Ben McVety has joined the Darlington Community as choral director for grades 6-12.
"I have experience in almost every area of the arts, from dance and gymnastics, to band, choir, orchestra, and theater," he said. "Having this background has allowed me to see music and art from a perspective that allows for a great deal of cross-curricular integration, whether it be singing about a particular piece of artwork, or including interpretive dance into a song, singing in other languages and understanding the history of that song and culture, or drawing mood paintings about a song.
"I think it's important to widen the lens when it comes to the arts and to take away your own interpretation of the material presented to you, not necessarily just what the artist or composer wants you to see," he continued. "I try to portray this same philosophy to my students."
McVety holds a Bachelor of Music from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Music Education from Indiana University.
Prior to Darlington, he spent three years teaching at Marianapolis Preparatory School in Connecticut. There, he directed school musicals, coached soccer, served as a dorm parent and sophomore adviser, and much more. He was also assistant director of the Indiana Children's Choir and enjoyed working with other civic organizations related to music.
McVety discovered his passion for teaching when he was in high school.
"My choir director at the time had made me student leader of the concert choir, and as part of my responsibilities, I had to teach the other students a song on my own," he explained. "I had so much fun figuring out how to go about doing this, and my achievements (and many failures) gave me this feeling that I was contributing to something larger than myself. I enjoyed bringing new knowledge and experiences to my peers and decided at that time that teaching was something I wanted to do as a profession."
McVety firmly believes in the concept of a well-rounded musician and looks forward to sharing this philosophy with his students at Darlington.
"[A well-rounded musician is] a musician that can read and write in musical notation, understand the character and interpretation of a piece of music, play and perform on an instrument (including voice), and communicate any of these categories to other people," he said. "In the classroom, I try my hardest to teach toward this end and to make sure that by graduation, all of my students have the confidence to continue forward in life with these musical skills."
He looks forward to getting to know his students and their backgrounds.
"I love to know why my students are taking my classes and what they want to get out of the class," he said. "I am also looking forward to making beautiful music together and sharing in that experience!
"Darlington, or Hogwarts as I have become accustomed to calling it, is a great fit for my passion for the musical arts and my need to be a part of a larger community," he continued. "Darlington's emphasis on community and service gives the musical arts so many opportunities for performance and personal growth. I am very excited to see what we can become a part of, and to learn and grow in this area alongside my students."
In his free time, McVety enjoys creating YouTube videos and writing, composing, and recording music.
"I have recently gotten into the audio engineering portion of music and am using this new-found hobby to introduce myself to a new skillset that is a lot of fun!" he said. "I also love playing board games and video games, and can often be seen during the summer months on a wakeboard, tube, or jet ski."