Meet the Susanville Symphony Maestro Benjamin J. Wade

 "Little did he know where this journey and his passion for music would take him"
Over ten years ago a dramatic transformation occurred in the life of Benjamin Wade as he moved to the small town of Susanville in rural Northeastern California to become head coach of a soccer program at Lassen Community College. Soccer was only one of his passions....the other was music.
Little did he realize where this journey and his passion for music would take him. In 2003, he founded a symphony...and Susanville would officially become the smallest town in America with its own symphony orchestra.
“Several musicians and I talked about forming a symphony; I never dreamed that it would take over my life and become a channel for the intensity and passion I have within my heart. For me life is about just that...intensity and passion. This comes out in the manner which I conduct and the compositions I write.”
Wade has composed dozens of original works and over 20 have been debuted by the Susanville Symphony. As he shifts his focus from soccer to music, the Maestro has lofty aspirations. Wade wants to develop the orchestra, and to give greater attention to writing music.
“My desire is to travel and research the music of 20 different cultures and write 20 symphonies over the next 20 years. I want to write for this orchestra and this community. I want to continue, in some small way, to change the face of Susanville and Lassen County, enriching the musical culture for the residents and the musicians.”
In his youth, Benjamin Wade became a world-class trumpet player, winning the prestigious International Trumpet Guild’s CG Conn scholarship for young proteges under the age of 18. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and a minor in Music. Then received his Master of Music degree in Conducting in 2005 at the University of Nevada, Reno. Wade has studied under Dr. Mack McGranahan, Maestro Kirk Trevor, Maestro Zubin Mehta, Dr. W.J. Jillian and Dr. Cathy Leach. He also has performed with the Knoxville Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, and the New York Metropolitan Opera. He is a member of the International Conductors Guild and has guest conducted the South Carolina Pops, the Springfield Symphony and the Southwest Baptist University Orchestras.

Meet the Susanville Swing Band Leader Carlin Hagen 

Carlin Hagen has recently joined the Susanville Symphony Society in Susanville California as the new director of the Susanville Swing Band.
Born in Denver Colorado, Carlin graduated from Lakewood High School in Lakewood Colorado in 1979. He attended Fresno Pacific College for two years before completing his formal education at the University of Oregon, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1987. While residing in Eugene Oregon, Carlin served as the director of music at Eugene Friends Church, was a member of the semi-professional “Oregon Madrigal Singers” touring ensemble, and directed a vocal ensemble for the Martin Luther King Jr. Honorary concert hosted by the governor of Oregon in 1986.
He and his wife Sheri moved to Susanville in 1988 where he began serving as the first ever music director at Janesville School. He served the Janesville school district as full time music director for 12 years, and in 2000, joined the Lassen Union High School District as full time music director where he has served for the past 16 years. Carlin has also taught music at Richmond School, and is currently teaching music at Diamond View, Johnstonville, and Meadow View schools, as well as Lassen High School. During his tenure in Lassen County, Carlin has been a member of the Susanville Symphony, Susanville Swing Band, and the Susanville Messiah Chorus, performing both instrumentally and vocally on numerous occasions. He served several years as the CMEA Region Five High School Honor Band coordinator, and is currently the children’s music director and Awana Clubs International music director for Community Evangelical Free Church in Susanville.
When time allows, Carlin enjoys woodworking in his shop on his residence in Janesville as well as composing and arranging music.