Benjamin Van Vliet
Benjamin Van Vliet is the Executive Director of the Upper Valley Music Center, a community music school based in Lebanon, NH serving more than 1,000 children and adults each year. Under his leadership, UVMC has thrived as a center for participatory music making. Ben has led multiple capital campaigns, including a campaign to create a permanent home for UVMC that acquired and renovated an historic building situated in a vibrant downtown arts district. During his tenure, UVMC’s student enrollment has more than doubled, and UVMC has become active in creating cross-sector partnerships that access the multi-dimensional benefits of music education. UVMC has increased its commitment to making music education accessible by more than doubling the amount of tuition assistance awarded, piloting a program to serve at-risk youth, and recognizing multiple paths to access. Because diversity leads to the best education, Ben initiated diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work with the goal to invest in the strength of a diverse learning community. In order to bring together people from many musical backgrounds, Ben founded the annual Sing & Play Festival, a celebration of music making by and for each other.
In his career as a performer and educator, Ben has performed as soloist and in ensembles, taught and adjudicated. Ben maintains a violin studio of beginning to advanced level students, specializing in the Suzuki philosophy and method of instruction. Ben has published in the American Suzuki Journal and presented at the Suzuki Association of the Americas Conference.
Ben holds a M.M. in Violin Performance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studied violin with Elizabeth Chang and viola with Kathryn Lockwood, and a B.A. in Music from Vassar College.