Ben is a versatile multi-instrumentalist, composer/arranger, and educator whose musical approach is dynamic and improvisatory. With roots in classical, jazz, folk, and world traditions, his music offers a fusion of the traditional and the modern. Primarily a performer, Ben composes and arranges music for a vast array of ensembles and musical settings.
A native of Dallas, Texas, Ben Weldy began his musical training at age 7 with piano, and his teacher encouraged him to improvise freely. He took up both French horn and guitar at 11, began composing, and played his 1st paying orchestra gig at 12. He performed as Principal Horn with various wind ensembles and orchestras, including the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, and with the Bravura Wind Ensemble. He led a variety of chamber groups, and founded a horn quartet that performed both original and standard repertoire. A self-taught guitarist, Ben also led jazz rhythm sections, performed in original rock/jazz fusion projects, among other country and pop bands, – always creating opportunity for improvised performance.
Ben studied French horn performance and music composition at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where he was a music performance major as a guitarist. While at Berklee, he was inspired by the legendary (late) John McGann to add the mandolin to his instrumental skills. In addition to guitar and mandolin, Ben plays a 10-string fan-fret mandola, and a unique Scandinavian influenced instrument called a 'Skandola'.
Today Ben performs regularly as a soloist, and as a leader of various folk/traditional, Celtic, jazz, classical, and other chamber ensembles. He maintains a private music studio, is an active composer/arranger, and has been a music clinician for various North Texas school districts. A versatile artist and collaborator, Ben's creativity is centered upon emphasizing 'play' in music.