CJ Rhen, Director

Ben McFerran, Assistant Director

“CJ” Rhen, stepping into the role of Director, brings a rich background as a composer, trumpet, and saxophone player. CJ’s journey from a student player in the TC Jr. Band to its Director is a testament to the nurturing environment and high standards of excellence upheld by MVAA. With a portfolio that includes composing for big bands, orchestras, string quartets, film, and other media, CJ’s expertise in sound design and live performances across the East Coast will inject a fresh and innovative spirit into the band. CJ’s appointment as the eighth-generation director of the Twin Coaches Jr. Stage Band is a moment of pride for MVAA and a tribute to the late Maestro Joe’s legacy.

Joining CJ in leading the TC Jr. Band is Benjamin McFarren, an educator and saxophonist with an impressive jazz and classical music background. Originally from Western New York, Ben’s academic journey through Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and West Virginia University has been decorated with numerous scholarships, grants, and awards. His role as the assistant band director at Brownsville Area High School and his leadership in the Brownsville Area School Jazz Ensemble underscore his commitment to music education and performance. As an assistant director of the Junior Stage Band, Ben’s vision aligns with MVAA’s mission to nurture young talent and promote musical excellence.

MVAA President Annette Buffer expressed her enthusiasm for the new appointments, stating, “We are excited to welcome CJ and Ben to their new roles within the TC Jr. Band. Their passion for music and impressive backgrounds promise an exciting future for our young musicians. We are confident that the TC Jr. Band will continue to thrive and inspire our community under their guidance.”

The Mon Valley Academy for the Arts invites the community to support CJ, Ben, and the talented members of the TC Jr. Band as they embark on this new chapter. MVAA remains committed to offering affordable, high-quality musical instruction and enriching the cultural landscape of the Mon Valley through its diverse programs and events.