Benton Sillick - Trumpet
Benton Sillick is a trumpeter, session player, song-writer, and educator based in Rochester, New York. Benton attended the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam from 2005-2009, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. From 2010-2012, Benton was enrolled in the Musicology Masters program at CUNY Brooklyn College, where he played in their Jazz Ensemble and explored his musical studies in areas such as Ethnomusicology, Music Philosophy, and Music for Film.
Benton has performed in multiple genres, including funk, soul, r&b, blues, reggae, rock, jazz, and ska over the past 15 years. His groups have held residencies at clubs in NYC and Rochester; and has played in what seems like every type of venue imaginable from basements, to concert halls. From playing for thousands at a music festival in the Finger Lakes, to playing for a gym full of inmates in the North Country of New York. Benton believes that every performance experience is valuable for personal and musical development, and that his own have included the most joyous, exhilarating, memorable, and rewarding moments in his life.
There are many questions and doubts that aspiring musicians have when it comes to performing. “Where do I start?” “Am I good enough?” “I could never play like that!” Benton’s teaching is designed to guide players, from any skill level, as they uncover their own answers to these questions and doubts.
With foundations on the fundamentals of their instrument, and firm and practical understanding of music theory, Benton encourages students to grow and uncover the skills to express their self through their music. Technical facility and musical vocabulary comes with time and dedicated practice on their instrument. He believes that, although vital, this alone doesn’t make the complete picture of a versatile musician. A student also needs to study, and become familiar with, the idiom that they are interested in. To do that, Benton implements listening and transcription exercises to help students develop a personal style in the genres that they are interested in playing in, while learning about the music that they love to listen to.