Dr. Al Benner
Music Instructor

[Theory, Composition, Instrumental, Ensembles, Piano]

Philosophy Instructor
[Philosophy, Ethics]

Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts
Room 214 MAB

[email protected]

For a listing of performances of my music in 2014, please click here.

To visit my favorite LSMSA Instructor, please click here.


Life Philosophy
Do what is right even if it is unpopular.
Take responsibility for your actions.
Don't let others think for you.
There is always a choice.
Be true to yourself.

“Excellence is not an action, but a habit.”

"To educate a person in intelligence but not in character is a crime to the human spirit."
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.  Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited.  Imagination encircles the world."
--Dr. Albert Einstein

“In God We Trust”
--George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, John Adams,
Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan


Courses offered for Spring 2014
Click courses to see the current syllabi.

Introduction to Music Theory II

Music Composition 

Adv. Music Theory II

Mixed Ensemble

Adv. Music Theory IV

Major Instrumental Study


To see past courses taught at LSMSA and last semester’s syllabi, please click here.


For a description of the Philosophy courses and the Music Theory and Composition courses I teach, please click here.



2010 Videos

Listed below are video performances from the April 21st LCC concert featuring current composition students of Dr. Al Benner.
Click on student’s name to see performance.


Allen Calmes
Silly String

performed by Anna Tan (violin)

Himchan Song

performed by Himchan Song (alto sax)


Mary Beth Maggio

performed by Dr. Benner (piano)

Chase Whitney

performed by Himchan Song and Wesley Ducote (alto sax)


The LSMSA Chamber and Mixed Ensembles are treated as professional performing groups.  Consequently, inclusion in these groups is by audition only.  For details about the different LSMSA Ensembles, please contact Dr. Benner.  For more information about the LSMSA Music Ensembles and/or other instrumental performing group opportunities at LSMSA, please click here.   The Mixed Ensemble will give their Spring Concert with Chorale on May 4 at 3:00pm & May 5 at 6:00pm, in the CPT Recital Hall.  Please check back for further details.

Past concerts for Chamber, Wind and String Ensembles
Additional Concert Opportunities provided for LSMSA students
LSMSA Ensembles Original Compositions, Arrangements, and Transpositions

LSMSA's All-State and District II Ensemble Members
Composition Opportunities provided for LSMSA students
Ensemble Concert Invitations
Past Student Assistants to the Chamber/Wind Ensemble Director


Individual Student Recitals

Major Instrumental, Composition and Piano Students

Click here to see past recital programs.


At times, various students of Dr. Al Benner give a Junior or Senior Recital.   Check back here during the year for further details. 


Distinction Projects

To see past abstracts of completed distinction projects, please click here.


At times, various students of Dr. Al Benner complete the requirements to graduate with distinction.  This is a rare occurrence for usually no more than about a 6-8 students a year complete this process throughout all the disciplines.


Louisiana Composers' Consortium

Total Concerts performed so far: 49

The goal of the LCC is to promote Louisiana talent throughout the state by playing works of living Louisiana composers and other guest composers who are significant figures in 20th century music.  The LCC, which was founded in 1999 by Dr. Al Benner, also promotes current and recent Louisiana School faculty, students, and alumni.  It is a way of not only giving something back to the Natchitoches and surrounding communities, but also to present fresh music and to show that contemporary music can also be fun to hear.  To learn more about the LCC or to see past concerts, please click here.


The next LCC concert is scheduled for April 14, 2014 at LSMSA.  Please check back for future details.




2013-14 National or Regional Conferences Invites

LMEA Conference

November 22-25, 2013

Crowne Plaza Executive Center

Baton Rouge, LA. 


Represented LSMSA for students to attend

All-State Symphonic Band and Jazz Band.

LMTA Conference

Oct. 10-12, 2013

McNeese State University

Lake Charles, LA

Office Held: Board Member; Commissioning Chair


Presentation of 2013 Commissioned Composer

Ellene Owens session

11am-12pm; October 11, 2012

NACUSA National Conference

October 3-5, 2013

Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA

Office Held: National Advisory Council; ComposerUSA Editor


Shakespeare’s Musical Sonnets (2011, 2013)

Music to Hear (8) & Lips to Kiss (128)

for voice and piano

Lisa Benner, voice; Al Benner, piano


To see past conference invites, please click here.


Special Performances and Commissions

Current Commissions

Paul Christopher

[Northwestern State University Music Faculty]

Open Ayre, a work for solo cello.


Carson Cooman

[organist and coordinator, Harvard's Memorial Church]

to write a new sacred motet (an anthem for 4-part SATB choir) for the Choral Fellows ensemble of the Harvard University (a select 16-person professional choir) for use at daily worship services and other events for which the ensemble sings.


to write a Prelude to attached to my already existing Fugue in C minor for inclusion on a CD of various organ music to be played by Carson Cooman.


Selected Past Commissions

(works completed and premiered)

On Mystical Wings (2011)

for violin and piano

ArtsFest 2011

(April 1-15, 2011; Baton Rouge, LA)

featuring Lin He, LSU faculty and ass’t concertmaster BR Symphony premiered April 13, 2011, Baton Rouge Community College, LA. 


Louisiana Sinfonietta

Dancin’ on the County Line

a work for string quartet and solo string bass to be played 8 times over the 2010 summer for the Young Children’s Library Series.


Louisiana Music Teachers Association

From the Hymnal

the 2009 LMTA Commissioning Composers Award for a piano duet to be premiered at the 2009 LMTA Conference in Lafayette, LA in October.


David Winograd

to write an arrangement for the Hudson Valley Brass Quintet of Handel’s “March” from the Occasional Oratorio to be played at the graduation ceremonies of the State University of New York at New Paltz on May 19 & 24, 2006 and at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY on May 28, 2006.


MIDI realization 


Selected Performances

Psalm 117 (2007)

for SATB choir and piano

Red River Chorale; Alexandria, LA;
Fred Graham, director

October 18, 2007




Changes (1990)

for woodwind septet

(flute, oboe, English horn,

2 clarinets, bassoon, contrabassoon)

Louisiana Sinfonietta; Baton Rouge, LA;
Dinos Constantinides, director

December 9, 2007




Illumination (1991)

for string orchestra

(Louisiana Sinfonietta Tenth Anniversary Commission)

Premiered January 12, 1992


February 5, 2006

A Concert of Distinguished Alumni Composers

Louisiana Sinfonietta; Baton Rouge, LA;
Dinos Constantinides, director

The LSU 61st Festival of Contemporary Music



L to R: Dr. David Penri-Evans, Dr. Stephen Lias,
Dr. Dinos Constantinides, Dr. Vernon Taranto, Jr., and Dr. B


Selected Performances (con’t)

Dancin’ on the County Line (2011)

for saxophone quintet

NSU Saxophone Quintet

Dr. Paul Forseyth, director
Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA

April 28, 2011


Illumination (1991)

for string orchestra

NSU Chamber Orchestra; Douglas Backenhaus conducting
LMTA Conference, Natchitoches, LA

October 15, 2010


Dancin’ on the County Line (2010)

for string quintet

Louisiana Sinfonietta
Eight performances at various Baton Rouge Libraries

June 9-17, 2010


The Carpenter-Wood Rag (1991)

for soprano sax and piano

MUSE Institute; Athens, GREECE
Athanasios Zervas, saxophone; Achilleas Gouastor, piano

January 9, 2010


Louisiana Sunshine (2004)
for orchestra

Theme and Variations based upon

You Are My Sunshine

by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell

© 2004 by Peer International Corp.


Commissioned collaboratively by Louisiana's seven professional orchestras through the Louisiana Association of Symphony Orchestras (LASO).


MIDI realization


Young People’s Discovery Concert Series

“One Louisiana—One Song”

Shreveport Symphony Orchestra

Kermit Poling, conductor; Shreveport Civic Theatre

[Jan. 26, 2005; 9:30 am; Jan. 27-28, 2005; 9:30 & 11:00 am]

Lake Charles Symphony Orchestra

William Kushner, conductor; Rosa Hart Theatre

[April 10, 2005; 3:00pm]

Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra

Stuart Chafetz, guest conductor; Baton Rouge River Civic Theatre

[April 11-13, 2005; 9:30 & 11:00 am]

[April 12, 2005; 11:00 am—Carnegie Hall’s LinkUP! Program]

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

Stu Chafetz, conductor

[April 6, 2005; Greater Covington Center , 9:30 & 11am]

[April 26, 2005; Mahalia Jackson Theatre, 10 am]

[April 28, 2005; Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 9:30 & 11:00 am]

[May 4, 2005; Pontchartrain Center, 10:00 am]

[May 5, 2005; St. Bernard Civic Center, 10:00 am]

Monroe Symphony Orchestra

Myron Turner, conductor; Neville High School

“Sound Safari”

[May 11, 2005; 10:00 am & 1:00 pm]

Rapides Symphony Orchestra

Side-by-Side Educational Concert

Joshua Zona, conductor;  Coughlin Saunders Performing Art Center

[April 24, 2006; 9:30 am]

Acadiana Symphony Orchestra


Radio Broadcasts

September 21, 2008

WRKF, 89.3 FM, public radio


Changes (1990)

for woodwind septet

Louisiana Sinfonietta Winds; Baton Rouge, LA;
Dinos Constantinides, director


Learn more about me

Short Bio

Curriculum Vitae

What People are Saying

Known Performances

Known Music in Academic Libraries

"Point of View" Columns


For some little known facts about Dr. Benner, click here.


Family Photos



BoysChristmas12-24-08.jpg                     Family_Star_Wars_10-27-08.jpg

                                    Albert and Nicholas                                                            Family Star Wars