A concert composer, film composer, and orchestrator, Ben Shirley was named Street Symphony’s first Composer Fellow in 2016. Ben is a lifelong musician, who was formerly signed to Epic Records, as bassist for a hard rock band with hits charting in the Top 5. By 2011, Ben’s addiction had cost him everything.
He spent 26 months living at the Midnight Mission in Skid Row. During that time he attended Los Angeles City College, before receiving a scholarship to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Today, with more than a decade of sobriety under his belt, Ben continues engagement work in Skid Row. In addition to liaising between law enforcement, nonprofits in Skid Row, and people experiencing homelessness, Ben is a member of the Skid Row Running Club. As Street Symphony’s Program and Operations Coordinator, Ben works closely with the organization’s fellows, homeless shelters in Skid Row, and nonprofit partners.