Ben Gunnarson is a musician and educator based in Los Angeles. He received his BME in Instrumental Music Education and BM in Performance from Indiana University, studying trumpet with Joey Tartell and jazz theory and improvisation with Pat Harbison and John Raymond. He was active in the symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, pit orchestra, jazz band, latin jazz band, brass band, brass choir, brass quintet, jazz combo, and several athletic bands including the IU Marching Hundred and IU Basketball Band. Ben also studied abroad in Vienna, Austria and was a student of the Vienna Philharmonic’s Rudolph Amon.
Ben has been involved Drum Corps International since 2013, performing as a member of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps where he was a four-year soloist on lead trumpet and flugelhorn. He finished the 2016 season Bluecoat of the Year and Bluecoats Brass Performer of the year and was part of the Bluecoat’s first DCI World Championship title. In 2017, Ben had the opportunity to travel to Hong Kong as part of the first ever international Bluecoats delegation as part of the Hong Kong Lunar New Year festival.
Following his time as a marching performer Ben began teaching drum corps at the Bluecoats, and also worked with the four-time Drum Corps Europe champion The Company Performance Ensemble from Chesterfield, England. Additional teaching experience includes Bloomington North High School (IN), Timber Creek High School (TX), James Logan High School (CA), and Arcadia High School (CA). Ben currently serves on the brass staff of the 7-Time World Champion Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps.
Outside of teaching, Ben continues to perform as an active freelancer. In 2019 Ben toured internationally with the Tony- and Emmy-award winning broadway production, Blast! The Music of Disney. In 2018 he was selected as lead trumpet for the Disneyland All-American College Band working closely with Gordon Goodwin, Wayne Bergeron, John Clayton, and others, recording a cast album at Capital Records in Los Angles. Other playing engagements include the Monday Night Band at SFJazz, West Side Story at Indiana University, the Fountain City Brass Band, the Mission Peak Brass Band, the Southern Indiana Wind Ensemble, and the San Francisco Wind Ensemble.
Ben is currently a Cast Member at The Disneyland Resort, working with Disney Performing Arts as a stage manager and talent coordinator. Ben was also a Musical Guide with Disney’s Youth Education Series. He maintains a diverse private trumpet studio and is an active classical and jazz musician in the greater Los Angeles area.