Dr. Benjamin Caton has the distinction of being the longest-serving faculty member to have taught in the ETSU Department of Music. He joined the Department of Music in 1975 and retired in 2020. During that time he taught piano, music theory, and served as the Chair of the piano area from 2001 until his retirement from full time teaching. He continues to teach piano as adjunct faculty.
Caton received numerous accolades over the course of his career, including the Music Teachers National Association Teacher of the Year Award in 2020 and the 2013 Distinguished Faculty Award in Service from ETSU. In 2004, Caton was named the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award given by Tennessee Music Teachers Association. Other honors include the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs Foundation for the Advancement of Music Award for Excellence, the John Phillip Sousa Award (while playing trombone in high school band), and being named an MTNA Foundation Fellow. He served two terms as member of the Music Advisory Panel for the Tennessee Arts Commission.
Caton served as the President of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and his time on the MTNA Board spanned over ten years. He served as MTNA Southern Division President, MTNA Secretary/Treasurer, MTNA President-elect, and MTNA President.
An avid football fan, Dr. Caton is a strong supporter of the Buckeyes of the Ohio State University where he earned his MA (1972) and PhD (1982). Caton holds a Pedagogy/Musicianship Certificate from the Kodaly Musical Training Institute.
His articles have appeared in Clavier, Music Educators Journal, American Music Teacher, and The Tennessee Musician. He has presented numerous sessions at local and state associations.