A SONG FOR BEN
By Jeff Herwig
For Concert Band
This past spring, I lost an old friend from high school. His name was Ben.
When I joined band in high school, I had no close friends in the activity. Ben was my bus buddy during that first year, and we could not have been more different than one another. However, over that first season together, Ben and I became closer during bus trips to and from football games and competitions. I won't forget bonding over the music we shared with one another on those trips... I'm not sure if I would have continued participating in band if it wasn't for Ben's friendship that first year.
We drifted apart after high school after moving to separate parts of the country and choosing completely different career paths. We'd check in on each other every once in a while on Facebook, but that was it.
While in grad school, I would travel to Messiah College each summer, which is close to where Ben worked in Harrisburg. Every summer, he would ask me to meet up for dinner and drinks - I claimed to be too busy each time. I cannot tell you how much I wish I took him up on his offers.
The news of his death in March hit me like a ton of bricks. On top of just feeling the devastation of losing a friend, I felt guilt. I feel like I could have made a difference...
I dealt with those feelings the best way I could - I wrote something. It took a long time, because I kept writing about the wrong things - sorrow, guilt, sadness. Until recently, I was stumped. I thought about what I hoped for Ben, and the answers were that I hoped that he was at peace and that I could help make sure he is never forgotten.
So that's what's behind "A Song for Ben." It's about finding peace. And it's made to keep my friend's name and memory alive. It will be free to download forever. The only thing I ask is that if you download and perform the piece, that you make a donation of any amount to the The Trevor Project in honor of my friend Ben.