Drew Benware

Introduction to Conducting, Exploring the Musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber

Man in a black suit with a baton

Andrew M. Benware is currently the Director of Choral Activities at Saranac Lake High School, where he conducts the Festival Chorus, Concert Choir, Men's Ensemble, Women's Ensemble, and teaches small group vocal instruction. He also serves as the Music Director for the annual musical theatre production and maintains a small private piano studio.

Additionally, Benware has served as Lecturer in the field of Music Education at the Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca, where he taught summer graduate courses in Band Methods as well as conducting the Summer Graduate Choir and Band. He previously held full-term employment as Assistant Professor of Music Education at the College, instructing wind instrument pedagogy, instrumental conducting, and secondary instrument methods. Additionally, he has supervised student teachers, conducted the Brass Choir and served as a sabbatical leave replacement as conductor of the Concert Band. He also served as accompanist and guest conductor for the Campus Chorale and accompanist and collaborative instructor for the Musical Theatre Workshop.

Benware has been a member of the inaugural and subsequent faculties of the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy, an intensive college-preparatory music program at the School of Music where he has held various instructional roles in the fields of conducting, musical theatre preparation, music fundamentals, and conducted the selective choral ensemble.

In addition to these posts, he is also the founding Artisitic Director and Conductor of the Northern Adirondack Vocal Ensemble (NAVE), a semi-professional adult chamber choir that performs throughout Northern New York, specializing in the rich tradition of a cappella choral music from a variety of genres.

He is a native of northern New York State where he has served several years as a public school music educator, both as Director of Instrumental Music at Saranac Lake High School and as Director of Choral Activities at the Peru Middle/High School.

Benware is active as a lecturer and clinician, having recently presented at the NYSSMA Winter Conference in Rochester, and is in frequent demand as a guest conductor for honors ensembles (both instrumental and choral) throughout New York State. He is also active as a performer, taking part in the Upstate New York Chorus (UNYC) under the direction of Dr. Janet Galvan and the Northern Lights Chorus conducted by Ms. Helen Demong. Additionally, he maintains a role as church musician, holding positions at both St. Bernard's and St. Agnes Catholic Churches in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, respectively. He holds both a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a concentration on the Trumpet and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the Ithaca College School of Music.

Introduction to Conducting

Exploring the Musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber