Ben Donnelly is a British and Irish musician, born in 1983. Originally from West London, Ben relocated to Cambridge as a child where he began learning Saxophone and Bassoon under Viv and Jon Halton. Following this he graduated from the University of Surrey's Tonmeister degree course in Music and Sound Recording, during which time he was awarded the MCPS Joyce Dixey Prize for Composition.
Since then he qualified as a classroom music teacher and taught music, music technology and maths to pupils of all ages, including adults, in London, Cambridgeshire and Kuwait.
During this time he began his career as a London musician writing for and performing with progressive jazz orchestra LJC, culminating in their 2007 Album "Dark Humour" featuring two examples of Ben's compositions and arrangements. Ben has since worked as house saxophonist aboard P&O Cruises ship MV Oriana in 2010, and his biggest musical undertaking yet has been as Arranger and Musical Director on Joe Francis's 2011 album "Where Do I Go From Here?" with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra.
He formed his band Platonic Curry in January 2011 as a more direct outlet for his work as a composer, saxophonist, improviser and bandleader through which he is claiming his place in the London Jazz scene. Ben has also performed in many musical theatre productions on Saxophone, Bassoon and Clarinet, including well known shows such as 42nd St, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story and Sweet Charity.
Arranger and Musical Director for Joe Francis with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra
Arranged the music and directed the ensemble for the recording of New Jersey crooner Joe Francis's forthcoming album "Where Do I Go From Here?" with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra.
House Saxophonist, Oriana (P&O Cruises)
Performed as house musician accompanying production shows and visiting cabaret artists aboard P&O's cruise ship Oriana.
May 2010 - Jul 2010
Music Teacher at the New English School, Kuwait
Taught classroom music and individual saxophone lessons to pupils aged 10-18, covering KS3, IGCSE and A-level in a British independent school in Kuwait.
Aug 2009 - Dec 2009
Music Teacher at Eastlea Community School, Canning Town
Taught music as a classroom subject to KS3 and GCSE classes as well as instrumental ensemble and music technology (Recording/Production) extra-curricular clubs.
Jul 2007 - Nov 2008
Qualified Teacher Status (SCITT)
September, 2006 - June, 2007
London Arts Consortium
School Centred Initial Teacher Training including two practice placements in Inner London compreshensives, ran by a consortium of five such schools. Upon completion of the course I achieved qualified teacher status before heading promptly to my first teaching post where I completed my NQT year.
BMus (Tonmeister) HONS
September, 2002 - June, 2006
University of Surrey
4 year degree course in Music, Audio Engineering and Recording Techniques, including elements of maths, electronics and acoustics, as well as a professional training year which I spent working for Tekcare Limited - the UK Distributor for Fairlight supplying and servicing the audio post-production industry.
GCSE and A-Level
September, 1995 - June, 2002
The Perse School
A-levels in Maths (A) Music (A) and Physics (B)
AS Further Maths (B) Latin (C)
Additional Maths (A)
GCSEs in Maths (A*) English (A) English Lit (A) French (A*) Physics (A*) Biology (A) Chemistry (A) Greek (A) Latin (A) Music (A*)