Titusville native performs at Carnegie Hall for American Wind Band Festival
From the halls of THS to the Hall of Carnegie

By Mary Hill
mhill@titusvilleherald.com
Sunday, March 3, 2013 9:34 PM EST

Titusville native Ben Rochford describes his experience playing at New York City’s famous Carnegie Hall as unique.

“It was fun,” Rockford said. “The group I was playing with [the University of Florida wind ensemble] is top notch.”

He said he was performing at Carnegie Hall, on Feb. 19, in the American Wind Band Festival.

“We (the wind ensemble) were asked to perform at [Carnegie Hall],” Rochford said. “This is the 100th anniversary of bands at the University of Florida. We’ve been doing centennial celebrations all year.”

He said Carnegie Hall is great, acoustically.

“It sounds great,” Rochford said. “The acoustics in that place are one of the best. They put a lot of thought into it.”

Rochford is a teaching assistant at the University of Florida, where he is working on his doctorate in music education, with a focus on conducting.

Rochford said he also conducts a band of non-music majors.

“They are people who signed up to play,” he said. “The group I played with in New York is [made up of] music majors and graduate students — basically professional-level players.”

Rochford, 27, is a 2004 Titusville High School graduate.

He is a son of Jean and Terry Rochford, of Titusville, and a grandson of Norma and Ray Rochford, also of Titusville, and Larna Swallop, of Connellsville. He also has a brother, Greg Rochford.

Jean Rochford said her son was a music teacher at Rocky Grove High School for four years. While at Rocky Grove, he performed with the Venango County Chamber Orchestra and the Silver Coronet Band.

He also tutored music students in the Titusville and Franklin areas.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Mansfield, in Pennsylvania; and a master’s degree in music education from Youngstown State University.

He also performed in Titusville, with “As Time Goes By.”

While at Titusville High School, Ben Rochford was in district, regional and all-state band; and was also in the school’s jazz, concert and marching bands, and was a drum major in the marching band.

While in high school, Ben Rochford performed with the Erie Junior Philharmonic Orchestra for three years.

He also played the trumpet in Harrisburg and Erie.

In addition, he performed in the Titusville Middle School band.

Rochford said he also performed with the Titusville Community Band, and he studied the trumpet with Kelly DeLong, of Titusville. He said he took private lessons from DeLong for five to six years.

“She was the main influence when I was young,” Rochford said.

DeLong said she is proud of her former student.

She said when Rochford first started taking lessons, he was ready to quit, but she said she worked with him and he developed a love for music.

“He worked with me for a number of years,” DeLong said. “I kept him going. He grew up with my kids, and he was part of the family.”

She said Rochford participated in the “Titusville Follies” series, and performed in a band she created and directed for the Youth Theater.

“It was fun working with him over the years,” DeLong said.

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