Keith Benjamin joined the UMKC Conservatory of Music as Professor of Trumpet in 1989 with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and a Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. While in New York, he performed with the Rochester Philharmonic and held principal chairs in three other orchestras. Current orchestra positions include principal trumpet in the Colorado MahlerFest, and extra trumpet for the St. Louis and Kansas City Symphonies.
In addition to orchestral playing, Dr. Benjamin is an active recitalist and chamber musician, and is first trumpet in the Missouri Brass Quintet. His recitals frequently feature contemporary music, and he has commissioned and premiered numerous works, including compositions of Samuel Adler, James Mobberley, Peter Hamlin, Stephen David Beck, Eugene O’Brien, and many others. Recital and concert appearances in Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and over 30 states are “travelling” highlights, and Kansas City also affords him the opportunity to have a lively professional career as a commercial, studio, and lead trumpet player, including recording the "signature spot" for CNBC-TV.
Dr. Benjamin is partnered with Los Angeles organist Melody Steed in “Clarion”, a trumpet & organ duo which emphasizes 20th century music. The duo recently released Clarion: New Vintage, their second disc on Gothic Records, this one consisting of all commissioned American works, and completed a highly successful performance tour of Hungary in the summer of 2006. Plans for a third recording of all commissions are in the works.
Dr. Benjamin is an Artist-Clinician for the Selmer/Bach companies. He makes his home in Kansas City with his wife Jennifer and their two sons, Duncan and Rowan.