Benjamin Crocker is Head of Bands at The King’s School in Sydney, overseeing Wind, Brass and Percussion pedagogy from K-12 at Australia’s oldest independent school. King’s is a foundation member of the G20 group of global schools, at the forefront of innovation and research in education.
Growing up in rural North Queensland, Ben’s first musical experiences were at the piano, before later playing cornet and euphonium in community brass bands. Later living and working in Brisbane, Ben performed with Australia’s leading Brass Band, Brisbane Excelsior Band on Euphonium, winning 3 consecutive A grade national championships, as a member of this ensemble. As a euphonium soloist, Ben has performed around Australia and New Zealand, at the Melbourne International Festival of Brass, and in Sydney as a guest performer with the New South Wales Police Band, as well as recent performances as a soloist in Japan.
Ben commenced his conducting career after being appointed as Music Director of the South Brisbane Federal Band in 2009. During 2010 he also regularly guest conducted his old band at Brisbane Excelsior. Whilst a student at the Conservatorium, Ben was invited to conduct the University’s Brass Band in his first year of undergraduate study, and later also conducted new music concerts for the Conservatorium Composer’s collective.
In 2011 Ben was awarded the Australian Band Conductor’s Scholarship, and became resident conductor of Sydney’s St Marys Band, studying conducting with Professor David King. Later assuming the role of Music Director with St Marys, Ben led the band to three consecutive New South Wales A Grade State Championship titles. Between 2015-2018, Ben has also conducted the Sydney Male Choir in concert with Pacific Brass, in a series of major concerts at Sydney Town Hall.
In 2015 Ben was invited to conduct one of the United Kingdom’s leading Brass Bands, the Desford Colliery Band, directing the Band’s International tour. He has also conducted Germany’s leading Brass Band, Brassband 3BA, from Bavaria, and conducted educational concerts at The Regents Academy, and Shrewsbury International School in Thailand. In 2016 he was the only Australian selected for the 1st Augsburg International Conductors Competition in Germany, where he placed 3rd from 40 competitors around the world, in the Wind Bands division. In 2017 and 2018, Ben has guest conducted the Wind Symphony at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, stepping in to the role of conductor for Sydney University Wind Orchestra in July 2018.
In 2018, Ben conducted the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Eastman School of Music in New York, as part of the Eastman Summer Wind Conducting Institute, working with Donald Hunsberger and Mark Scatterday. Forthcoming Conducting Engagements include Sydney’s North Shore Wind Symphony, further concerts with Pacific Brass, and the Australian premiere of Paul McGhee’s ‘Kjeden’, for Euphonium and Brass Ensemble (soloist – James Blackford). Ben will be one of 8 conductors working with Johannes Fritsch at the Australian Conducting Academy (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra) in January 2019.