Warwick Valley High School junior Benjamin Samberg been very successful playing the cello for the past eight years.
He’s made all county every year since eighth grade. However, he came close to giving up on music that same year.
His music teacher Elissa Maynard talked him out of it.
“I started losing interest,” Benjamin said. “I guess I wanted to be more of an athlete at that time than a cellist. I thought I wanted to drop it in high school, but Mrs. Maynard just did not let me. She told me I couldn’t quit.”
Benjamin decided to continue playing the cello. He began taking private lessons and started enjoying music again. Now Benjamin is considering majoring in music in college.
“I remember when I first had Ben in fifth grade orchestra,” Maynard said. “He had a raw wild energy that I knew he could and would channel into something special. I know that Ben will be an exceptional artist and I look forward to being his biggest fan.”
Benjamin started playing the cello in fourth grade. He tried out a few instruments, including the trumpet, but found that the cello was the best for him.
Benjamin is currently first chair in the Chamber Orchestra and is also involved in the Wire Choir, an unconventional orchestra comprised of students in grade 5-12 who want to play pop, rock and hip hop music.
Recently Benjamin has started picking up the guitar, harmonica, keyboard and even the ukulele.
“Ben is extremely creative and works hard in music,” Maynard said. “I am so proud of how far he has come and the beautiful young man he has grown into.
“In addition to being an exceptional cellist” Maynard added, “Ben recently discovered his passion for music production and just recently released his first professional production on iTunes, Spotify, and all other professional music streaming platforms.”
As a producer, Benjamin makes beats and instrumental music, and he sometimes mixes in his own vocals.
“I just like listening to music, so I wanted to make my own,” said Benjamin, who is also a member of the Studio Music Club at WVHS. “I write the music into the software. Then I find samples of high hats, drums and stuff like that and I put it all in to make an instrumental. I export the music as an MP3 and post it on music streaming sites.”
Benjamin also plays soccer and tennis. He played junior varsity soccer the past two years and this week started tryouts with the varsity team. Benjamin is also on two club soccer teams.