Rebecca Nixon
Rebecca NixonSinfonia Conductor
Rebecca Nixon began her study of the cello under the instruction of Louise Lang. Throughout Mrs. Nixon’s high school career, she performed with the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, and the Alliance Symphony. Mrs. Nixon also performed at the Kennedy Center with the Wooster Symphony Chamber Orchestra. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Bowling Green State University where she studied cello with Dr. Alan Smith and conducting with Dr. Emily Freeman Brown.

Mrs. Nixon taught string programs in Bowling Green and Toledo, Ohio and at Woodside High School in Newport News, Virginia. She taught Summer Institute for Strings at Bowling Green State, judged All-City and Regional Orchestra auditions, and conducted the Newport News All-City Middle and High School Orchestras. She also attended several local and state workshops and sponsored the Tri-M Music Honors Society while teaching at Woodside High School.

Currently, Mrs. Nixon conducts the PYO Sinfonia and performs whenever she gets the opportunity.

Richard Marcus
Richard MarcusSymphony Orchestra Conductor
A native of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Richard C. Marcus currently serves as Assistant Professor/Director of Bands at the College of William & Mary. He has guest conducted the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Indianapolis Brass Choir, the Athenaeum Orchestra (IN), the Valley Civic Orchestra (IL), and the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra and has worked with several youth orchestras including the Sherwood Conservatory Young Musicians’ Orchestra (IL), the Youth Orchestra of the Lowcountry (SC), and the Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestras (NC). Prior to his appointment at William & Mary, Dr. Marcus served on the faculties of the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Iowa and completed graduate studies at Butler University and the University of South Carolina where he earned a D.M.A. in conducting under the guidance of Dr. Donald Portnoy. His research is on the music of Hans Gál (1890-1987), an Austrian-Jewish composer and scholar who fled Nazi persecution and settled in Great Britain. Dr. Marcus is a member of the Conductors Guild, College Music Society, National Association for Music Education, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

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Westley Benson
Westley BensonWind Ensemble Conductor
Westley Benson is a Virginia Beach native born in 1986. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance from Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University and now teaches piano and drums. He is a resident teaching artist with the Soundscapes program, and works as the Director of Music at Global Outreach Church in Virginia Beach. For more information, please visit