By Julia Galdamez
Ben Kramer is a senior at Whetstone, and he has attended Whetstone all four years of his high school career. Ben has had a knack for music since he was six years old. Kramer plays in the school orchestra, sits first chair for the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, and occasionally plays in small quartets for his teachers. He also spent time playing this summer in Manhattan for the Boston University Technical Institute.
Kramer started playing violin when he was six years old and he switched from violin to viola in the eighth grade. Not only has he been playing with his instructors at school but Kramer says, He has been taking lessons since he was 5 years old and last year he began studying with a viola professor at CCM (College Conservatory of Music) in Cincinnati. He practices with the instructor at CCM every Sunday in Cincinnati.
“Playing with my instructor has helped me improve my technique. It also has given me much more constructive feedback. Usually when I play for people they just say ‘you’re really good’ or ‘that was great,’ but with my instructor I get more criticism, which is helpful,” Kramer says.
Ben Kramer plans on playing professionally and has already had many auditions that hopefully help him pursue his passion for playing music. Ben has auditioned for the Viola major program at The Ohio State University and The University of Cincinnati. On the 14th of February Kramer will be auditioning for Carnegie Mellon a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On the 19th he will be auditioning for the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
“Ben is a really great musician and this is a great experience for him and a very good opportunity to audition for these big schools,” says band and orchestra director Josh Reynolds. “We get to reminisce on it too. He gets to come back and tell us about his experience and it is a very big deal for us as well in the string department.” Strings specialist, Ms. Tippery, adds, “It makes the orchestra program at Whetstone and also the district look much stronger.”
“He’s like a professional athlete. They don’t come all the time. They make a great example for everyone and people want to be like them or even push to that level,” Josh Reynolds adds.