Our Music Director
Benjamin Gaughran BMus PGCE MA FRSM MMus
Hailing from the United Kingdom, Benjamin began his musical studies as a pianist, spending several years as an accompanist for a variety of choirs and musical theatre companies as well as giving solo performances. During this time, he studied voice with British opera singer Margaret Preece and former BBC Singers member, Graham Titus. His performance as a singer have comprised both classical and musical theatre contexts, including the role of Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Artful Dodger in Oliver! Benjamin has enjoyed singing with many choirs including The City of Birmingham Choir, The Royal Holloway Chorus, and more recently, The University of Michigan Chamber Choir.
Benjamin earned a Bachelor of Music (BMus) degree from Royal Holloway, University of London where he began his career as a choral conductor. Mentored by Rupert Gough, he was the first student conductor of the Royal Holloway Founder’s Choir and also conducted The Royal Holloway Early Music Ensemble and Singers. In addition to these and other university conducting positions, Benjamin has conducted a variety of community choirs, public school choirs, musical theatre companies and other ensembles across the United Kingdom. He has been fortunate enough to study with some of England’s finest choral conductors including Amy Bebbington, Manvinder Rattan and Sarah Tenant-Flowers.
Alongside his music experience, Benjamin has extensive experience as a senior school leader and administrator (MA) as well as arts administration management and leadership roles.
Benjamin has held several church music posts within a variety of denominations ranging from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Catholic tradition and currently the First Congregational tradition. He was Church Organist/Pianist, Director of Music and Choir Director in congregations across the United Kingdom for nearly 20 years before moving to the US. Benjamin recently took up the post of Chancel Choir Director at The First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor having previously served as the Minister of Music in The First Congregational Church of Chelsea.
Conductor. Educator. Artist.
As an active choral director, Benjamin currently conducts The University of Michigan’s prison outreach choir, Out of the Blue. He is also the Opera Chorus Master at the University as well as an associate conductor of The Orpheus Singers. In the community, Benjamin is the music director of the Women’s Chamber Chorus based in Ann Arbor. He is also often invited to guest conduct at choral camps and programs in the US. As a certified teacher (PGCE), he regularly works as a clinician at local schools in Michigan.
Benjamin is a Fellow of the Royal Schools of Music (FRSM) in Choral Conducting—a prestigious position held by a select number of people in the United Kingdom and abroad. He recently completed his master of music degree (MMus) in choral conducting at The University of Michigan and has the distinct pleasure of pursuing his doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting with Dr. Eugene Rogers at The University of Michigan.
Inclusivity. Excellence. Inspiration.
Benjamin’s approach in his work as a choral conductor has always been to ensure all people feel included regardless of their musical experience or background. He sets high standards and strives for excellence in all the ensembles he leads. Through his methods he inspires those he works with to realize and achieve their potential.
Outside of his love of music, Benjamin loves to spend time with his darling wife, Kerry, and their five children. They love to travel, eat good food, play games and generally enjoy life!