Benjamin Rochford

Introduction to Conducting, Conquering Performance Anxiety

Picture of person in suit playing trumpet

Benjamin Rochford joined the Ithaca College School of Music in 2016 and currently serves as the Associate Director of Bands. At IC, Rochford conducts the Wind Symphony and Concert Band and teaches courses in instrumental conducting and brass pedagogy. Prior to his appointment at Ithaca College, Mr. Rochford was a Doctoral Conducting Associate and PhD candidate at the University of Florida and also served as Director of Bands at the Valley Grove School District in Franklin, Pennsylvania. While at the University of Florida, his responsibilities included directing the UF Concert Band, assisting with the athletic bands, and teaching courses in conducting, music education, jazz improvisation, jazz history, and philosophy. In addition, Mr. Rochford managed marketing and promotional materials for the band department and assisted with the UF Wind Symphony and Jazz Band. 

Mr. Rochford completed a bachelors degree in Music Education from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and a Masters degree in Instrumental Conducting from Youngstown State University in Ohio. Mr. Rochford's primary conducting influences include Dr. David Waybright, Dr. Stephen Gage, Dr. Adam Brennan, and Dr. Nathan Rinnert. Mr. Rochford has also participated in conducting symposiums with Ray Cramer, Tom Leslie, Robert Garofalo, and Ed Lisk, Rodney Dorsey and participated in Beethoven conducting master classes with Svilen Simeonov, director of the Sofia Sinfonietta in Bulgaria. He recently was a participant in a conducting presentation by Craig Kirchhoff at the South Eastern CBDNA conference in Charleston, SC. 

Mr. Rochford served as Director of Bands at the Valley Grove School District in Pennsylvania where he was responsible for overseeing the entire 5-12 instrumental music program. At Valley Grove, Mr. Rochford directed the district's athletic bands, jazz combo, and elementary, middle, and high school bands. He hosted and managed the PMEA District III Jazz Festival in 2012. He has also given presentation in Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida on a variety of topics including jazz improvisation, rehearsal techniques, student motivation, and authentic student self assessment within the paradigm of Harvard Project Zero and Arts PROPEL. 

Mr. Rochford is an active free lance trumpet player and has performed with the Erie Philharmonic, Venango Chamber Orchestra, Franklin Silver Cornet Band, and various jazz groups. Mr. Rochford has toured across the United States with wind bands and has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center. Recently, he performed with the American Chamber Winds throughout Italy and Switzerland. He has also performed with a number of notable jazz musicians including Bobby Shew, Wycliffe Gordon, Dennis DiBlasio, George Rabbi, Michael Davis, Dave Pietro, Ingrid Jensen, Ryan Kisor, and Chris Vidala. 

Mr. Rochford's professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, National Education Association, Florida Music Education Association, Florida Bandmasters Association, New York State School Music Education Association, New York State Band Directors Association, Jazz Education Network, and the International Trumpet Guild. He was elected into the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society in 2012.

Introduction to Conducting

Conquering Performance Anxiety