Benjamin Helton has been a student at Northern Illinois University since the summer of 2010. He joined the Huskie Band staff as a Graduate Assistant in the summer of 2012. Prior to attending NIU full time as a graduate student, Ben was a public school teacher for six years working with all age groups from first grade all the way through high school.
He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for his undergrad where he studied music education under Dr. Joseph Manfredo, Dr. Pete Griffin, and Rick Murphy. He also studied tuba under Mark Moore. During his time at the University of Illinois, he performed with the Marching Illini, Symphonic Band I, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, British Brass Band, Basketball Band, Illini Opera, Tuba/Euphonium ensemble, multiple concert bands, and the Green Street Brass Quintet.
Benjamin was Director of Bands at Bloom District #206 from 2008-2012. While there, he directed the Bloom Wind Ensemble, Bloom Trail Symphonic Band, the BT Marching Band, Jazz Band, two Pit Bands, and Basketball Pep Band.
In addition to his duties for NIU, Benjamin is also an active performer in the Chicagoland area. He is a full tenured member of the Wheaton Municipal Band and a full member of the Chicago Brass Band.
In recent years, Benjamin has also become a voice for music pedagogy in Illinois. He has presented clinics on neuroscience in music education at the Illinois Music Educator’s Conference and the 2012 Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic. He has also presented lectures for the music education students of Vandercook College of Music and Northern Illinois University. He is a proud member of Phi Mu Alpha.