Benish thrives through music program


Photo by Christine Corcoran

Senior Nick Benish playing the cello in one the many music programs he is involved in. Benish said, “It’s hard to imagine what my life would be like without music.”

Kate Price

Music is a large part of every teenagers life. For senior Nick Benish, it is on a whole different level.

Benish started his music career at a young age and has been with it ever since. He is currently involved in Chamber Orchestra, Concert Choir and Jazz Band, making him one of the most active musicians in the entire high school. He loves all of the programs he is involved in, but he does show a preference towards one.

“I love them all for different reasons, but orchestra has always been my favorite. There are always a lot of great players to play with in orchestra too,” said Benish.

Music takes up his life. He devotes much of his time in and out of school to the fine arts.

“Music has really taken over my life so I don’t really have other activities to make time for, I prioritize musical stuff over everything. I actually spend my entire Wednesday at a jazz band rehearsal in Edina so I have to do my homework two days ahead in preparation for that” said Benish about his lifestyle being molded by music.

All of the programs allow Benish to play music from genres that are drastically different. From classical to jazz, every every is important to the outcome. Another large factor is family, his older brother was active in music programs as well. Jazz was a family favorite.

“My brother Drew and I went to jazz camps in the summer for a long time. Jazz is a big part of the music I play,” said Benish.

The Benish family has made a lasting impact on the music programs at Stillwater Area High School. Drew Benish graduated in 2013, but cannot be forgotten about. They add a bit of  their own style to everything they do. Benish showed he was truly a man of all music when he played the washboard in a band with his brother and a few other previous seniors for coffeehouse.

Senior Paige Aschenbrener is in choir with him and said, “He is super talented and funny. He is in all of the musics, that takes a lot of commitment.”

For Benish, the majority of high school has been based on music. That is how he made his friends and spent his time. He gave up other activities to pursue playing instruments and singing.

When asked to picture his life without music, Benish said, “Its hard to imagine what my life would be like without music, I’ve made most of my friends through music, learned the most from those teachers, and had the best experiences with trips and concerts and everything. I used to play baseball before I got way into playing music so I would probably still be playing on the baseball team, along with tennis too.”

Behind every great musician there is someone else they look up to in the music world. Benish is no exception to this rule. The band Radiohead is his favorite and they spur growth in all different aspects of his  musicality.

“Radiohead has been my favorite band for a long time. I’ve been inspired to learn the bass to play some of their songs, the guitar for others, and sing on as many as I can,” said Benish.

Benish is inspired by Radiohead and others are inspired by Benish. His dedication to all of the programs is astounding, a feat not many could accomplish. He has a good head on his shoulder and brings happiness to his classmates’ lives.

“One time, Nick Benish wore my box and it was really cool. He is really cool,” said senior Megan Letkeman commenting on on his average behavior in and out of the classroom which friendly and laid back.

Continuing music is important to Benish, although it is not the career path he is choosing, he is not completely letting go of his musical background.

“I’m planning on getting my major in some form of engineering, while maybe getting a minor in music. I love music too much to stop playing in college,” said Benish.

Benish benefits from the music programs and the music programs benefit from Benish. He is a wonderful musician and is a joy to see on the SAHS stage, which is quite often considering his musical resume.