Studio and Drumline. Ben has also taught as percussion instructor for both drumline and front line ensembles at East Kentwood High School, Grand Ledge High School, and Centennial High School.

Ben’s career includes a wide variety of performance experiences. As an avid chamber musician, he is a founding member of MITT3N Percussion, a chamber group dedicated to expanding the audience and repertoire of contemporary percussion music. With MITT3N, Ben performed at various venues across the East Coast, as well as in Michigan and Texas. He has also performed with the Peabody Percussion Group and is currently a member of the Michigan State University Percussion Ensemble. One of the highlights of Ben’s career was performing at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in 2013 with the MSU Percussion Ensemble.

Equally versed in the orchestral percussion world, Ben has performed with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Music Festival Orchestra, and the Michigan State Symphony Orchestra. He is also a percussionist with the MSU Wind Symphony, and he had the distinct privilege of performing with them at Carnegie Hall in 2014.

As an advocate for new music and expanding the percussion repertoire, Ben has helped commission many works for percussion from a diverse range of composers and musical styles. Such composers include Juri Seo, James Wood, Alejandro Vinao, Ivan Trevino, and Justin Rito. With MITT3N Percussion, Mapes gave the world premiere of Justin Rito’s Drift and he recorded Alejandro Vinao’s Relative Riffs in 2019.

A native of Michigan, Ben received his Bachelors of Music from Michigan State University in 2014, and has returned to pursue his Doctorate of Musical Arts, studying with Gwendolyn Dease, Jon Weber, and Kevin Jones. He received a Graduate Performance Diploma and Masters of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Robert van Sice, Tom Freer, and Kevin Watkins.

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