Ben Negley

Ph.D. Candidate

Ben Negley is a Ph.D Candidate in Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is currently completing a dissertation on the Ford Foundation's innovative $80 million program for U.S. symphony orchestras in the 1960s and 1970s. Ben regularly presents at national and regional conferences, and his research on the Ford Foundation has been published in the Journal of Musicological Research, the Rockefeller Foundation's Research Report series, and has been cited in the New York Times.

Grad Student
Research Interests: 

Current Project: The Ford Foundation Arts and Humanities Program 1957-1977


Other Scholarly Interests: Orchestral Performance Practice/Arts Funding/Taxation


Archival Research Related to Dissertation:


Minnesota Orchestra Archive (MN)

Rockefeller Archive Center (NY)

Museum of Performance and Design (SF)

Archive of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (LA)

W. McNeil Lowry Archive (IL)



Former TA and Guest Conductor for UCSC Wind Ensemble/Conductor and Arranger for UCSC Trombone Choir/Trombonist on Campus and Around Town


Formal Brass Studies with J. Sam Pilafian, Gail Wilson and Josh Bledsoe

Masterclasses with Michael Mulcahy, Michael Becker, Kelly Thomas


Education and Training: 
B.A., Arizona State University, 2011
M.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, 2013
Selected Publications: 


"The Ford Foundation Symphony Orchestra Program" - Journal of Musicological Research, April 2017

"'To Stabilize the Financial Position of the Leading American Orchestras': The Impact of the Ford Foundation's $80 Million Program for Symphony Orchestras" - Rockefeller Archive Center Research Reports, October 2016;



Book Review, The Society for American Music Bulletin, Fall 2015;



Recent work on the Ford Foundation cited in a November 2016 New York Times article: "It's Official: Many Orchestras are Now Charities."


Letter to the Editor, New Yorker, January 2016:


Selected Presentations: 

Work Related to Ford Foundation:

Winter Meeting of the Northern California AMS Chapter, SF Conservatory, February 2017

Annual Meeting of the Society for American Music, Boston, Winter/Spring 2016

Spring Meeting of Mountain Region AMS Chapter, Colorado State University, Spring 2015

Spring Meeting of the Combined Northern/Southern California AMS Chapters, UC Davis, Spring 2014

Symposium on the Past and Future of the Orchestra, in honor of D. Kern Holoman, UC Davis, Spring 2014


Other Presentations:

"Tempo and Variability in Mahler's Second Symphony"

Stony Brook Graduate Musicology Conference, Spring 2015

CUNY Graduate Center, Fall 2013


"Felix Mendelssohn and the Politics of Religious Identity"

Cal State Long Beach, Spring 2012

Honors and Awards: 

Rockefeller Archive Center 'Grant-in-Aid' (Summer 2016)



Arts Dean's Fund for Excellence Travel Grant (Summer 2017)

Arts Dean's Fund for Excellence Travel Grant (Spring 2015)

Music Department Travel Grant (Fall 2013)

Graduate Student Association Travel Grant (Spring 2012)

Regent's Fellowship (Fall 2011)


Arizona State University:

Herberger College of the Arts 'Special Talent' Award (Fall 2008 - Spring 2011)

Provost's Scholarship (Fall 2007 - Spring 2011)

ASU Marching Band 'Most Valuable Musician' Award (Fall 2010)

Joan Frazer Memorial Award for Judaism & the Arts (Spring 2009)