Home 9 Composers 9 BENJAMIN BOLDEN

Dr. Benjamin Bolden, (b. 1971) music educator and composer, began his musical career singing in a church boys’ choir, and has been singing in choirs ever since. He has also performed in rock bands, concert bands, gamelan ensembles, and for ten years in professional music theatre. Ben studied composition at Carleton University with Patrick Cardy, at UBC with Stephen Chatman, and at the University of Toronto with Christos Hatzis. He has composed for strings, orchestra, wind ensemble, opera, and more, but the majority of his work has been composed for choirs. In 2016 Ben won the Choral Canada Competition for Choral Writing.

Ben is an associate professor and the UNESCO Chair of Arts and Learning in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, Canada. As a teacher, Ben has worked with pre-school, elementary, secondary, and university students in Canada, England, and Taiwan.


arr. Benjamin Bolden

SA a cappella – CP 1129  
“It doesn’t matter if you jail us, we are free and kept alive by hope!” This rhythmic African freedom song is perfect for children’s or ladies’ choir.

Coventry Carol

arr. Benjamin Bolden

SATB a cappella – CP 1082   – duration 4:30
Part of Ben’s trilogy of Christmas carol arrangements, this piece plays puts the traditional tune on a slightly unusual meter, and thereby maintains movement in the piece.

Holly and the Ivy, The

arr. Benjamin Bolden

SATB a cappella – CP 1081 – duration 2:00 
This spunky arrangement requires some agility from the singers and your audience will love it.

I Saw Three Ships

arr. Benjamin Bolden

SATB  a cappella – CP 1080 – duration 2:15
This arrangement is of the less well known, but very playful alternate tune. It plays with numbers and meter, and is a very “fun” challenge for your choir.

Lord Franklin

arr. Benjamin Bolden

SATB a cappella – CP 1698 – duration 4:30
TTBB a cappella – CP 2057

In Baffin’s Bay where the whale fish blow
The fate of Franklin no man may know

Snow (Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening)

arr. Benjamin Bolden

SATB a cappella – CP 2312 – duration 5:55
For me, the experience of being in a snowy forest is a sensory delight like no other – the woods transformed by gently falling snow. As Robert Frost wrote: lovely, dark, and deep. With my music I tried to capture the longing I feel for that peaceful, hushed beauty. So wonderful when we find it, and actually take the time to stop, sink in, and enjoy!  But as the poem suggests, it is never long before realities and responsibilities tug. We grudgingly set off again, yearning for what we must leave behind.

Tread Softly

by Benjamin Bolden, poem William Butler Yeats

SATB a cappella – CP 1407 – duration 3:30
Winner of the Choral Canada Composition Award (Diane Loomer Award) and premiered by the Canadian National Youth Choir at Podium in 2016, Ben really hit the sweet spot of meaningful and beautiful music for mixed choirs.