For twenty years, Ben Cohen has been very active in the southeast Michigan music, theater and education community as conductor, music director, actor, director, composer and teacher. Since 2000 he has directed The Vocal Arts Ensemble of Ann Arbor, a premier chamber group, always reaching to expand its artistic breadth. The group is now recognized not only as an outstanding chorus of a cappella and chamber works but as a collaborative force with other ensembles in the area. Recent collaborations have been with People Dancing and the River Raisin Ragtime Revue and world premieres have included works from composers William Bolcom and Dwayne Milburn.
Mr. Cohen has served for many years as the choirmaster for the Ann Arbor Symphony; has music directed many shows for regional and community theater and for 13 years was the music director of the Zamir Chorale of Metropolitan Detroit for which he was the founding director. He is a regular conductor of the professional choir for Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills.
Since 1998 Mr. Cohen has taught choir, English and drama at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, where he also directs an annual Shakespeare production, conducts the annual spring musical. Mr. Cohen is also a composer for the stage; his works have been performed by professionals, children’s groups and schools in New York, Boston and Michigan. He is the author and co-creator of Lay Your Comfort Down, originally performed as part of the Brown v Board commemoration at the Mendelssohn Theater. Mr. Cohen holds degrees from The University of Michigan and Brandeis University.