Instructor Ben Parke has a Masters of Music degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of Minnesota. Mr. Parke has been playing trumpet for over 30 years and teaching privately since 1997. While in college Mr. Parke was principle trumpet of a variety of ensembles ranging from chamber groups to full orchestras. He also was named winner of the AUSO concerto competition in 1996. In addition to his teaching Mr. Parke also subs with several area orchestras as time allows and directs No Limits Youth Brass Choir 1 & 2 which he founded. Mr. Parke is author of a series of method books for brass instruments along with Top Chops, a warmup method for brass instruments.
Students of Mr. Parke have successfully auditioned for a variety of honor bands with 1st chair placements in 6-8 and 9-10 MBDA honor bands, and MMEA All-State orchestra, bands, and jazz band. He has helped students win scholarships at a variety of schools ranging from Gustavus, Luther, and St Olaf to top music programs such as the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Eastman School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, and Peabody Institute. Mr. Parke also works with many students involved in local youth ensembles such as No Limits Brass Choir, GTCYS, MYJB, and others. Mr. Parke's students have won multiple best of site honors in MN Solo and Ensemble competitions and several youth solo competitions including the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony solo competition, and can be found playing with major symphony orchestras. On average Mr Parke teaches 45-50 lessons per week.
In his free time, Mr. Parke enjoys woodworking and cycling. He can often be found riding his velomobile and various bikes around the west metro looking for road cyclists to race and smooth pavement. He also enjoys summer cycle tours in Germany and Austria through the mountains, usually on the flattest possible route. The remainder of his free time is spent with his twin cats, Counts Ludwig and Johann von Katzenelnbogen (german for cats' elbows, the name of an actual castle along the Rhein River in Germany, not far from Castle Maus).
Mr. Parke places a high degree of importance on helping all students achieve their goals as musicians and recognizes that not all students have the same aspirations. Mr. Parke works with each student to design a program of study that will help them develop skills that they can take with them beyond the lesson experience.