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Ben Quarles  Sharing my love for music and other things that spark my interest! ☺

Last concert of the season with the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra! Red Cape Tango by Michael Daugherty, Grieg’s Piano Concerto, and The Red Poppy Suite by Reinhold Gliere! What a fun program! #lifeofamusician #clarinet #bassclarinet #classical #music #classicalmusic

Well Baylor, it’s been a hell of a trip. Until next time. See you Space Cowboy #lifeofamusician #clarinet #bassclarinet #classical #music #classof2019

Music update!

Not gonna lie, I got really nervous about graduate school results, but I’m fortunate and excited to be attending graduate school at the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU in the fall. I’ll be studying with Gregory Raden and Paul Garner, and I’m so excited to learn and really refine my clarinet playing over the next couple of years with two phenomenal fundamentalists, as well as continue my freelancing and taking orchestra auditions.
In addition to graduate school, I’m extremely excited and honored to be returning to the Tanglewood Music Center as the bass clarinet fellow. I’ll be studying with members of the Boston Symphony once again, and will be pushed to my limit for another 8 weeks. I’m so excited to see all the wonderful friends I made from last summer, and I’m especially excited to make some wonderful music with all of them again!
Also, two and a half weeks left until I’m done with my undergrad! Goodness gracious! #lifeofamusician #clarinet #bassclarinet #tanglewoodmusiccenter #classicalmusic #gradschool

This part of my story for Autism Awareness Month is a culmination of the darkest year of my life. One of the things I have had the hardest time trying to talk about is my current mental state, because I usually can’t find the right words to really talk about it. Even now as I’m typing this I can’t really find the right words, but I will do my best. My freshman year of college was probably the worst year of my life. The first day of class I received a phone call that my best friend had taken his life earlier that morning. I had lost someone that I cared about so much, and there was nothing that I could have done to help. I was never the same person that I was prior to that event. I honestly shouldn’t have been in school at that point either. I couldn’t focus in class, my playing was underwhelming during ensemble rehearsals, and I wasn’t able to really integrate socially with the rest of my classmates. I couldn’t talk to anyone because no one really understood the mind of someone who is on the spectrum. I tried to go to counseling on campus, but would end up coming out of the sessions feeling worse and misunderstood. I would have days where the worst possible thoughts would come to haunt me, and I would even have those days where I just wouldn’t want to exist anymore and would have near attempts on my own life. It really is a miracle that I was able to survive my freshman or sophomore year of college, especially with the mental state that I was in. What ultimately helped me and my mental state was finding a counselor that specialized in helping people that are on the spectrum, and slowly but surely I have been able to start picking up the pieces. The biggest thing about helping those that are on the spectrum and are dealing with depression is finding someone who really understands the spectrum. I highly encourage those who either might have a friend or a loved one that is on the spectrum and is suffering from depression to seek help with someone who can really understand who they are as a person. Recognizing that you have depression is the first step, going to get help and guidance is the next. #aprilisautismawarenessmonth #autismawareness

My first story for Autism Awareness Month is actually a recent story from this past summer. Last summer I attended the Tanglewood Music Center as the bass clarinet fellow. It was one of the best summers of my life, but I found myself struggling emotionally the first two weeks there. I was having a hard time trying to make friends and build connections with so many incredible musicians, and pretty quickly I felt like an outcast. I didn’t know how to talk to the other fellows there, and it really put me in a bit of a turmoil emotionally. Being in a new environment like that where I’m out of my comfort zone is something that many people with ASD struggle with, and those who are lower functioning can have major emotional episodes and break down. Fortunately, I gained the confidence to reach out more, and I met so many people and made some deep and meaningful connections. I learned so much from everyone around me, especially from my section mates. I look up to each and every one of them, for they inspire me on a daily basis to push myself further. Despite the fact that I’m so socially awkward and struggle maintaining conversation, they were incredibly patient with me and welcomed me in warmly. These bonds that I made this past summer will always hold a special place in my heart. Patience is very important when it comes to interacting with people on the spectrum. Having an understanding that we struggle with communicating our words and our feelings is so important, and will ultimately help in our social development. More to come! #aprilisautismawarenessmonth #tanglewoodmusiccenter

It’s that time of the year again.
I’ve had to do a lot of thinking over the past few months about what I wanted to talk about for Autism Awareness Month. What I decided to talk about is something that affects me and many other people: depression. For those who don’t know, I was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) at a very young age, and it has shaped me into the person that I am today. I was also diagnosed with clinical depression a few years ago. Those who are on the spectrum have a high chance of also having clinical depression. The mix of not being able to communicate emotions and feelings in public situations and the internal struggles of feeling worthless and all alone from depression lead to a higher rate in suicidal tendencies, whether it be thoughts of suicide, or in worst case scenarios, actual attempts. This month, I want to talk about my struggles with this. I want to talk about other people’s struggles with this. Most importantly, I want to talk about what we can do about it. Let’s start this conversation. #aprilisautismawarenessmonth

Walton Viola Concerto and the movie quiz with the Las Colinas Symphony! Fun times ahead! #lifeofamusician #clarinet #bassclarinet #music #classical

That feeling when you think you know complex rhythms really well, but then you look at a page like this and question that thought. I’m excited to put this together for my friend Jeffry! It shall be a really difficult, but fun experience! #lifeofamusician #clarinet #bassclarinet #classical #music #okbutwhytho

Show 6 of 9 of The Secret Garden with the Family Music Theatre! Here’s my favorite number from the show A Girl in the Valley! Some really lovely writing from Lucy Simon! I’m loving it! #lifeofamusician #clarinet #bassclarinet #music #secretgarden

People always ask me “Hey Ben. How does one get better at counting rests?” For years I have kept this secret well hidden, and now I present to you as the kids nowadays say how 2 git gud at counting. Here it is. 1: play bass clarinet on the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony. 2: start counting. 3: instant results. Now you know the truth. Get to it! #lifeofamusician #clarinet #bassclarinet #saintsaens #classical #music

What a way to celebrate the end of graduate school auditions! Hanging out with a good friend and eat some super tasty pizza is a great way to wrap things up! I can’t wait to see where I end up in the future! #lifeofamusician #clarinet #bassclarinet #classical #music #chitown

Mahler Symphony no. 2. Here we go. #lifeofamusician #clarinet #bassclarinet #classical #music #mahler

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