Benjamin Hanson is a versatile conductor and singer based in northern Colorado. As a choral musician, Hanson has performed in cathedrals from Los Angeles to Stockholm, conducting and singing repertoire ranging from the 15th-century to the present day. Hanson is the Music Director at Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins, CO, where he directs the church’s choirs and performs regularly as a soloist.
Hanson has prepared choruses for performances of many major works, including Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Joel Thompson’s Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, Brahms’ German Requiem, and Poulenc’s Gloria. He has a particular love for modern Scandinavian choral repertoire, which he has studied and conducted in masterclasses with Gary Graden and Richard Sparks. During his graduate studies he conducted the University of Illinois University Chorus, Chamber Singers, and Black Chorus. He also directed the semiprofessional All Saints Choir at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara, CA, where he served as Music Director from 2018 to 2021.
Hanson recently performed as the primary soloist in the North American premier of Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Exodus oratorio, Der Durchzug durchs Rote Meer. In 2019 he was awarded a fellowship to attend the N.E.O. Voice Festival in Los Angeles, CA, where he was the featured soloist in the world premier of a new oratorio, The Origins of Creativity. Hanson has also performed as a soloist in performances of Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and over a dozen other liturgical and concert works from throughout the past 600 years. Benjamin has studied vocal pedagogy with some of the leading innovators in science-based voice instruction, including Kenneth Bozeman, David Harris, and Laurel Irene.
As a choral singer, Hanson has performed dozens of 16th- and 17th-century sacred and dramatic works, including the passions of J.S. Bach, Carissimi’s Jephte, and Schütz’ Musikalische Exequien. His love for contemporary choral music has also led him to perform world premiers of many new compositions, including works by Tarik O’Regan, Joanne Metcalf, and Emma Lou Diemer. In 2022, Hanson gathered in the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds in Estonia with over 6,000 other choral singers for a benefit performance to raise money for humanitarian aid for Ukraine. On the same trip, he also presented a concert in the historic Tallinn Town Hall and performed at the Arvo Pärt Center in Laulasmaa. In 2022 he performed in “Bach’s Lunch,” a series of midday concerts of Baroque cantatas and motets at First Presbyterian Church in Champaign, IL.
Outside of performance, Benjamin enjoys his work as a freelance music copyist and engraver. He creates scores of choral and instrumental works for his own use and for other ensembles and arrangers, including new editions of renaissance works from original prints and manuscripts.
A native midwesterner, Benjamin holds a master’s degree in Choral Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied conducting and choral repertoire with Andrew Megill. He received a bachelors degree in Vocal Performance from the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, graduating with honors.