Benjamin Sledge

composer, flute, conductor
Benjamin Sledge, from Raleigh, NC, fell in love with music early in life, and at the age of 10 he began playing the flute in his school band. At the age of 12, he began composing music and studying music theory. In 2008 and 2009, Benjamin was the principal flutist and doubling piccolo in the Durham Youth Orchestra, and was one of the youngest players invited to join the Duke University Orchestra. During his teen years, he continued to devote his time to music, learning to play the piano, organ, continuing to study flute, and writing several original pieces of music. He developed his skills as a pianist, focusing on the gospel and church improvisational style and becoming an accompanist and performer at churches in the Raleigh area. In 2012, he enrolled in the East Carolina University School of Music to study music education and music composition. He currently studies flute under the direction of Dr. Christine Gustafson. During his flute studies he has played in numerous ensembles, serving as principle in the ECU Wind Ensemble, various school functions across campus, and master classes for Lorna McGhee, and for guest artists including Gary Schocker.

He has also been deeply involved in the composition department and has studied composition under Dr. Marc Faris and Dr. Ed Jacobs. His compositions, which have been commissioned and performed by various students and faculty at ECU, are written in a neo-romantic, avant-garde style. His works have been featured on student recitals and concerts, as well as master classes for visiting composers like Salvatore Macchia, Michael Fumi, and Lansing McCloskey  He has been one of the few to reach beyond the traditional and branch out to fellow students in other areas of Fine Arts discipline to include such things as modern ballet and newly written poetry into his compositions.

He is also involved in a performing arts ensemble, Stranded SIlver. They have performed for many events, including recruiting events for prospective students at the East Carolina University School of Music, the East Carolina University Excels Program for the College of Fine Arts and Communications, various chamber music recitals, the 2014 NewMusic@ECU Festival Frequencies concert, and several solo concerts. They have also been featured in the East Carolina Student Newspaper, The East Carolinian and on the internet magazine New Millennium Music 

They strive to bring this style of music to their local community, aiming to bring new light to flute music and captivate audiences in thrilling performances. They have taken part in outreach performances at local assisted living homes and public schools. Recently, they received a superior rating at the annual Raleigh Area Flute Association Solo and Ensemble Festival Review. While Stranded Silver is a young group, they continue to push the limits as a quartet and strive to show the expansive techniques that lie in the flute.
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