"The vibe at the school was to do what makes you happy as long as you’re treating others with care, respect, and love and I’ve carried that with me through my life." –Ben O'Connell, Red Oaks Alumnus
Most people have received the advice to find what you love first and then determine how to turn it into a career. Ben O’Connell was one of the lucky ones who discovered that passion early on and created a clear path for himself to find a place in the music industry. After attending Morristown-Beard School for middle and high school, Ben went on to NYU where he wasted no time setting himself up for his desired career. After spending his freshman year in Florence, Italy, Ben returned to New York to major in English and minor in Music Business and Sociology. Throughout his college career, Ben pursued internship opportunities at various record labels, gaining valuable experience that prepared him to establish a career in the music industry upon graduation.
Since completing his undergrad, Ben has worked in music publishing, licensing songs for TV, film, and commercials. He currently works as Lead A&R for Songtrust in New York City, where he scouts new talent, manages the recording process for artists and facilitates marketing efforts. His passion for the industry doesn’t end there, however, as Ben also manages three artists, co-writes music with artists and writes and releases music of his own.
Ben credits the freedom to explore that he was given at Red Oaks for contributing to his success in a creative industry. “I felt like I had more of an open mind and a more creative outlook on life than others I encountered later in life,” he recalls. “The vibe at the school was to do what makes you happy as long as you’re treating others with care, respect, and love and I’ve carried that with me through my life.”