John S Benson
John was born in Wigan, Lancashire. Educated at Rossall School, Fleetwood, he gained his ARCO in the sixth form and went to Pembroke College, Cambridge on an Organ Scholarship. After graduation, John went into television as a recording assistant in music and drama at ATV Studios, Elstree, working in music, light entertainment, drama and comedy with such as Spike Milligan, Stephane Grapelli, Tom Jones, Elton John and Des OíConnor. He later returned to Wigan to embark on a music teaching career, holding posts at Bolton School and Rossall School before becoming self-employed. John was awarded the highest marks at FRCO, gaining several prizes and the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. He returned to Cambridge for an external MusB degree and recently completed a PhD course in music composition and research at Salford University. John has only recently branched into the field of brass band music and is currently associated with Skelmersdale Prize Band and West Lancs Youth Brass Band. Recent compositions may be found on this website.
John was accompanist to The Lydian Singers for over 20 years and played for them in churches and cathedrals, both here and abroad. Some of his choral and brass band music has been published by Novello and Kirklees Music. He has given organ recitals in the UK and Spain, his last overseas performance being at Las Palmas Cathedral, Gran Canaria on the occasion of the November 06 royal visit.
John currently teaches privately in his music studio as well as co-directing the family business. Extra-musical interests have included astronomy, photography and flying. John held a commission in the Royal Air Force VR(T) for 18 years, training cadets. He passed his instructorís rating on his Private Pilotís License and flew light aircraft regularly from Blackpool, Liverpool and Manchester. He has been married to Rita for 35 years.