John Benoit

Professor of Music - Trombone/Music Theory

Phone Number:
Office Location:
ARMC 104
Office Hours:
MWF, 9-10 am
TTh, 8:30-9:30 am
B.M. (trombone performance), Louisiana State University, 1985
M.M. (music theory), University of Texas at Austin, 1987
Ph.D. (music theory), University of Texas at Austin, 1994

Dr. John Benoit holds the rank of Professor of Music at Simpson College where he teaches music theory, trombone, brass ensemble, and a first-year seminar titled “The Jazz Age.”  In addition, he currently serves as Head of the Division of Visual and Performing Arts.


As a music theorist, Dr. Benoit has presented research on Schenkerian theory and the atonal music of Luigi Dallapiccola at regional and national conferences in the United States and Canada.  His theory teachers included Drs. Patrick McCreless, Stefan Kostka, Douglas Green, and Roger Graybill.


As a trombonist, Dr. Benoit has studied with Larry Campbell (LSU), Don Knaub (UT-Austin), and George Krem (Iowa City).  He is a past member of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Opera Orchestra, and the Texas and Pinnacle Brass Quintets (Austin, TX).


Currently, Dr. Benoit serves as the leader, arranger, and trombonist of two period jazz ensembles.  The  Ballyhoo Foxtrot Orchestra performs “Hot Jazz of the Roaring ‘20s”.  The BFO has been featured at jazz festivals and concert series including the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society Festival, the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival, the Lakeside Dixiefest, and Des Moines’ Jazz in July.  In 2008, the BFO recorded a CD titled “I’m Gonna Jazz My Way.”  The BFO is listed on the Iowa Arts Council’s “Performing Artist” roster.  Dr. Benoit plays stride piano in the combo version of the BFO.  The Soya Vista Jazz Orchestra performs “Cool Jazz of the Swinging ‘60s.”  In 2010, the SVJO performed at the Des Moines Symphony’s annual “Yankee Doodle Pops” concert on the State Capitol grounds.  The SVJO has also performed on Fine Arts series around central Iowa.


In addition to playing in his own bands, Dr. Benoit currently plays trombone in the Turner Center Jazz Orchestra, the Party Gras Classic Jazz Band, the Festival Brass Quintet, and is a frequent sub with the Des Moines Big Band.


Dr. Benoit is a member of the Historic Brass Society, having served the organization in the past as Treasurer and as a member of the Board of Directors.  He is also a collector of antique photographs of Iowa bands (1880-1930) and of trombonists.


Dr. Benoit is a native of southwest Louisiana.

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