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“Vancouver BC based preacher and musician, Benjamin MacRae, specializes in modern music and the spoken word, blending influences from across the diverse traditions of music and Christian spirituality.”
“Vancouver BC based preacher and musician, Benjamin MacRae, specializes in modern music and the spoken word, blending influences from across the diverse traditions of music and Christian spirituality. Ben is currently a second-year Presbyterian Master of Divinity student at Vancouver School of Theology, minister of youth and young adults at St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church, and has a Bachelor of Jazz Studies in Performance and Composition from Capilano University, and a diploma in Orchestral Clarinet Performance from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Ben’s ministerial passion is in the intersection of music, Christian spiritual traditions, ecumenical and interfaith dialogues, social activism, and evangelism amongst those in the first third of life.”
“An experienced performer, composer, Benjamin MacRae is an accomplished clarinet, flute, & saxophonist from the Fraser Valley that is currently settled in Vancouver, BC. While Ben’s most current musical endeavours are focused around the Grand Slam Jazz Band (https://www.grandslamjazzband.com/), working on his own material, and playing as a session musician for various bands in the traditional jazz idioms of the lower mainland, he has extensive experience working as a European classical musician, in Jewish Klezmer music, the wide span of Christian devotional music, contemporary/freely improvised music, and in various jazz orchestra settings. Ben was honoured to be one of the music directors at Brentwood Presbyterian Church in Burnaby BC for three years, and has helped to co-ordinate various jazz vespers programs, church music camps, and jazz summer camps aimed at forming the God-given gifts of youth and young adults. From weddings to funerals, dances to wakes; large shows to cozy in-home concerts; sacred settings to secular instances; teaching people of all ranges, abilities, backgrounds and identities; Ben is widely experienced in providing music for, and with, the people.
Ben received a Diploma in Orchestral Performance from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (2017) for classical clarinet studying with Robert Sheffield. At Capilano University Ben recently completed his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies - Performance/Composition (2021) under the direction of saxophonist Mike Allen, clarinetist James Danderfer, and composer Jill Townsend in the spring of 2021. Ben is a former member (in good standing) of Chapter 145 Vancouver Musician's Association/American Federation of Musicians. Ben is available as a performer, composer & educator. Please feel free to fill out the form at the bottom of the page if you would like to get in touch.
In addition to his work as a musician, Ben is an aspiring minister for The Presbyterian Church in Canada, and is pursuing studies at the Vancouver School of Theology to obtain his Master of Divinity (2021-present) and undertake his ordination vows to become a pastor within that denomination. Ben is currently serving at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church as their Minister with Youth and Young Adults. Ben’s ministerial passion is in the intersection of music, Christian spiritual traditions, ecumenical and interfaith dialogues, social activism, and evangelism amongst those in the first third of life & witnessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the rapidly secularizing context of North America. Ben’s faith is one of constant reformation, and as a liberal, inclusive Christian, he advocates for the full inclusion of all peoples into the life, mission, and witness of the church. To get a sense of Ben’s latest theological thinking, you can check out his latest reflection by clicking on the link below.
Future study aspirations include completing a Doctorate of Ministry that researches the spirituality and music of Duke Ellington as witnessed in his three Sacred Concerts (1965, '68 & '73) with the aim of composing new works in - and expanding upon - that tradition as means of missional musicking for the church, and continuing to develop inclusive Christian education programming & music for youth and young adults.”