Jack Benson completed his BA in Music Composition from Lamar University and his MM degree from University of Houston. He has studied with notable composers including: William Latham and Martin Mailman, at the University of North Texas, Nick Rissman, at Lamar University, and Robert Smith, Marcus Maroney, Robert Nelson and Michael Horvit at the University of Houston where he pursued his Masters and Doctorate of Musical Arts. In addition to his academic endeavors, Mr. Benson owns a recording and production studio. He also serves on the composition and theory faculty at Lamar University. He recently has published a text book titled, Music Appreciation for our Time with Great River Learning. The book was released in 2015 and will be ready for distribution nationally in 2016.
His influences include a wide spectrum of composers, such as Igor Stravinsky, Michael Torke and Louis Andriessen. The uniqueness of his musical language combines post-minimalism with jazz and popular elements, interlaced with chromatic textures.
Several of his works have been performed throughout the country with the most recent, Tightrope for Violin and Viola commissioned by Duo Scordatura. “Guns blazing” is how Tightrope is described by Andrew Sigler in his article Sounds Heard: Duo Scordatura, The Act of Loving You and Ritual in Newmusicbox.org.
In addition to the performances of his works by Duo Scordatura throughout the U.S., Catalyst, for Trombone Choir was first premiered by the University of Houston Trombone Choir and performed at Potsdam University in New York in 2008. In 2010 he received first place in the Moores School of Music Sarofim Composer’s Contest for Wall Street, a percussion work for 12 percussionists, which led to the commission by the Moores School of Music new music ensemble, Aura, to compose his most performed work to date, Fringe. Thanks to Duo Scordatura who, after its premiere, has taken the work and made it their own performing it countless times. He won second place from the Sarofim Composer’s Contest in 2007, 2008 and 2009 for his works, In the Bag, for mixed ensemble; Surreal, for flute and clarinet; and Perpetual for brass quintet. He has received several commissions for musical arrangements and compositions from professional ensembles, individuals, churches, schools and universities. In 2009 Lamar University Band commissioned Spindletop 1901 for Concert Band for their annual Summer Band Camp.
In March 2016 several of his works will be performed at Carnegie Hall in New York by Nicholas Baker and Faith Jones (Duo Scordatura) for their World Debut.