Benjamin Ellis is adjunct professor of Guitar and director of the Classical Guitar Ensemble at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and at the St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy. He holds a master’s degree from Syracuse University in Classical Guitar Performance studying under Dr. Kenneth Meyer, and a bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance from the Fredonia School of Music at the State University of New York at Fredonia, studying under under Evan Drummond. In 2012, Ellis was awarded the Creative Opportunity Grant through Syracuse University, thereby making a collaboration possible with composer Sean Doyle in creating a new work for the guitar entitled Dance Suite Miniatures. Ellis continues to work with composers such as Tevi Eber and Marco Giusto to create and promote new works for the guitar. In 2010, along with guitarist Ian Hill, Ellis premiered a piece entitled “Comme des Grands” by Roland Dyens. Ellis performs regularly and has been a featured soloist at festivals, universities and concert venues throughout the north east. Ellis also performs as a chamber musician, appearing with groups such as Symphoria, the Syracuse Vocal Ensemble, the Hendricks Chapel Choir at Syracuse University, the Hobart and William Smith Chorale, Syracuse Opera, and as part of the Great Lakes Guitar Quartet and the LaLena-Ellis Duo.
Ellis has performed in master classes with Eliot Fisk, Luis Zea, Roland Dyens, Nicholas Goluses, David Tanenbaum, Gaëlle Solal, and has published several arrangements for solo guitar through publisher Seconda Prattica. Ellis is an active teacher in the Syracuse area and has been featured as a guest instructor at Syracuse University, Mansfield University and the Eastern U.S. Music Camp at Colgate University.
Saudade No. 3 by Roland Dyens
Music Box Melody by Daniel Ward
I may be one of Ben's oldest (70+ years) students - and he teaches me ukulele! We have great fun together, and I am learning while having a good time. Since March we have met online, as we both preferred to social distance. I plan to continue online lessons for the time being. I am learning a lot. Ben has a very nice manor. He guides and teaches, but keeps it light and friendly. I heartily recommend Ben Ellis as a teacher.
My son, Gavin (11 years old), has been a student of Ben's for almost two years now. I couldn't be happier with the lesson that Gavin receives each week. The relationship they have developed has been a blessing. They work well together and have fun! As a parent, that was my objective: make it fun so he sticks with it. Ben has a great way to communicate and teach to young students. When I listen in on the two of them playing, it is so amazing. Bens ability to connect with Gavin and his talent at teaching are both truly superior.