Meet Ben Hodge who is a proud Baritone in Northwest Sound. Ben joined the chorus in 2013 having come through the Sing, Sing, Sing program. Ben was a non-singer since high school. He and some high school friends sang all the Beatles songs and what little barbershop they knew, such as the first line of Sweet Adeline, because they really liked the sound and the idea of barbershop music. However, they didn’t really know what they were doing and had no idea there was a whole society or hobby out there just waiting for them. After that life intervened, so he sang in the car and in the shower; it wasn’t until many years later he heard about Sing, Sing, Sing.
What Ben liked about Sing, Sing, Sing was its low pressure approach. Just about everybody has trepidation about singing in public or for others to hear. But Sing, Sing, Sing is totally supportive. The group lesson is nice because you don’t have to sing alone for the teacher. In addition, the teacher is totally on your side. It takes out all the stress.
Besides singing, Ben has been busy since joining Northwest Sound taking on small jobs, like most of us, to help make sure that all the jobs and details the chorus needs get done. That includes helping arrange a Christmas show; the lesson learned there is “you have to lean on your brother a bit!” Having help makes all the difference. These aren’t usually one man jobs. If it looks like there’s something that needs doing you just have to jump up and do it, but don’t worry about asking for help because you will get it.
Ben, who is part Native American, was raised in Seattle and attended the University of Washington. He lived close enough so he could either bus, or motorcycle, or walk to school.
Wanting to know how things are put together at the molecular level led Ben to become a chemical engineer. But wanting to stay local, he worked in airplane and electronics factories, then segued to project manager in engineering, architecture, utilities and construction. So he does a lot of project controls, tracking when and where the money is supposed to be spent, who spent it, has it been spent yet, and should those people be paid yet.
Life is not linear. You work and you learn other things along the way. At one point Ben thought about going into nuclear and being on submarines. He says that would have been fun!
Ben married Stella when they were both in college. Now, “several years” later, if you notice Ben “choke up a little” when singing one of our more sentimental tunes, you know who he is thinking of. As hobbies go, barbershop is the stakeholder for Ben. It is his one real hobby right now. His kids don’t need a lot of attention these days, they are 27 and 25 years old; his daughter is married and his son is engaged so he expects to be done with child rearing for the near future. He hasn’t convinced either kid to take up barbershop but, maybe … In the meantime, Stella can be persuaded to come to various barbershop events; stop by and say hello to her, she’ll be glad to hear what her husband is up to.
We’re glad to have Ben as a member of Northwest Sound.