Benjamin Champion (15) is a sophomore, studying composition and piano at Idyllwild International Arts Academy in Idyllwild, CA. Ben began his piano composition studies in 2011 with his parents, Chris and Sandy Champion. He has also studied piano with Dr. John Walker from SDSU and composition with Kevin Michael Sullivan at Idyllwild. Ben currently studies composition with Mark Carlson of UCLA, and piano with Dr. Jeanette Louise Yaryan, and Parvati Mani at Idyllwild. Under Dr. Walker’s instruction, Benjamin won first place in the 2013 Grant Piano competition and the South Dakota Music Teacher’s Association for piano and composition, Junior Division. In the summer of 2014, Benjamin was chosen to study and perform as a Young Artist at the Dakota Sky International Piano Festival. Here he studied piano with Dr. Paul Tuntland Sanchez, Jacob Ertl, Dr. Gregory DeTurck, Adam Golka, Angelina Gadeliya, and Jon Kimura Parker. Benjamin also attended the Idyllwild Summer Music Camp, where he studied with Dr. Jeanette Yaryan, Parvati Mani, and Doug Ashcraft. In the summer of 2015, Ben returned to the Young Artist program at Dakota Sky International Piano Festival. He studied with Dr. Gregory DeTurk from University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Douglas Humpherys from Eastman. Benjamin has written music for piano, string quartet, vocal and chamber ensembles, and orchestra. Benjamin aspires to pursue music composition at the conservatory level.