Ben Ayling comes to Ohio Northern University as Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities where he is responsible for conducting and/or administrating the ONU Choirs as well as teaching Choral Conducting, Choral Methods, and Aural Skills. He most recently taught at Kent State University where he was conductor and founder of the KSU Men’s Chorus. He is sought after as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and speaker. He has served as the guest conductor of state and regional honor choirs and most recently served as the guest conductor of the All-state Men’s Chorus in both Georgia and Tennessee. His speaking engagements have sent him from coast to coast as well as New Zealand, Australia, and Russia. He has served as a clinician at music educator's conferences throughout the United States, Canada, England, New Zealand, Australia, and Russia.
As a performer, Dr. Ayling spent 17 years as a studio singer for radio and television commercials. He sang bass in The Ritz, the 1991 International Champion Quartet of the Barbershop Harmony Society that, along with having eight recordings to its credit, performed in 46 states, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and Russia. The quartet also sang on the PBS Special “Keep America Singing” and was a featured group on one of the MENC “World’s Largest Concert” broadcasts.
Ben Ayling’s leadership roles include a lifetime membership in the American Choral Directors Association where he has served as the Ohio Choral Directors Association’s Male Chorus Repertoire and Standards Chair, Secretary, President-elect, President, and currently, Vice President. He has also served as the President of the Association of International Champions and President of District I of the Ohio Music Educators Association, an affiliation he has maintained for 35 years. Additionally, he is a member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, the International Society for Music Education, the Barbershop Harmony Society, and the Technology Institute for Music Education.
Dr. Ayling received his Bachelor and Master’s degrees, in music education, from Bowling Green State University and his Ph. D., in music education, from The Ohio State University and has taught choral music for 20 years in the public schools. He resides in Ada, Ohio with his wife, Mary Ann.