Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Director of Jazz Studies


Ben Geyer is Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of West Georgia. He previously taught music theory and aural skills at Oberlin College Conservatory and has a Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Kentucky. Geyer's research focuses on issues of temporality (time) in jazz, and his dissertation is called “Meter, Phrase, and Form in the Compositions of Maria Schneider.”

Geyer previously freelanced as a musician in NYC, New England (mainly Boston and the NH Seacoast), and Central Kentucky (especially Lexington). He has played internationally - in China, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean -  and domestically - in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Hawaii. He has worked professionally work with Winard Harper, Avery Sharpe, Barry Ries, Marion Cowings, Stjepko Gut, Peter Dominguez, and Endre Rice.

Geyer's debut album, The Narrative, was called “...Colorful, intriguing, and well worth hearing” by Scott Yanow of Los Angeles Jazz Scene. His next album, The Acadian Orogeny, is forthcoming. He has collaborated with choreographer Annie Now on a work for jazz sextet and three modern dancers, premiered it at the Tea Lounge in Brooklyn. He wrote incidental music for Finger Paint, an original play featured in the New York City International Fringe Festival. The American Spiritual Ensemble has performed seven of his arrangements, both with the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra and the Barcelona Jazz Orchestra. These included adaptations of pieces from Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert.

Geyer has taught at Oberlin, U of Kentucky, UMass, Centre College, Nashua Community College, Rivier University, and now the University of West Georgia. He has studied with some top-notch performer-educators including Hal Galper, Jon Faddis, Ivan Davis, and Raleigh Dailey. His Bachelor of Music is in Studio Music and Jazz from the University of Miami Frost School of Music, and his Master of Music is in Jazz Studies Purchase College (SUNY).

(Photo by Mark Stern/