Harman Chapel


Department of Music

Ben Thorburn

Assistant Professor of Music; Director, Vocal Studies


Ph.D., Music History, Yale University, 2012
M.A. and M.Phil., Music History, Yale University, 2008
B.A., Music, University of Rochester, 2005


Dr. Thorburn joined the Bluefield College faculty in the fall of 2012. A native of Massachusetts, he previously taught voice at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Connecticut and was a teaching fellow at Yale University.

Believing strongly in the integration of musical performance with a liberal arts education, Dr. Thorburn teaches music history and appreciation, as well as voice lessons, diction, and vocal pedagogy. He conducts the college’s auditioned choir, Variations, and the Masterworks Chorale. He has also taught in the Bluefield College Honors Program.

As a singer specializing in Baroque music, his experience includes performances with the American Baroque Orchestra and the Yale Baroque Opera Project, with whom he sang the role of Caronte in Monteverdi’s Orfeo. Most recently, he has given song recitals with his wife, harpist Colleen Potter Thorburn, in Virginia, the mid-Atlantic, and the Northeast. His primary voice teachers include Lielle Berman and Jane Günter-McCoy.

Dr. Thorburn’s research focuses on the reception of early and Baroque music, specifically the operas of Claudio Monteverdi, by twentieth-century composers including Vincent d’Indy, Alexander Goehr, Luigi Dallapiccola, and Ernst Krenek. He has presented his work internationally and at national and regional conferences of the American Musicological Society.