continued Benware grew up in Malone and received both a Bachelor of Music degree in music education and a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the Ithaca College School of Music.
When Benware isn’t serving as a guest lecturer at Ithaca College or giving private piano lessons, he works as the Director of Choral Activities at Saranac Lake High School, where he conducts the Festival Chorus, Concert Choir, Men’s Ensemble, Women’s Ensemble and teaches small group vocal instruction.
Benware is also the founding Artistic Director and Conductor of NAVE, a highly selective chamber choir which operates under the umbrella of Hill and Hollow Music in Saranac.
Hill and Hollow began as a concert series in 1995, but NAVE is much newer.
“Madrigals, Motets and Merriment” is NAVE’s fourth performance and will conclude their second year performing.
The choir is currently comprised of 20 vocalists—six sopranos, six altos, three tenors and five basses.
“If we were to bring anyone new on right now, it would have to be a tenor,” Wood said. “The important thing is balance between treble and bass. Sometimes we sing eight-part harmonies, so we always have to maintain balance.”
The performance will feature the Four Winds ensemble and NAVE performing separately, and will be interspersed with pieces that incorporate winds and voices together.